Monthly Archives: July 2011

Kayitz 2011 – Gesher Update #5

This week feels like it went by so quickly! It was so great meeting the families of the Gesher chanichim on Visiting Day.

On Tuesday, Gesher celebrated Yom Super Hero. The chanichim dressed up in their favorite super hero costumes to play dodgeball and other games to judge the best super hero. We ended the evening with a party (the vaad dubbed it a prom) and chanichim were partnered with campers they did not necessarily know well, in order for them to bond further as an edah.

Yom Sport broke out on Thursday morning! Our last Yom Sport as chanichim! It was great to see all the chanichim participating in sports wearing their colors proudly. The day ended with Gesher competing in scooter relay races on the stadium courts. Then the generals then wrapped one another in toilet paper and the teams competed in cheers and songs – with the Gesher teammates cheering in front of everyone!  The Gesher chanichim were dressed in the most creative Yom Sport costumes I have ever seen ~ and all within the color of the team. Overall it was a great two days.

Hopefully this Shabbat will be restful as we are leaving early Sunday morning for our trip to DC.

Shabbat Shalom!

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Kayitz 2011 – Machon Update #5

Machon is cool, boy…real cool! Saturday night, we enjoyed a wonderful Havdalah and started preparing for Visiting Day. Sunday we loved seeing guests from far and wide come into Camp and see our edah in action. Chanichim certainly ate well that day and enjoyed having so much good company visiting their tzrifim.

Sunday night everyone prepared to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 by watching Part 1 as an edah. Monday our chanichim dressed up in their finest Harry Potter fan gear and headed out to see the movie, popcorn bags in hand. That evening we had the first ever Machon Madness 4-Way Dodgeball Tournament. Chanichim were put into groups where they played a four way dodgeball tournament in Beit Am Bet and created a bracket to try and predict who would win the final tournament (a la March Madness).


Tuesday was the beginning of our Ymei Machaze, or play preparation days. The entire edah took ownership of our production of West Side Story and they were fantastic! From designing and painting sets, to lighting and sound, to the actors, singers and dancers, everything was done by the chanichim and they were wonderful. Thursday was a terrific breakout for Yom Sport and our edah was decked out in blue, red, green and purple. Today, our edah completed in Yom Sport and prepared for our Shabbat theme – Debbie Friedman and her Powerful Messages. We will be discussing Debbie’s most powerful and insightful songs and how they relate to our lives today. Tomorrow night after Shabbat our edah is heading out on our second trip which is sure to be wonderful.

It was so nice meeting so many of you last week and I hope you all have a Shabbat Shalom! Amy


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Kayitz 2011 – Bogrim Update #5

Shabbat Shalom Mishpachat Bogrim!

It was great meeting you on Yom Orchim (Visiting Day)! Despite the rain it was a fun and relaxing day and I hope that you enjoyed seeing your children in action.

This past Shabbat we learned about the importance of a home and community especially in Machaneh Ramah. It served as a great segue into our Sababa themed week about bonding and being a part of the Bogrim community. Our Yom Daled this week was Yom “Soundtrack of Our Lives”. During each activity, we played a popular song from each year of the chanichim’s lives. We had scooter races, dug for chocolate kisses in flour, and performed highly amusing skits about Bar Mitzvahs, weddings, and school.

Thursday was Yom Sport (color war) break out! The chanichim had no idea it was coming. They were split up into four teams and competed in sports, tug-of-war, swimming, and a triathlon. This Shabbat we will be talking about tikvah (hope) and prayer.

And finally…..Sababa is here! Our tzevet (staff) and chanichim (campers) met last night in Sababa groups for the first time to go over details and get pumped up for what will be an amazing trip. We are leaving Sunday morning and will send you regular updates of our adventures so keep a look out for that! We can’t wait to start this innovative program and we know it will be a huge success.

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Kayitz 2011 – Solelim Update #5

It was wonderful to meet so many of you on Visiting Day!  After the families and guests left, things returned to normal for Solelim. On Monday morning, Rabbi Kurland led a Yehadut class for Solelim called “Masechet Bubbe” in memory of his mother, Libby Kurland, whom many of the chanichim got to know well in the mitbachon. It was a very powerful moment for the chanichim and gave them the opportunity to share their own stories about Bubbe.

On Monday afternoon, the entire edah was surprised with a trip to go see the final Harry Potter Film, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2.”  With lightning bolts on their foreheads, and many chanichim donning the scarlet and gold colors of Gryffindor, the chanichim were truly thrilled and LOVED the movie!

On Tuesday, Solelim excitedly welcomed twenty new chanichim into our edah. All the second session chanichim are now unpacked and settled in their tzrifim. Additionally, Tuesday was our “Yom Daled” for the week, which was “Yom I’m Just a Kid.”  The day took the chanichim from birth through high school graduation, including kindergarten finger-painting and a Bat Mitzvah party. The whole edah had a great time!


Everyone was so surprised when Yom Sport broke out at breakfast on Thursday morning! The chanichim were divided into four teams, each named for a popular Israeli band. It was so wonderful to see all the ruach and energy that filled the Camp as everyone cheered for their teams and played their hardest. In the midst of the excitement of Yom Sport, all of Machaneh Bet came together for the “Festival HaZemer Ha’Ivri” (Israeli Song Festival), where everyone could be heard singing along to traditional Israeli songs, as well as more recent popular hits.

After a packed week, we are looking forward to having a relaxing Shabbat, with the theme “Shabbat Teenage Dream.”  Shabbat Shalom!


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Kayitz 2011 – Tzerim Update #5

For those of us who were here before second session started, we really enjoyed the day and a half between sessions. Everything seemed so quiet compared to one day earlier!

We welcomed our new campers into the edah through out Tuesday morning, and integrated them straight into the carnival that we hosted for A-side. We took some time to test the booths out ourselves first, and had a little fun as well…

Wednesday, which is usually a special day, was a normal day this week- as normal as any day in Camp can get! With a new session beginning, all the kids had new activities, yahadut classes and sports! We also  had our first Rikkud practice for the Rikkudiah, where everyone had fun! Thursday and Friday may be two days, but this week they were just one – YOM SPORT! Nothing like friendly competition to encourage physical excellence and the triumph of the spirit.

I don’t know about you, but we are all ready for a restful, yet fun filled, Shabbat! I’m really looking forward to our Shabbat activities which share an Israel theme. We invited mishlachat members to talk to us and run activities for us, and some Israelis, who weren’t born in Israel will share their aliyah stories with us!

Shabbat Shalom!


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Kayitz 2011 – Shorashim Update #5

And we’re off to a great second month in Shorashim 2011! We started off the week with a lovely visiting day, our chanichim spending a few quality hours with their visitors before returning to their homes either in or out of Camp. The now smaller tzrifim bonded over the next few hours before dressing up for Night of 1000 Stars, each chanich/chanicha dressing up as a different character and then putting on skits in groups for the rest of the edah.

Monday was quite a busy day because it was mixed in with a few regular peulot. All of the banim went bowling and the banot went to see The Zookeeper. At the end of the day we broke out Yom Disney with Disney Human Guess Who?, Each chainch/chanicha dressed up as a different Disney character before playing a real life version of Guess Who?.

Before going to sleep we played Human Bingo and taught the edah song, creating a sense of edah unity. Each tzrif also did a fun activity to finish off the day. Wednes

day was chock-full of fun peulot, including sports, swim, mitbachon, omanut, video, radio, and many more. Thursday morning dawned with Yom Sport Breakout, the beginning of the camp-wide day and a half color war. Our chanichim spent Thursday and Friday playing sports, participating in relay races, and singing songs, showing much team ruach and sportsmanship throughout the day.  Going into Shabbat Yisrael, we look forward to a “journey” through the country, getting a taste of some of Israel’s most famous cities, and an exciting but restful Shabbat.

Until next week, Shabbat Shalom!

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Kayitz 2011 – Nitzanim Update #5

This was a fun and exciting week in Nitzanim!

On Sunday night after we said goodbye to our orchim and first session chanichim, and we began “intersession”.  Since we only had twenty-three chanichim in the edah we made sure to have two days of jam packed fun! On Sunday night we went on an edah-wide raid to Rabbi Resnick’s house. After surprising him he told us many stories about Camp.

On Monday, we went bowling and began to prepare for our new friends. Tuesday we were joined by all of our second session chanichim! We were all excited with signs and cheers to welcome them into Nitzanim! Once everyone arrived we played games, attended the Tzeirim carnival, went on a tour of Camp, and of course learned the Nitzanim song. Overall it was a great day!

On Thursday and Friday, we joined the rest of Camp for Yom Sport. We all dressed in Purple, Red, Green, and Blue and competed in sports and cheers with lots of Ruach!!!

After a full week in Nitzanim we are looking forward to Shabbat. Our theme for this week is Shabbat Yisrael!

Shabbat Shalom from Nitzanim!!

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Kayitz 2011 – Cochavim Update #5

The second session is off to a great start in Cochavim!! Our tzrifim (bunks) have really become home for our chanichim (campers), with posters hanging on the walls and signs on the doors. Our first day we went swimming in the agam (lake), went to the Tzeirim carnival, and finished off the day with a bishul (barbeque) and a game of human bingo.

Our first “regular” day in Camp involved bunk pictures, mitbachon (cooking) for the girls and omanut (arts and crafts) for the boys, softball and basketball, practice for the Rikudiyah (camp-wide dance festival), and of course more swimming and time with the edah. On Wednesday morning we decorated Beit Cochavim, our makom (place) in Camp with stars that reflect our personalities and interests.

Thursday morning we had a tzevet (staff) appreciation program, where the chanichim gave thank-you notes and flowers to their madrichim, and then tzevet Sport (sports staff) ran out into the kikar (field) blowing whistles to signal Yom Sport (color war) breakout. The whole Camp was divided into four teams, and everyone was excited to compete in sports like volleyball, frisbee, basketball, soccer, and other activities like chidon (trivia), swim, and tug-of-war.  Our chanichim really showed their ruach (spirit) in their cheers and enthusiasm throughout Yom Sport!

We’re all looking forward to our first Shabbat, Shabbat Israel, and harga’ot (stories) told by members of the Mishlachat (Israeli delegation) here in Camp on Friday night.

Shabbat Shalom from Cochavim!

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Kayitz 2011 – Gesher Update #4

Saturday night Rabbi Elyse Winick spoke to Gesher about KOACH. She and the Gesher chanichim identified different areas they will be look at when they start to look at colleges. Later Saturday night, we had Machon and Gesher bonding. We dosee doed with Machon dressed in our best plaid.

Sunday was Macabiah. Gesher ran all the activities for Cochavim, Nitzanim and Shorashim chanichim. It was amazing to see our oldest campers investing their time on A-side and seriously teaching skills and fundamentals at the different athletic fields.

Monday night Va’ad Peulot Erev lead a fantastic peulat erev. We had night of a thousand stars paired with a how well do you know your partner game. Everyone was given a person they had to dress up as and then they had to find who their partner was based on who they were dressed as. Barak and Michelle Obama, Snooki and JWoW were just a couple of pairs to grace our presence at peulat erev. 

Tuesday was Yom JV for Solelim and Bogrim. We watched the games and cheered our of fellow Berkshires teammates. Tzevet Gesher also broke out our play Monday night, so we watched the movie on Tuesday so we could dive into our play this week. Our play is a secret so make sure to ask your child on visiting day what it is!

The Gesher girls and counselors biked to Kent, Connecticut. They pedaled through it and really came away accomplished with they all biked. The Zimriyah was Thursday night. The Gesher chanichim sang their hearts out and enjoyed every moment of their last Zimriyah as campers.

My tzevet and I are very excited to meet you all and we will see you on Sunday!

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Kayitz 2011 – Machon Update #4

Do-si-do! We started off this week with a rousing evening of Machon and Gesher Square Dancing where chanichim enjoyed the fun moves of this famous dance style and showed off our fancy new bandanas. Sunday night we took in a show at Beit Am Bet – Solelim’s production of “Guys and Dolls,” which was riveting and enjoyed by all.

Monday, our edah learned our rikudiyah dance for the first time and had a great day enjoying specialty bread baking, throwing around a Frisbee and having shira with Mara! Monday evening for peulat erev, we divided the edah by gender and had specialty “Erev Banim Banot.”

Tuesday night our edah ushered in our Yom Daled theme – Yom Shabbat, with a special dinner for us on the Stadium Courts. Chanichim dressed in their finest Shabbat attire, were divided into families and sat by these groups at dinner. After the feast we sang songs for Shabbat, took family photos and then went to the JV Pep Rally.

On Wednesday our edah cheered on Solelim and Bogrim chanichim for JV Palmer Day and continued our “Yom Shabbat” theme. We went on “Shabbos walks,” made challah, decorated table clothes and had a Malava Malka (post-Shabbat party!)  on Wednesday night. Thursday, we sang our hearts out at the Zimriyah with our song “Shirat HaNoar” and loved the ruach in the outdoor stadium courts.

Today, our edah is enjoying our Shabbat theme “Olam Amiti” or Real World, where we will be discussing issues involving the trials and tribulations of being a Jewish high schooler. We are looking forward to next week where we will be working on our play “West Side Story” and preparing for our second trip. Looking forward to meeting many of you on Visiting Day – Shabbat Shalom! Amy

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