Shalom Leviim blog readers!
We have just returned from our three day trip to the AMC Highland Center at Crawford Notch. We apologize for the late blog post, but are excited to update you all on what’s been going on at the machane (camp)!
Last Friday afternoon was a tzhorayim meyuchad (special afternoon) which was planned by the Leviim tzevet (staff) as Yom Mischakim (Board Games). The chanichim (campers) started off all together to play a game of Human Guess Who, and from there we split up into two groups to play Battleship on the Agam and LIFE. The chanichim had a blast playing these classic board games in lifesize mode. No, none of the canoes were truly sunk, however many of them were hit by flying balls and water sprayers which required the chanichim to stop paddling for 15 seconds.
Following our exciting afternoon, we ushered in the Shabbos with a beautiful ReliSh (Ruach Lifnei Shabbat). Our madricha (counselor), Toby, led Kabbalat Shabbat for the whole machane in Gilboa, and everyone enjoyed the wonderful singing and ruach that our chanichim have long awaited since last kayitz (summer). We then had a delicious Shabbat dinner which was followed by Zmirot (singing). After morning davening, our chanichim had free time and then a sicha (discussion) with a moreh (teacher). We closed Shabbat with a ruach-filled havdalah and Rikudei Am (Israeli Dancing). The chanichim spent the night in the tzrif with their Kerem (CITs).
On Sunday, the chanichim had a regularly programmed morning with kitah, schiya, and chug. The afternoon consisted of volleyball, judo, omanut (art), gaga, and a peulah (activity) with Amit and her therapy dog, Shvavi. The peulat erev (evening activity) was Murder Mystery based on the board game, Clue! Yes, board games seem to be a common theme in Leviim so far. We told the chanichim they were going to a garden party, and when we collected them all at the garden, Scott (Rosh Safety) came running in saying that Bil had been murdered! From there we broke out Erev Murder Mystery, and the chanichim had to move from various stations around camp completing challenges in order to guess who killed Bil, where he was killed, and with what weapon. After much critical thinking and guessing, only one of the groups was able to figure out that Bil was murdered by Daniella and Ami at the Agam using a Gefen chanich. What a crime scene we had there!
On Monday, we left for the Highland Center! This trip is a Leviim tradition, and we were all so excited for this overnight! We (Nina and Adina) both vividly remember our trip there in 2012 when we were in Leviim (yup, we just dated ourselves). After a two hour drive, we arrived and the chanichim ate their packed lunches and then went on hikes led by the Highland Center staff. The landscape surrounding us was absolutely beautiful, and we were so lucky to have all of this wonderful hiking terrain in walking distance. The hiked in small groups of about eight, which was a great opportunity for bonding. The hikes varied in difficulty, were either waterfall hikes or lookout hikes, and all seven hiking groups had great views along the way and at the top. Following the hike, we had a yummy barbeque for dinner, prepared by the madrichim. We finished the night off with a campfire and s’mores.
On Tuesday, the chanichim participated in a round robin with the Highland Center staff where they circled through different stations about Leave No Trace, Orienteering, Firemaking, and Ropes. After lunch, the chanichim went on another hike, different than the previous day. We finished the day off with fajitas for dinner (which got many positive reviews), an ayda talent show, and an Astronomy program. One of the stations was a blow up planetarium where the chanichim could easily see the constellations which they really enjoyed.
Wednesday morning, following Rosh Chodesh tefillah and breakfast, we packed up from the Highland Center and drove 30 minutes to Echo Lake. It was a beautiful hot sunny day, and the lake was located next to a giant rock that created a beautiful landscape. The chanichim truly had a blast, and we were so glad to hear all the positive feedback about the trip as a whole. Check out the smug mug folder for some great pictures!
After the lake, we finally headed back to camp, and the chanichim had lots of time to shower and unpack before heading down for a (yes, another) barbeque dinner. Following dinner, the entire camp had a movie night, and the chanichim could choose between watching Monsters Inc. or Shrek. It was a nice way to wind down after a very exhausting three days.
We are excited to celebrate the 4th of July with our usual parade, dancing, singing, fireworks, and camp-wide talent show. That’s all for now!
Nina and Adina