Dear Arayot parents,
We are finally one full week into kayitz (summer) 19! The first ReliSh (Ruach Lifnei Shabbat or spirit before Shabbat) of the summer was amazing, leading into a provoking Kabbalat Shabbat (Friday night services). All of the chanichim (campers) had a great meal and to end the meal the chanichim were able to stay for zemirot (singing) with upper camp for the very first time! They easily transitioned and felt like a real part of upper camp at Yavneh. The energy in the room was unbelievable, and many of the campers said this was their favorite part of the summer so far. Saturday was full of rest and relaxation, with some weather scares, but thankfully it did not rain too much. The campers were able to hang out with one another, attend camp-wide services, learn in small groups, and play sports. On Saturday night, we had an energetic Havdallah (end of Shabbat singing) and danced a lot!
Sunday was the first day that Arayot was meltzing (waiting) a meal. This is an upper camp tradition and responsibility, in which the campers help facilitate meal-time and clean up. They had a busy first day–they meltzed all three meals! They were so excited and did an amazing job! The whole camp (including upper staff) complimented them on doing so well. They also loved singing along to Disney music while they cleaned up. Sunday morning was another normal one, with chug (elective), instructional swim and kitah (learning). In the afternoon, the girls and boys started learning about Ketzev, Arayot’s chesed (volunteer) project for the summer. On July 11th, they will present a 20 minute performance to a nursing home, where Arayot has performed for years (Ethan and Amanda performed there when they were in Arayot!). The boys and girls each have a dance, the entire aydah (age group) will sing a song, and there will be other small poems, narrations and song performances throughout. This is a super fun masoret (tradition) for Arayot! The girls and boys both started working on their dances on Sunday afternoon and were so excited to get started. For the rest of the afternoon, the girls had omanut (art) and the boys had basketball/tennis. At night, the girls had Erev Quirk (quirk night) where the girls tried to match a list of quirks to the counselor they belonged to, and the boys played competitive team building games where the winning group won a prize.
Monday was all ABOOT Canada, because it was Yom Canada (Canada Day). We learned all about poutine, hockey, the differences between a province and a territory, and not to mention Alex Trebeck! We started off the afternoon with a b’chira (choice), between floor hockey and making totem poles. Hockey was a competitive game between Kfirim (the 12 year-old age group) and us. We do not recall what the score was exactly, but we are sure we won! The totem pole making was with omanut (art). We cut out different shapes on construction paper and they could write or draw whatever they wanted on them. Then you would proceed to glue them on a stick. Most of the boys chose to play hockey in the Beit Am (gym), while with the girls it was split. The next round of choices was between a haftah (surprise) trivia game with Michi (head of programming and resident of Canada) or making sugar cube igloos. The trivia was super informative, and they were able to learn the difference between a loonie (Canadian one dollar coin) and a twoonie (Canadian two dollar coin), as well as other cool Canadian lingo and facts.
On Monday night, the boys and girls prepared for the talent show. We had an Arayot talent show last night with Maalot (the 14 year old age group), so each bunk performed their own talent as well as a bunch of individual/group talents from the campers and counselors. Ethan and Amanda were also excited to perform with the roshes from Maalot! We are very for our Achla Yom (trip day) to the beach today!
B’ahava (with love),
Amanda and Ethan