Saturday, December 24, 2011

Shabbat and Final Messibah

Last night the Bogrim (10th graders) led machaneh in lighting the Hanukah candles and kabbalat Shabbat. Together we said the brachot and the Bogrim discussed the candles as being representative of the things that keep us warm in our day-to-day. Each boger/et explained what keeps them warm in their lives. After dinner we all stood up and packed together for Shabbat shira (singing) to sing Shabbat songs, Israeli songs, and American folk songs. Shira was loud, fun, and bursting with energy. The energy continued on to rikkud (Israeli dancing) as all of machaneh, young and old, gathered to dance traditional and new rikkud dances together.
Today has been a great and relaxing Shabbat complete with all of the events that make Shabbat at machaneh so unique and meaningful. We had chugim retzinim (discussion groups) on a variety of topics such as creative writing, American Zionism, and the Jewish and Israeli communities in the US, their connection to Israel, and how important it is to create a meaningful  Jewish life. After that we had a great hyde park- a time for chanichim to express thoughts and ideas to all of their friends.
Now our bags are packed and Shabbat is coming to an end. But before we can leave we will be joining the characters of our hatzaga (the running skit throughout camp days) in their homeland of Bubbleaska for a super-fun dance party. Musical will follow – a chance for everyone to express their talents in song, dance, music and poetry, and later on in the evening - final messibah (party)!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Antiochus, Kangaroos, and Snoccer!

During a Hanukah themed yom meyuchad (special day) yesterday, chanichim (campers) at Gilboa learned from some of history’s greatest non-violent leaders to successfully overthrow the invading Greeks! After their victory chanichim met in a “kangaroo court” and put King Antiochus on trial. The king was convicted of multiple counts of theft, perjury, and crimes against the Jewish people and was sentenced to being covered in toilet paper, splashed with water, and having pudding smeared all over her face. Having successfully completed their fight for freedom the chanichim were given the opportunity to accuse, try, and punish any madrichim for any other injustices. The night was full of pudding, water-splashing, funny accusations, and laughter. Finally, we finished the night with BoSho group lighting the Hanukah candles with the rest of machaneh.
Today has been a beautiful day with lots of snow and more sun! After avodah (work) and breakfast all of machaneh met and broke into teams for an awesome snoccer tournament! What is snoccer? Snoccer is a game played much like soccer…except it is played in ankle-deep snow, involves snow balls, has no real positions, and not very many rules. The tournament was a blast! Chanichim and madrichim made team names and cheers, ran through the snow, scored goals, threw snowballs, and enjoyed a sunny morning at machaneh!

Currently we are preparing for a relaxing and fun Shabbat together. Kvutzot are working hard learning brachot (prayers), making kishutim (decorations), writing the oneg (Shabbat skit), setting up the chaddar ochel (dining hall), and learning songs to sing for the rest of machaneh. When all of this is done everyone will take some time to relax and clean up and then Shabbat will begin. And all of this before an amazing final messibah (party) tomorrow night! 

Shabbat shalom!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Celebrating Hanukah Gilboa-Style

Machaneh has been beautiful and sunny with plenty of snow for sledding and snow balls.

Over the past day we have been doing many interesting and exciting activities based around the Hanukah story and traditions.

Yesterday all of machaneh came together for a fun holiday carnival that wound up leading to a conversation about the role of Jewish traditions in our lives and the expression of these traditions in our home communities. After the activity we all regrouped to light the Hanukah candles, this time led by the Chotrim (7th graders) and followed by a long list of festive Hanukah songs. After dinner, chanichim had a relaxing evening watching a movie together.

Today chanichim went on an investigation to discover what freedom can look like in their day-to-day lives, and the power they have to be who they want to be. Following this activity machaneh was taken over by the Greeks! Having being denied their right to practice their religion and live by their heritage the chanichim will need to learn from some of history’s greatest non-violent movers and shakers to overthrow their Greek oppressors and ultimately put Antiochus on trial!

Winter Camp 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Hanukah and Beautiful Sunny (and snowy) Days!

Machaneh Choref (winter camp) started with a bang!

After spending yesterday afternoon getting situated and moving in to our tzrifim (cabins) we gathered together to celebrate the first night of Hanukah. Earlier in the day everyone worked together to create a beautiful hanukiah.
Throughout Hanukah each kvutza (age-group) will get a night to light the candles for the rest of machaneh. 
Last night Sayalim led us in the candle lighting, prayers, and Hanukah songs.
After dinner all of machaneh came together to meet the madrichim (counselors) in a fun and energetic game-show-themed activity. After being welcomed to the “studio audience” by our three enthusiastic hosts, chanichim (campers) took turns identifying funny facts about their madrichim. Chanichim were presented with two facts about an anonymous madrich. Kvutzot were then challenged to identify which madrich wrote the facts and which one was a lie. Correct answers won candy for everyone and breakout dance parties were enjoyed by all!
Today has been a beautiful and sunny day. We had chuggim (interest groups) ranging in topics from dance and meditation, to sledding and discussing various social movements.
After that we played a game of capture the flag in the snow, complete with snow angels and plenty of snowballs! The last two hours have been full of engaging peulot (educational activities), bonding with our kvutzot (age-groups), and of course, playing in the snow.
Exciting events on the horizon include another night of lighting the Hannukah candles together, a Hanukah themed yom meyuchad (special day- shhhh…it’s a secret), and a great shabbat at machaneh!
Chag sameach!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Winter Camp 2011 Started !

Shalom Everyone,

We had a packed first day at camp, and we'll be writing more about it tomorrow. Meanwhile, here are some photos from our first evening together at camp, and our first night of Chanukah together.

The Mighty Chotrim

Sayalim singing

Sayalim light home made Chanukiya