June 29, 2018
Living in Bet – Eliana Dropkin
Living in Bet has been one of the best things in the world. It is a great place to hang in a large open area and is great for relaxation. It is a beautiful grassy area with hammocks and benches by the Delaware River. To me, it is so calming to just listen to the water as it rushes through the river on a quiet day. I also love having the chance to sit by a tree and play my ukulele with friends during free time. During meals, we get to play music that we all love and have dance parties practically every day which is so exciting. Since we only have one shicva in Bet, we have so much room and freedom to jump and dance around. Being the oldest shicva in camp is so freeing and allows the age group to bond as a whole. Though we are split up into three different chugim, there are still so many chances to meet and hang out with everyone in your shicva. Hadracha often goes to Aleph for the activities we have each day and occasionally even have meals with the younger age groups. I love getting to see all of my younger friends I have grown close to over the years. Hadracha is definitely my favorite year at campBeing in Hadracha also gives us a lot of responsibility as a whole. This is the time where teens mature and become who they are.
We also get the opportunity to experience being a leader. We learn imperative skills on how to be a great leader. We learn that being a great leader is having the qualities of being a good listener, having confidence, and making sure everyone is being included. Each day, we play the role of a leader for the younger age groups, Yachad and Alumim, because they look up to Hadracha as a whole. These qualities can be used even when we aren’t at camp. We can apply these skills when we are at school or at any social event. We use these skills every day in camp in preparation for Maccabia and in advocating for important social justice issues when Hadracha goes to Washington D.C. later in the session for trip week. We are constantly preparing with our Tikun groups that we chose to go to D.C. with. Going to Washington D.C. will allow us to be mature and really show our true leadership skills and qualities by meeting with organizations that focus on the social issues we are facing. I can’t wait for more sessions on being a leader
Gimmel Girls Story – Abigail Kessel
We were all sitting in a clump by the Aleph office, some of us dancing and praying for rain. All of Hadracha girls were set to go on Gimmel, but no one had any desire to. We had just gotten up to start an activity as the rain started to come. It was just drizzling at first, but everyone was rejoicing and those rain-dancing began to with much more enthusiasm than before, knowing their dance had worked. As it started pouring rain, we were all rushed to the Aleph Hadar and threw our bags down, running to the coffee station for hot chocolate. When asked by the Teva staff why we all didn’t want to go on the one night camping trip, a couple people got up and proclaimed a few words of wisdom. After each person spoke, we all cheered them on, leaving the Teva staff defeated but us girls empowered. We had to wait another half an hour to see what would happen: would the rain stop and we would be on our way or would we get what we wanted and stay in camp? A dance circle started as they played music. People cheered for each other. Shortly after, Just Dance videos were played on the TV screens in the Hadar and people went wild. Tensions rose as the half an hour was coming to a close. The head of the Teva staff, after checking the weather multiple times, finally told us that we would not be going to Gimmel. The crowds went wild. People were hugging each other overjoyed to avoid the night in the woods. We were also told to move our stuff from the Hadar to the nearby Shira Moadon, in the pouring rain.
People ran to the Moadon, dropped their stuff, and then went themselves to the MIF or Moadon in Front of the Beit Am. Some girls began to lead cheers and songs that everyone else joined in on. We were a community of girls who beat off Gimmel! Someone started chanting “Hey Hey, Ho Ho, They say Gimmel we say NO!” which caught on very quickly. The Teva staff had mixed emotions about that. Then, we were relocated once more, by taking our stuff to the MIB or Moadon in Back of the Beit Am. The Shira Moadon was too small for all our things and our stuff was starting to soak. We ran back out in the pouring rain carrying our stuff to the MIB, some staying there and some going back to the MIF due to mixed instructions. I stayed in the MIB playing Cards Against Humanity, eating people’s snacks, and wondering what was going to happen next. A couple times people would come in and try to trick us into thinking we were going back to Gimmel, we caught on quickly. No one had any idea what we would do next. It was pouring rain, the girls were split in two groups, and all of the supplies were at the Gimmel Campsite. Logistics was luckily able to rescue all the ingredients for dinner which we were supposed to make, but the kind kitchen staff ended up making for us. About an hour and a half later we were relocated another time to the Beit Am for dinner. All the girls were talking, laughing and enjoying themselves after being so lucky to avoid the camping overnight. The rain had let up so only the ground was still wet. We enjoyed our steak sandwiches in the Beit Am before going to the new campfire site named Lara’s Place. There we all sat, as Hadracha girls, around a campfire telling stories, being grateful and listening to songs. Some people had guitars or ukuleles and played the chords as the rest of the girls sang along. One girl even had an original song she sang, which received the undivided attention of the majority of the girls. After her performance, we all cheered for her. People were getting cozy and lying down on one another when s’mores were broken out. Girls were huddled around the campfire roasting their kosher marshmallows and listening to beautiful singing from everyone around us. At the end of the night, we all went back to our bunks and were so blessed to sleep in our own beds instead of a tent on rocks and roots. We became more of a community than ever that night.
News from Yachad
Hi, my name is Olivia, I’m from New York and I’m in Yachad. This is my second year at Tel Yehudah. So far camp has been really fun. One of my favorite activities that we have done so far is rikkud. Rikkud at TY has always been one of my favorite activities. But on Saturday night it felt really special because I was dancing with all of my new friends from my bunk this year and my old friends from last year. After rikkud we all sang to Noah Wilker together and I feel like we all became a lot close because of that. Another activity that I really enjoyed was TY Murder Mystery. It was one of the any really fun night activities. Me and everyone in my chug went around and interrogated counselors, who were acting as different people. We had to figure out who killed Nir, our Merakez. At the end we all said who we thought did it and laughed a lot. It was really really funny. Another enjoyable part of camp was a peulat laila tov (night bunk activity) that we did. Everyone in my bunk sat in a circle and wrote a funny sentence on a sheet of paper. For example I wrote, “someone doing the robot while wearing a sombrero.” We then passed the paper to the next person and they would have to draw it. Before each drawing we wrote a sentence to describe the drawing. Every time we would fold over the sentence and pass it on so the next person only saw the drawing. They would have to guess what it is then draw a “better” version of what they thought it was. By the end of the activity the guesses would be so different from the original sentences. I started crying from laughing so hard. One last thing we did was listen to the Tel Yehudah ghost story about a person named Rebecca Quick. IT was so funny because they said the really scary part right as a train went by and everyone go so scared. TY is like my second home and every year I countdown the days left until I can come back.
Hi, I’m Lili Pitkowsky from New Jersey and this is my second year at TY. This year I’m in Yachad which means the chug is made up of kids from all over the country and even the world. This past week I have had the privilege of making new friends from all the different junior camps. At the beginning of this week my chug went to Gimmel. This camping trip was an incredible opportunity to bond with other kids in my chug and make amazing memories. We also spend a lot of time learning values about leadership. I learned so many things about what characteristics make a good leader, the importance of leadership and how to be a leader. While learning, we also spent a lot of time doing fun activities like tie-dye and blind cookie baking. This past week has been one of the best weeks I’ve ever had and I’m so excited to continue making memories in the rest of the session.
Hi, I’m Madeline and I’m a Yachad girl in bunk G5. This first week of camp has been crazy! In just a few days. I moved into my bunk, met so many new campers and did so many activities. A few days ago, we packed our things and took a short walk to Gimmel. TY’s third area of land in the middle of the woods. Gimmel was an amazing bonding experience. I brought my ukulele and we sat around a campfire and san for hours. Our sleeping arrangements were set up so we would have to meet new people and I have to say, it worked perfectly! We also have crazy singing and dancing sessions here at camp. Once we left rikkud so covered in sweat that we all looked like we just showered! Between just chilling in the bunk, doing crazy dance sessions and camping together I’ve me’ and become closer with so many people. Yachad (together) has thus far proven to be true to its name and I hope I’ll continue to meet people this session.
The Texan View
Howdy y’all, Before we begin, we are two boys from Texas named Emet and Ty and we would like to let the community know how our first week at Tel Yehudah has been. On Sunday everyone got their electives and we are in jewelry making. It is very laid back with a great atmosphere and it is a good environment to east into camp. But of course we opened up right away and pulled our own Texas shenanigans. On Saturday night we pulled a prank by “borrowing” the Tel Yehudah flag and raised the Texas flag so everyone can see during mifkad. We also had our very first meeting about trip week and everyone is super excited about the trip, The nights are great, hanging out with all of our various friends we made from other camps like Sprout, CJ and Midwest. We have had several mixer activities so that we can meet new people and hang out with our old friends from junior camps. This week all of Yachad had a dance that was a really good time and put all of our peeps in a fun environment. But overall one of the most diverse and fun times is Shabbat. It is a time where all of the chugim come together to share this special time. So we are really hoping that this Shabbat is as special as the last. We look forward to seeing what the rest of camp has in store for us. – Emet Blumofe and Ty Louve III
Alumim Wrap Up
My first week at camp has been one of the most amazing weeks of my life! After going to Sprout Lake for four years, I was very excited to come to TY, but also a little bit nervous. After coming here and seeing how kind and welcoming everyone is, I’ve realized that my nervousness was for nothing. One of the things that has stood out the most to me about TY is the community. Everyone is here because they want to be, which makes such a difference. Wherever you look, you always see people smiling and having fun. One activity that I found to be really fun this week was Rikkud. I love dancing around with all of my friends and singing all the words to the rikkud songs as loud as I can. My friends and I all had such a great time learning the TY dances, which are new to us. I can’t wait to do them tomorrow night after all of camp comes together for Havdallah! Shabbat Shalom, Natalie Sabrsula G8
Hi everyone, my name is Ori Cohen and I am in alumim. I am in chug shuka which is really fun because I got to meet new people and become closer to my friends. We had a lot of great peulot this week. For example “escape the pool” where we had to crack the codes and get out of the pool. We had a lot of fun educational activities where we discussed tikun olam and leadership. We also got to do rafting which was really challenging but exciting to experience. I’m really looking forward to the best part of camp-shabbat. It’s so calm and there’s a lot of time to hang out with our friends and chug. Shabbat Shalom from TY.