Revolution!

Quiet unrest and whispered plans have been stirring all session. The inevitable has finally become a reality. Machaneh (camp) was gathered as usual on Tuesday night, when out of the blue the Madatz (junior counselors) jumped on stage and seized control. Tzevet fled a barrage of water balloons, and chanichim (campers) yelped with delight.

Revolution was upon us! The Madatz finally held power over camp and had the opportunity to run a full day of special programming. Their dreams of revolution crystallized after many long days of careful and creative planning. Madatz learned about all the logistical considerations and attention to health and safety that must go into a day at machaneh. Revolution is a crucial piece of the Madatz summer, as it teaches leadership skills and responsibility in a hands-on and empowering way. Most importantly, it is the highlight of the summer for many chanichim!

Upon tzevet’s return, here is the tale they told:

Good afternoon everyone! My name is Jarod Golub and I am a Madatz this summer. Revolution is when Madatz kick out the tzevet for a full 24 hours! Some members of tzevet stay behind for safety reason, such as the marp (infirmary) staff, Jen, the Executive Director, lifeguards, mitbach (kitchen) staff, and one madrich/a working with each shichva (age-group). Madatz really enjoy running revo because it gives us a chance to see the chanichim have fun doing something that we created.

This session, the revo theme was Mad Scientist. To begin with, the chanichim were introduced to the Mad Scientist and all of his friends, by going through a round robin of many different activities. These consisted of star-gazing with Galileo, mixing potions with Dexter from “Dexter’s Laboratory”, and even creating new elements with the Mad Scientist himself.

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After a fun-filled night of activities, the chanichim were given a chance to sleep in and eat an extra special breakfast. They then participated in another round robin with characters like Ms. Frizzle from “The Magic School Bus” and Dr. Heinz Doofenschmirtz from “Phineas and Ferb”.

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Finally, after a little more free time, the chanichim were ready to train to defeat the Mad Scientist and destroy his harmful element. This was done by going through a carnival with stations such as throwing pies at the scientist or even playing four square. The training culminated with a balloon fight , and finally, a messiba (party) to celebrate victory.

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This structure is made entirely of trash bags and duct tape!

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Tisha B’Av

Today is a yom ragil with a Tisha B’Av feel. (If you’re confused, check out -www.isitajewishholidaytoday.com)

Tisha b’Av is a holiday where we commemorate the destruction of the two temples. In addition, we turn our thoughts to other instances of Jewish suffering throughout history. Here at Mosh, we try to glean inspiration and feelings of empowerment from this day. We also try to broaden our focus from the Jewish people to world-wide issues.

Last night, everyone gathered at sunset for a tekes (ceremony) to mark the start of the holiday. We proceeded to travel around machaneh (camp) in groups looking at tableau representations of important events, leaders, and tragedies in Jewish history.

The tableaus portrayed all of the following:

  • Moses and The 12 Spies
  • Destruction of the 1st Temple
  • Destruction of the 2nd Temple
  • Bar Kochba’s Rebellion
  • Destruction of Jerusalem
  • Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
  • Chalutzim and the Kibbutzim
  • Anti Semitism in Europe

As we passed each tableau, we learned about what it depicted, then sat to read and discuss a related poem.

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Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

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Antisemitism in Europe

The evening ended with sichot (discussions) by shickva (age-group), so that all the chanichim could participate in age-appropriate conversations. The night took on a solemn but empowering tone as we brought Jewish history to life.

Today has largely followed a regular schedule, though those who are fasting have the option of watching movies during active parts of the day. Furthermore, peulat shickva (age-group activity) focused on subjects related to the holiday. Most shickvot  considered the importance of forgiveness in the wake of prejudice and suffering and discussed cycles of violence.

The afternoon also took on a slightly Tisha B’Av feel. We had a round of special chugim on topics such as Jews in the Civil Rights Movement, Dror and the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the Armenian Genocide, and The Biblical Roots of American Idol. Madrichim and Madatz (counselors and junior counselors) ran activities and discussions on each topic.

Next, we broke off into a second group of chugim to do activities like baking, art, kickball, and BLARPing (bible live action role playing).

As we approach sundown, the day continues as normal with schiya (swimming), zman metsuyan, and chugim. Tonight we will have a particularly hefty aruchat erev (evening meal) so that those who have been fasting can fill their stomachs.

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Zman Metsuyan: An Excellent Time!

“I learned about how Mosh connects to its sister movement (Hanoar Ha’oved) and how they work together and progress together…. Habonim  Dror should act on its pillar of being “Progressive” Labor Zionist and change with Israel, while still drawing from its atmosphere and past.”

Joseph Gelula, Bogrim (rising 10th grader)

Zman Metsuyan is an Excellent Time every afternoon where we learn about Israeli history, culture, and current events as well as Habonim Dror, the Labor-Zionist youth movement that Mosh is a part of (read up! http://www.habonimdror.org).

At Zman Metsuyan this afternoon, Mosh was transformed. Chanichim (campers) and tzevet (staff) found themselves at Kibbutz Gezer, a kibbutz founded by Habonim members in 1945.

Life on the kibbutz was quite the experience! Chanichim worked together to fold laundry, make pita, meet and make communal decisions, and guard the kibbutz doors (by playing freeze dance, of course).

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All of the sudden we received shocking news! The kibbutz we had all come to know was changing dramatically. Privatization drove our socialist lifestyle from the kibbutz and into the cities, where we settled down with our kvutsot (groups) and met modern day movement members.

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Movement members were more than happy to tell us about their work in the city. We learned that they were unionizing youth workers, educating Diaspora Jews on their tours through Israel, creating connections between Arab and Jewish Israeli youth through kenim (clubs), and managing afterschool programs for underprivileged children. 

The change from life on the kibbutz to life in the city was dramatic. We saw first-hand that the Habonim Dror movement had adapted to privatization and developments in Israeli society. And, we could by-and-large agree that movement members had held onto their socialist roots.

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It was eye-opening to see how Habonim Dror creates youth communities similar to Mosh in Israel and around the world. We learned about the roots of Habonim Dror and saw just how the movement is creating change in Israel today.

 

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Tikkun Olam – Repairing the World

Every session, we set aside a day from our busy camp lives to turn our focus to outside communities. Much of our chinuch (education) at Mosh emphasizes the importance of social justice and action. Doing tikkun olam (repairing the world) as a machaneh (camp) allows us to turn our words and thoughts into actions and aid the communities around us.

Yesterday, we split in two groups and headed out after breakfast to begin our projects. The Amelim, Chotrim, and Bonim (rising 4th-9th graders) headed to First Fruits Farm to help with the corn harvest. First Fruits is a non-profit farm that provides over six million pounds of produce to shelters and food banks throughout the area. We helped pick ripe corn and load it onto a tractor for distribution. It was amazing to see just how much we were able to get done by working together.

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By the time we finished, we had picked over 4,000 ears of corn. We filled this tractor to the brim!DSC_0178

While we were picking corn, the Bogrim (rising 10th graders) were working with Harford Family House, an organization that provides transition housing for homeless families looking for stable housing. The Bogrim helped repair and prepare a home that a family will be moving into shortly. DSCF3098DSCF3091Later in the day, after returning from our tikkun olam projects, we had a peulat shichkva (age-group activity) focused on tikkun olam. Each shichkva learned and discussed how their work today connected to larger issues of hunger, poverty, and homelessness. 

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It’s Bocoup!

Yesterday, my usual work as communications specialist was disturbed when a rowdy coup was staged! The day began as all normal days do – typical breakfast, high levels of ruach, and thought provoking discussions during peulat shichva. However, come lunchtime, suspicions began to brew as I saw the Bogrim (the oldest chanichim) sneaking around with signs and whispers during lunch.

Before we knew it, the Bogrim had seized power! Chanichim were thrilled and peppered tzevet (staff) and madatz (junior counselors) with water balloons. We quickly realized we were no longer welcome and escaped for the afternoon. I passed the camera to the Bogrim and here is what they documented.

Guest reporter: Talia Frank, Bogrim (rising 10th grader)

I’m Talia Frank and I am currently a camper in Bogrim. Yesterday, the Bogrim took over camp and kicked all the Madatz and Madrichim out. We call this Bocoup, a time for the Bogrim to run the camp for 6-8 hours.

Of course, pulling this off required a lot of planning. As Bogrim, we had our first asefa (meeting) on the first night of second session. We chose a theme for the afternoon –  Career Day! From there, we spent every night and some designated time during the day shaping a plot, creating activities, and figuring out all the logistics.

For the Bogrim, this was an exciting new leadership position (with guidance from the madrichim). For the other chanichim, it was a fun day run by their friends. Activities that we ran included two round robins (series of stations) with various activities. One rotation was all water stations, the other was carnival style – so the kids could choose what stations they wanted to go to.

One of the highlights of the day (at least for me) was the Chipotle-style burrito buffet we had for dinner. It was a hit with all of machaneh and was accompanied by an amazing fruit salad and sweet tea. All around, it was a successful day! All the chanichim (including the Bogrim) had an awesome time.

Check out some of the photos the Bogrim took of the day. You’ll have to ask your chanichim about the details of the afternoon. Did Career Day Bocoup help them decide what to be when they grow up? Maybe a construction worker, a magician, or a taxi driver?

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Kupa Carnival

When you spend a day at Mosh, you realize that this isn’t your ordinary summer camp. There is no canteen for buying snacks. There are communal toiletries lining the shelves of the sherutim (bathrooms). Care packages full of candy are enjoyed equally among everyone.

Our system of sharing, Kupa, appears in many concrete ways throughout camp, and in even more abstract ways. Kupa holds everyone to standards of communal living that define our actions and relationships on a daily basis. Whether it be sharing candy, toiletries, or money, Kupa demands a high level of trust and respect from everyone involved.

At the start of the session, we had a peulah (educational activity) where we introduced the idea of Kupa and asked chanichim (campers) to discuss the merits and shortcomings of this system of sharing. The chanichim discussed many ways Kupa can show itself at camp, and ultimately decided to have a system of Kupa this session.

One of the most beloved uses for our Kupa each summer is the Kupa trip. The Kupa trip is paid for by a communal pool of money (part of camp tuition) that all the chanichim benefit from. In the past, we’ve gone to baseball games and waterparks, but this summer we decided to bring the fun to us! Check out the Kupa Carnival!

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Everyone at the carnival was either smiling or munching on cotton candy, popcorn, and snow cones. Some were even overheard saying it was the best day of their lives! All shichvot (age groups), including tzevet and madatz (staff and junior counselors), enjoyed a fun-filled afternoon together!

 

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Tiyul – Camping Trip

Yesterday, we set out for an adventure.

We donned long pants and closed toed shoes. We filled our water bottles. We carried trail mix in our backpacks and headed to the woods.

Our one-night tiyul (trip, in our case camping trip) began with a hike deep into the woods surrounding Mosh. Mosh is lucky to own 267 acres of undeveloped woods. In past summers we have gone to outside camp sites for tiyul, but this summer we decided to explore and appreciate our own land.

After a hike across sprawling forest, past our beautiful agam (lake), and over trickling streams, chanichim (campers) arrived at the camp site. Everyone teamed up with their shichva (age-group) to pitch their ohelim (tents). Assembling ohelim is always a bit of a puzzle, but chanichim worked together to figure it out.

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Next we had lunch and a bit of free time before splitting of into different activities. Chanichim chose between swimming in the river, going on a nature walk, playing card games, or tackling Mosh’s ropes course.

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All this activity worked up an appetite, but guess who’s cooking dinner tonight? Chanichim did all the chopping, kneading, and preparation for a delicious outdoor feast. We ate homemade pita, a colorful salad, baked potatoes with eggs cooked inside, watermelon, and corn. Food tastes even better when you make it yourself!

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We finished the night with a medurah (bonfire) and lots of s’mores. Chanichim performed goofy, scary, and musical acts as s’mores were passed around. Today tiyul continues with a hike, some nature art, and another outdoor lunch before packing up and heading back to the cozy comfort of Mosh.

As always, check out Habonim Dror Camp Moshava on facebook for more photos of tiyul and camp happenings!

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