Garin Kallah Aleph has officially left the building! Sunday was their final day at camp. This session was a lot of fun! Our session began right away with lots of excitement when on only our second day at camp we were already climbing the Migdal, our 65-foot alpine climbing tower. This was one of the first times that Garin campers were given the chance to reach the top, and let me tell you, they embraced the opportunity fully. Many of them reached the top, BUT all of them gave it their best shot. Every single camper got into a harness and climbed to their goal. It was amazing watching how even at their age, they are able to face their fears head on and conquer them. We were all so proud as a staff.
Immediately after Migdal, the next day was our first Shabbat. It was full of dancing, singing and a ton of food! We all continued the singing down at the Midurah, our campfire, as we listened to the story of Camp Director, Rabbi Mark Covitz. Saturday as a way to rest, we sat with Shoresh, the unit above us, and had a live unplugged by Danny Nichols, a Jewish rock star! The rockin’ didn’t stop there because we had an all-camp concert by Danny and his band Eighteen, Sunday night.
Monday night was our bunk night. Bunk night at GUCI is a night spent solely with your cabin. For ours we had to try to find and return our stolen sign, the symbol of our unity. In order to do so, we followed a chain of clues. The thief had us doing a variety of activities, such as mud Gaga, a team-building task and finger-painting our sign, (which inevitably lead to paint tag).
The excitement did not stop there! On Tuesday we awoke to Yom Sport! Yom Sport is a day where the entire camp comes together and is split into four teams: Red, Yellow, Blue and Green, and they compete in a variety of sports as well as cheering competitions. It is one of the most crazy and exciting days that we have here on camp. The whole camp puts aside lines drawn by cabins or units and works together toward a common goal, culminating in a rainbow service. It truly is a beautiful and colorful day on camp.
On seven of the days we had our Jewish-educational program. The theme this summer was teaching the stories of Genesis. The method of teaching these was to relate them to Disney musical songs. For example Be Our Guest tied into welcoming the stranger, a value based on including people who are outsiders, a value we cherish at camp. All of the kids made take home “Songbooks” that allowed them to write down the values learned that day in a fun interactive way.
Our final night was spent as a unit in the afternoon, singing songs and reminiscing on the past two weeks. Memories ranged from the Migdal, to Yom Sport, to even silly simple things like something funny that occurred during Menucha, our rest hour. Saturday we attended Chug presentations, a chance for our choice activity groups to perform and show what they’ve been working on. It was a great way to end the session.
As you can tell Garin Kallah Aleph was jam packed full of activities and was nothing short of exciting. As a staff we wanted to personally thank the campers that made first session both very easy, and also kept our jobs fun. We are currently in the process of planning for Kallah Bet and have no doubt that we will have just as successful of a session.
Garin Unit Head