Erev Tov, Maalot Parents!
While we have been at camp for only a week, Maalot summer has already been fantastic! Friday morning began with a sing-along to “Just One Shabbos” and a camp-wide dance party to the famed Chadar Ochel (dining hall) tune. After an exciting breakfast and a speedy nikayon (clean-up), our campers headed off to their daily chug (activity) and kitah (class). We spent that morning writing Shabbat-o-grams to our Gurim buddies, and telling funny stories from the previous night’s MaGuPu (Maalot-Gurim Peulah). Our campers were absolutely ecstatic about their new friends, and already felt connected to their Gurim buddies.
We spent the afternoon engaged in Yom Olympics, a peulah (activity) designed to bring out the creative and competitive sides of our campers. Each team had to come up with a name for their country, design a flag, and create three historical moments that happened in their country’s “history.” Needless to say, the names were goofy and the facts were even goofier. After twenty five minutes, we had representatives from Yeastburg, The Number Two, and Kabashastan. Each country presented their flags and sang their national anthem, and Ilan Kligerman’s solo-show left everyone in hysterics.
The second portion was a round-robin of various activities: an obstacle course, a rock-paper-scissors bracket, musical chairs, and four-goal soccer. At the end of the peulah, Yeastburg was labeled victorious, and we celebrated with pizza for nish-nush (snack).
Shabbat came in with our most exciting ReliSh (pre Shabbat ruach) yet. Everyone was jumping, smiling, and belting to “Minyan Man” with the widest smiles we had seen all week. We had never seen our campers so excited to welcome in Shabbat, and we were thrilled when they insisted on lighting Shabbat candles. Kabbalat Shabbat (prayer ceremony) was held in Gilboa (the amphitheatre) and at the end of a beautiful service our campers sprinted towards the Chadar Ochel for challah and chicken soup, Yavneh-Shabbat staples. The campers were particularly spirited during Zemirot (singing) and we were the only Ayda that had every single one of our campers jumping in the middle of Kerem’s circle. It is clear to everyone at camp that they are truly starting to become leaders.
After a hectic week, the campers were delighted to have a little extra free time during a relaxing Shabbat. They were quite engaged during Shabbat Sicah (discussion) and responded well to Jeremy Tibbetts, a long-time Yavnite who led a conversation about Jewish Leaders and summer camp. Shabbat ended with a lively Rikud (dance) and moshing, and after thirty minutes we still had our chanichim (campers) chanting “Od Rikud” (one more dance!).
Sunday morning welcomed back the weekday routine. We spent Maalot Peulah discussing Mini-Mac (color war for lower camp) and planning team names, stations and break-out ideas. We were nervous that the chanichim would be passive, but at the end of the peulah we had four pages worth of ideas that our campers had brainstormed. Even Lisa was impressed!
Our Peulat Erev on Sunday Night (evening activity) was the best one yet. Erev Project Runway had each of our campers design costumes and scripts for one person in their group to wear and model. At the end of a forty-five minute planning period, we had a giant runway show where each group presented their models. Everyone was laughing the entire time as each model strutted down the make-shift runway. Although Boaz Posner and Dana Katz indeed looked amazing, Emet Hirsch-Hoffman walked away with the title of “Yavneh’s Next Top Fashionista.”
We are looking forward to a packed week of Beach Day fun, the Fourth of July, and the Maalot Talent show!
Aaron and Rachel