Tzohorayim Tovim, Maalot Parents!
Our Maalot chanichim (campers) are right now participating in the very first Maccabiah (color war) event, so we thought we would take a minute to tell you all how the last week has been.
We had an AMAZING time at Yom Bowlwhich was a goofy day involving activities with the word “bowl.” The first part was outdoor bowling; with options of human bowling and the campers as the pins, and downhill bowling with a track of twenty five feet! It was extremely tough to aim down the long hill, and only few chanichim were able to accomplish it! After the outdoor bowling activities, the campers headed into the next activity: Bo(w)lsheviks. We had a brief lesson of Russian History, and explained the role of the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks during the Russian Revolution. This was only supposed to be a 10 minute lesson, but the kids were so engaged and curious that it ended up being a twenty minute conversation, where we discussed the differences between the Soviet Union and modern day Russia. The conversation about the Bo(w)lsheviks prompted the making of a “Maalot Manifesto” which was a radical document that a few chanichim worked on to express the changes they wanted to see at Yavneh. Meanwhile, another group of chanichim were “raiding the Kremlin” to find dozens of red slips of paper hidden in one of the buildings at camp. The chanichim then turned the counselors into Mensheviks by playing a quick game of “Red Rover” and chanting their “Maalot Manifesto” on the sports field. Yom Bowlingended with their favorite activity of all; the bowl surprise. The campers were all laughing along as we used various bowls to prank two of our madrichim (counselors).
Later that night, we all headed to Sadeh Yarok (pavilion) for a bonfire and boundary breakers. Campers shared stories about their favorite moments from this summer, and opened up to an assigned partner about some of the things they are nervous for this upcoming year. It was an extremely meaningful night for a majority of the chanichim, and the s’mores before bed ended a great day on a tasty note!
Before we finish this letter, we both wanted to give a huge Kol HaKavod to every single Maalot camper. Yesterday during our last Achla Yom (trip day) we hiked up Flume Gorge with the Gurim chanichim. Each of our campers were buddied up with a younger camper for the final MaGuPu (Maalot-Gurim Peulah) of the summer. Because of the challenging hike, many of the Gurim chanichim were exhausted and unruly. Instead of breaking down alongside of them, our Maalot chanchim carried these kids’ backpacks, held their hands throughout the hike, gave up their own water bottles, and kept up the positive attitude. We were so beyond proud of their leadership, and we knew you would all be too. A special haftaah (surprise) is coming tonight to reward them for all of their hard work!
Their leadership, humor, creativity, and individuality are things that we have loved watching all summer. As we head into our last week of this kayitz (summer) we are already sad to say goodbye to these amazing chanichim. It was truly an amazing kayitz!
Rachel and Aaron