This week has been a whirlwind. We started off going on our big three day overnight to the Highland Center in the White Mountains. When we got there, we immediately ate lunch and then we were off on our first hike. The views were absolutely beautiful and picturesque. After the hike, we went up to our rooms to shower and get ready for the night.
After shower time, we had a delicious barbecue thanks to Jossie and Jonah. We ate by the train tracks and then went to a campfire, prepared for us by the center. We sang and did some boundary breakers. This obviously led to roasting marshmallows and making s’mores.
The next day after tefillot and breakfast, we did some fun activities led by the staff at the center. We mainly learned about the concept of “leave no trace.” After lunch, we went on our second hike. At the center, you hike in smaller groups, unlike the hikes we conduct on a normal Achla Yoms.
When we got back from the hikes, we had some Rikudiyah practice and then it was off to the showers. We had a delicious dinner that consisted of fresh salad made by yours truly, and some delicious Shepherds Pie.
After benching, we had our last activity run by the center – it was their astronomy course, very interesting. The night ended with star gazing and chill time in the game room.
The next day, after breakfast and davening, we hopped back on the bus. Our next destination was Echo Lake. It was very windy, but we didn’t let the weather stop us from having fun. We played sports, practiced for Powderpuff, and took a couple much needed naps. The wind actually was really beautiful and exciting. We ate lunch, and then headed back to camp.
We got back to camp right in time for Rikudiyah (camps dance festival). Each aydah has a dance that they perform – it’s almost like Zimriyah, minus the competition and stress. Needless to say, Leviim’s dance was amazing. We were very proud of the work we put into it.
The next day was Yom Yisrael. It was fantastic! We went to the Shuk, played Gaga, made pita, and did a Bishul (cooking) competition with classic Israeli dishes (our favorite part of the day). The night ended beautifully with a camp wide takes where our girls performed their Israeli flag dance.
The next day was Powderpuff! The banot battled Maalot and had a blast. Even though we did not come out victorious, we bonded with the other girls, and became a stronger kehila at the same time.
After Shabbat, we had a nice sunny Sunday. We had our usual Kitah, chug, and schiah in the morning. After lunch, we had boating, sports and “just dance.” Then, we had an early showertime. This was to film our camp wide Koolulam. This was camp’s first time doing a “Kululam“. Benzi taught all of the chanichim in camp throughout the previous week a song with harmonies and solos. We came together to put all the puzzle pieces together in order to make a video for camp. It went amazingly – We had the best time! That night was also breakout for Maccabiah!
Yesterday we went on our last Achla Yom. We went to an ice skating rink, and then to North Shore Beach. The weather was perfect -we had a blast! This was also the day of Arts Festival – an annual festival involving all of the Jewish summer camps in the area. Many of our chanichim were a part of it! Sadly, that meant that they could not go on our trip, but they went to Camp Young Judea and had so much fun performing.
Jonathan Gomolka (Rosh Aydah)