Ma’alot has been soaking up the sun and we want to tell everyone! Despite some minor rain during opening day, the chanichim (campers) had their shiniest smiles and warmest feelings ready for the summer! As the adults filed out, the madrichim (counselors) led game after game to get the chanichim ready for the best kayitz (summer) of their lives! A dinner of fried chicken and tofu welcomed the chanichim’s tastebuds with delight, desperate to be eaten. The night progressed with a fun peulat erev (evening activity) where the aydah (age group) got to catch up with each other, answering funny questions in pairs to get to know each other better and get more comfortable with each other and the madrichim. The night ended with the chanichim going back to their tzrifim (bunks) to set rules and expectations for the summer. The chanichim explored together and agreed that this summer, the summer of Ma’alot, would be a summer of development, leadership, and finding themselves.
Today began with our usual schedule of mifkad (gathering at the flagpole to begin our day and raise the flags – sing the American/Israeli national anthems, and to say morning prayers), tefillah (Jewish prayer!!!), and breakfast. The chanichim chose their chugim (electives), went to kitah (class), and had our first Ma’alot peulah (Ma’alot activity, a block in the morning where Ma’alot meets with the Roshei aydah (unit heads, Talia & myself) and works on leadership opportunities and development). We set goals for the summer, and were so excited that we decided to share with each other! As aspirations filled the room, the aydah all felt that we truly were entering a summer of rising to the occasion. We reflected on the name Ma’alot, and the fact that it means ascendance or rising up. As some of our chanichim had our lifeguard tests today, we truly felt that we were beginning the summer on a note of rising up and actualizing all our potential.