Wednesday Aug 20
In Machane Stone, the chanichim start their day (after mifkad, tefillah and breakfast, of course) with shiur. Each group is small, with just 6-8 kids. Today, they spent time getting to know each other and their shiur teacher (a member of our beit midrash or another staff member that asked to teach shiur) and then they learned about Dreyfus and Herzl and their very strong ties to the Jewish people, althought these men were not religious. The chanichim talked about the question of Judaism being a nation and/or a religion and what each of those elements means. The shiur teachers add in charades and games to keep it relevant and fun!
The day continued with 3 peulot before lunch and then another two peulot, followed by shekem (treats from canteen!). In the evening, there was one more activity before they had the fair of chugim where everyone learned about the “electives” we offer here in camp a few times a week. Activities are both standard (horseback riding, high ropes course, ceramics and basketball) as well as special treats (baking, bracelet making, guitar lessons and kipa making) and then…we have the zany: Chavaya Yisraelit, Book Club and Chai Tea and Things that Rhyme with Orange! Ask your child(ren) what chug he/she/they chose.
Tonight’s night tochnit was by eidah, as each age group continues to bond and get to know their Roshei Eidah. Every group will have a game to help them feel more comfortable and just have some good ol’ fun.
Note: the “no phones at camp” policy is the BEST thing ever! You should see these kids talking, playing and running around 🙂 This morning, before official kima (wake-up over the loudspeaker), many kids were outside playing and talking!
Kaytana learned about Avraham and Sarah’s tent and the mitzvah of Hachnasat Orchim. They baked brownies and had some stations around camp where they gave them out to passers by. Kaytana is everyone’s favorite group now 🙂 These young campers look so cute and are loving their counselors and the non-stop fun here! They had no night tochnit tonight, because they are tired!! Once they get used to the schedule, they will have a peulah after dinner just like “the big kids”.
Machal was out of camp today (what else is new?) on a 12-mile hike in the Allegheny National Forest, on the west bank of the Allegheny River. The water was a little too cold for tubing, but they all had fun just being together and getting to know their special, extremely talented and experienced staff. Tonight they sleep out at the Buckaloons Campgrounds there… just 20 minutes away…ssshhh, don’t tell them 😉
And THAT was all just Day 1. No wonder they sleep for days when they all get home 😉