Yachad campers can design part of their own experience by choosing their own Yachad Expedition, allowing them to focus on a topic of their choice through in-depth exploration and learning throughout the session, paired with an immersive, out-of-camp experience that is sure to be a highlight of their summer!
Yachad Expeditions allow teens to participate in programming during the session to delve more deeply into the topic areas listed below. Through informal activities, workshops, and sessions with experts in the field, our teens will expand their knowledge set, gain leadership skills, and challenge themselves to try new activities and explore new ideas.
Teens will have the opportunity to rank their Yachad Expedition preferences on a form that will be available in advance of the summer. We will do our best to assign teens to their first or second choice Expedition, but we cannot make any guarantees. Teens will be assigned to a specific Expedition approximately 3-4 weeks before the session begins, in order to prepare for the summer and ensure that they have the appropriate equipment required for their Yachad Expedition’s out-of-camp trip experience.
Read below to learn more about the different Expeditions and corresponding trip experiences.**
In the Masa Expedition, teens will learn about living and surviving in nature and explore Jewish and environmental values that will leave them with a desire to live with a lighter footprint and impact on the world and an intensified love of the outdoors and a desire to share that with others.
- Gain an appreciation of the natural world
- Explore the power of community and mutual responsibility to achieve goals
- Learn and practice serious outdoor survival skills
- Understand and experience the concept of “leave no trace”
- Learn how to truly disconnect and appreciate the world around them
The out-of-camp experience: BACKPACKING
Participants will spend four days and three nights backpacking in Harriman State Park for an intense backcountry trip. Teens will learn new skills, practice survival techniques, take on leadership responsibilities, and challenge themselves in small-group, supportive team settings of 7-10 teens.
Each group will be led by an experienced Teva (nature) Guide who has received additional pre-summer training in wilderness safety and leadership, outdoor Jewish programming, and hold additional Wilderness First Aid and CPR certifications. Each group leader will be joined by an additional staff member, who will be trained and prepared by the Teva Guide prior to the trip in order to help guide the group on the trails.
The group will hike an average of 5-8 miles a day (approximately 6-8 hours a day) and collectively carry all tents, gear and food in their packs.
Sleeping accomodations: Camp is set up each night by the group with the guidance of staff at approved camp sites with lean-tos within the park. Participants will sleep in small tents of 2-3 people of the same gender. Participants should not expect to have access to indoor bathroom facilities for the duration of the trip.
Participants should be in good physical health and willing to commit to the physical and mental challenges of this trip.
In the Etgar Expedition, teens will push themselves to challenge their physical limits and explore ways to live more healthily, improve their fitness levels, and support action to live in healthier communities year-round.
- Experience the power of community to reach goals, both individually and as a group
- Learn different ways to improve their own lifestyles to encourage better health, including physical fitness, nutrition, and spiritual wellness
- Leave with a desire to live a healthier lifestyle year-round
The out-of-camp experience: BIKING
Participants will spend four days and three nights biking through, and camping out in, scenic upstate New York. The group will bike between 20-30 miles each day and approximately 110 miles in total by the end of the trip. Rides will be both on paved roads and backcountry, unpaved trails.
The trip will be led by an experienced biking guide who will also be joined by between 8-10 additional staff members, who will be trained prior to the trip, spread out amongst the group throughout the ride, and be able to ensure safe riding practices throughout the trip. At least one staff member, if not the trip guide, will hold Wilderness First Aid and CPR certifications.
TY owns and annually maintains a fleet of bikes to be used for this trip. Prior to the trip, each participant will be fitted to a specific bike and helmet that is assigned to him/her for the duration of the trip. Participants will also receive a trip orientation to learn and practice safe riding practices, review signals, and get comfortable with their bikes. All participants are assessed by the trip guide and, if any participant is deemed to be unable to be safe and able to complete the trip, s/he will be re-assigned. Safety is the number one priority.
Participants will not carry their gear during the rides. Only water bottles attached to the bikes or Camelbak-style water bladders that can be worn on the riders’ back will be with the riders during the day. All additional gear and food is transported along with the group’s support vehicles (one large truck and one 12-passenger van), which will be accessible when the group stops throughout the ride. If any rider is experiencing trouble during the ride and deemed unable to ride, s/he will ride in the 12-passenger van and store his/her bike in the truck until s/he is able to ride again.
Sleeping accommodations: Camp will be set up each night at official campgrounds along the route by teens with the guidance of staff. At most sites, the group will have access to bathroom facilities (toilets and sinks, but not showers) and designated space for the group to pitch tents and create outdoor programming space. Participants will sleep in medium-sized tents of 5-8 people of the same gender.
Participants must be able and comfortable riding a bicycle and should be in good physical health. Participants with existing leg or knee issues should consult their physician to determine if this level of riding will be doable.
In the Kayamut Expedition, teens will gain a greater sense of responsibility toward protecting the natural world through understanding human impact on the environment, considering their own lifestyles and impact, and consider ways to influence and encourage others to live more sustainability.
- Gain an appreciation of the natural world
- Learn about existing (and future) threats to the natural world and how to combat those threats
- Consider what parts of their own lives contribute to the destruction of the environment
- Discover different ways individuals can contribute to preserving the environment
- Determine how to take action to protect nature locally, globally, and in Israel
The out-of-camp experience: KAYAKING
Participants will spend four days and three nights kayaking down the scenic Delaware River in consecutive segments. The trip concludes with the group kayaking straight off the river and into camp.
The trip will be facilitated by a professional outdoor company, Northeast Wilderness Experience (NEWE), which provides four professional river guides to lead the group on the river each day. NEWE’s river guides go through extensive training as professionals and hold numerous certifications in lifeguarding, first aid, river safety, and other open-water certifications. An additional 7-10 staff members from Tel Yehudah also join the trip to provide additional leadership and supervision, including at least 2-3 lifeguard certified staff for added support. NEWE trains and orients each of the staff before the trip, including paddling techniques, river skills, and safety requirements.
Participants will paddle at an intense level for an average of 9-14 miles, depending on the daily itinerary and should expect to be on the river for 6-8 hours each day. River conditions will vary each day, between flat water to a maximum Entry Level II Rapids.
A NEWE river guide will provide an orientation for the teens prior to the trip to introduce paddling techniques, river skills, and safety procedures before the trip begins.
On the river, teens will also learn and practice river skills through clinics in topics such as, throw bag usage, ferrying, crab crawl, body surfing, and boat rescue. All clinics will be implemented and overseen by NEWE guides. Safety is always the top priority.
Sleeping accommodations: The group is housed at same outdoor campsite (owned and operated by NEWE) for all three nights of the trip, situated along the Delaware River. At the campsite, the group will have access to bathroom facilities, picnic areas, outdoor cooking equipment and designated outdoor group programming space. Participants will sleep in large group tents of 5-8 people of the same gender.
Participants should be in good physical health and not have any shoulder or arm injuries that could be exacerbated by extensive paddling.
NOTE: The Kayamut Expedition will require an additional $150 charge for teens who choose and are selected to participate in this Expedition.
In the New York Jewish Expedition, our teens will spend four days and three nights in New York City exploring the history, culture, food, people, experiences, and challenges of the largest Jewish community in the world.
- Explore the challenges and opportunities for Jews and Judaism in a multi-cultural city
- Learn about the history of Jews in New York and their contributions to the city
- Experience the cultural contributions of Jews to New York (and America) and the influences of other cultures on the Jewish community. (Pastrami egg rolls do exist.)
- Experience community service within a context of Jewish values
- Enjoy the vibrant life of New York City
The out-of-camp experience: THE NEW YORK JEWISH EXPERIENCE
Teens will visit key historical and current Jewish sites such as Ellis Island, the Tenement Museum, Jewish Brooklyn and more. Of course, any good Jewish experience will involve food: knishes on the Lower East Side, Russian Jewish food in Brooklyn, new Israeli cuisine and other “Jewish” foods throughout the city while asking the question – what makes food “Jewish?” They will also spend time with various Jewish communities offering a wide variety of experiences and perspectives on Jewish life in the city. Our teens will not leave NYC without giving something back as they participate in a hands-on social action project with one of the Jewish organizations we partner with every summer. Each night teens will have the opportunity to participate in fun evening activities such as the world-famous rides at Coney Island or catching a homerun at a baseball game.
Sleeping accommodations: The group will stay at a JCC or similar location in spacious group rooms that will be separated by gender. Participants bring sleeping bags and optional sleeping pads for their stay. Participants will also have access to locker rooms equipped with showers, toilets, and sinks for their use each night and morning.
Participants do not need previous experience or expertise with photography to participate. Participants also may use smart phones for taking photographs.
NOTE: The New York Expedition will require an additional $150 charge for teens who choose and are selected to participate in this Expedition.
**Descriptions are tentative. Tel Yehudah may cancel or change Expedition programming, as well as the location, description, or required equipment for any of the corresponding trips. Final descriptions of trips will be provided to families prior to the summer along with the Expedition Request Form for campers. Some Expeditions/trips may have additional costs. Final decisions will depend on enrollment and requests