This past week, our ayda took a four-hour bus ride to Maine for the long-awaited whitewater rafting trip. When we got to Adventure Bound, we spent hours swimming, hot-tubbing, throwing around footballs, and playing intense games of Monopoly and Jungle Speed. Before barbecuing, we learned part of Masechet Rosh Hashana (Tractate Rosh HaShana from the Talmud), about the importance of rosh chodesh (the first of the month), and the reliance of everyone to pass along the message of the new moon. Once discussing the connection of “kol Yisrael arevim zeh b’zeh,”(All of Israel is responsible for one another), we ate together and enjoyed dinner. That night, we roasted marshmallows and sang songs under the stars, each of us excited and anxious for the next adventure together.
The next day, we woke at 6am, ready for whitewater rafting. We got on our wet suits and booties, and once decked out in our helmets and paddles, we headed out to the river. While waiting for our rafts, we all danced to “Rather Be” and “l’shana haba” (next year in Jerusalem), intriguing most of the tourists near us. Most of us were nervous, many had yet to whitewater raft, and the safety talks left everyone a little anxious. But once we got on the water, everyone was smiling. We cheered as we passed each rapid, and sang Jewish songs while paddling. We jumped in the freezing cold water and waved to each other as we passed. Everyone was having a blast. After 13 miles full of heavy paddling, lots of laughing, and many soaked kids, we pulled off our wet suits and jumped into a hot tub to warm up. After watching a video of our day, we hopped on the bus for another four hour ride back to camp, leaving yet another amazing adventure behind.
– Rachel W., Kerem chanicha (camper)