Shalom from Aydat Leviim!
We spent last week’s Achla Yom at Water Country with the whole machane(camp)! From sliding down the water slides, to relaxing in the lazy river, it was truly a fun day had by all. You’ll have to trust us that the chanichim (campers) had a blast because we were walking around with them and going on rides together, so we didn’t get the chance to take any pictures (sorry!) When we got back to camp, we had our weekly barbeque dinner and Kerem ran our peulat erev (evening activity). The chanichim were tasked with writing a rap about a particular subject, and we loved seeing their creative juices flow. After a long day, the chanichim went back to the bunks early and had a chill night with lots of flashlight time.
On Thursday afternoon, we had a chinuchi peulah (educational activity) to introduce the summer’s theme Hakarat Hatov (recognizing the good). The chanichim made gratitude jars as an outlet for them to express their gratitude. We then played basketball on the outdoor courts and the banim (boys) had soccer while the banot (girls) had football. This coming Friday is Powderpuff which is a camp tradition where the Leviim and Maalot banot play each other in a flag football game. The competition is fierce and our madrichot are teaching them everything from how to throw, catch, and handoff a football, to how to play tough defense.
On Friday, we had Rikudiyah practice to learn our ayda’s dance for Rikudiyah on Thursday. It’s a fun partner dance and we’re excited to perform it in front of the camp. We end each practice by crowning an MVD (most valuable dancer) to keep the chanichim engaged. The banim then had free swim while the banot had another Powderpuff practice. They’re starting to master the spiral throw and by the end of the week, we’re sure they’ll look like NFL champions.
We welcomed Shabbat with a beautiful ReLiSh in the Beit Am and then moved to Gilboa for Kabbalat Shabbat. We had a delicious Shabbat dinner and closed the night with zemirot (singing). Shabbat morning consisted of davening, free time, free swim, and snacks – what could be bad! In the afternoon, the chanichim had a sicha (conversation) with a moreh (teacher) and then the camp came together for Tzipori and dinner. We ended the night with Havdallah and Israeli dancing, and the chanichim went back to the bunks with their Kerem.
Sunday morning, many of our chanichim left camp to play in the girls basketball tournament or tennis tournament at Camp YJ. It was a regular morning for the rest of us, but the afternoon was different as we were celebrating Yavneh’s 75th Anniversary! There were many members of the Yavneh community who came to celebrate. In addition to having Powderpuff practice, frisbee, and free swim, we also had a celebration for the 75th in the Beit Am. Alumni spoke about their experiences at Yavneh, we saw a slideshow of pictures of Yavneh across the decades, we sang On and On, and we watched the Arts Festival performance. It was great to see how the essence of Yavneh hasn’t changed over the years and the ruach (spirit) has always been crucial to our camp community.
The day transitioned from a celebration for Yavneh’s 75 years to a celebration for Davida, Rosh Banot, who is celebrating her last summer at Yavneh. The whole camp came together at Gilboa wearing white shirts (you’ll see why later) to hear Rabbi Dov (past camp Rabbi) and Meir speak about Davida. They revealed an art installation for her in the girls area with a meditative pool for people to sit around and a small bookshelf for a lending library as Davida loves to read. There is also a bridge with mosaic tiles and a special quote in her honor. The camp them moved toward the sports field and lined the path down as Davida ran through it to start off the Davida Color Run! The whole camp ran through the sports field as they got hit with colored powder in honor of Davida’s love for running. After dinner, the whole camp met in Beit Am for more Davida celebrations and ended with Davida’s favorite- Rikudei Am (Israeli dancing).
On Monday, the banot continued to practice for Powderpuff, while the banim had Judo (martial arts) and teva (nature). We then had free swim and Rikudiyah practice together. Some of our chanichim went to camp Tel Noar for Arts Festival, and we heard they really enjoyed watching the other camps’ performances and performing theirs as well. For the rest of us, the peulat erev was the 2nd annual Ezra Schwartz dodgeball tournament which was a blast!
Tuesday was similar to Monday, but after dinner, the chanichim went shopping at Kolbo to get fun Yavneh swag, and then prepared for KTV tomorrow night- our theme is pop country songs.
Looking at the rest of this week, we are excited for our hike tomorrow, KTV, Rikudiyah, and Powderpuff!
Nina and Adina