Getting ready for Shabbat!

Shabbat at Mosh is quite different from the rest of our week. Although Shabbat doesn’t technically begin until sundown on Friday night, we begin preparing from the moment we wake up on Friday.

Breakfast on Friday is extra tasty, with special cereals like Captain Crunch and Cocoa Puffs, along with chocolate milk and orange juice. The fun breakfast gives us the strength and motivation to spend twice as long in our anafim (work groups), so that camp stays clean through all of Shabbat.

Next, we have chugim (interest groups) and Shabbat shira, which is a time when we learn songs that we sing on Shabbat. Today we learned Redemption Song, along with a few others.

In the afternoon, we have mechina, which is a time to prepare ourselves mentally for Shabbat. Each week, Shabbat has a theme that is based on the parashat hashavua, the Torah reading of the week. This week’s Shabbat we are focusing on feminism, so mechina included body-positive yoga, listening to music by female artists, making gender empowerment posters, and reading feminist short stories.

After mechina, the chanichimot (campers) have time to physically prepare themselves for Shabbat; they use this time to clean their tzrifim (cabins) and ohelim (tents), and to shower and get dressed for Shabbat.

Kabbalat Shabbat begins with everyone meeting around the toren (flagpole) to wish each other Shabbat Shalom and take some pictures. Next, we go to the MLC (big red pavilion) to sing some songs, and then we walk out to the grass and sit facing the setting sun.

Our Rosh (head of camp, Lily Sieradzki) tells us a story or offers her thoughts on the past week, on Shabbat, and on the upcoming week. This week, Lily chose to share the creation story of the Cherokee people, and encouraged us all to think about the ways that we create such a special place at Mosh.

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After saying a few blessings and singing a song to welcome Shabbat, we all head to the chadar ohel (dining hall) for a delicious meal of chicken, vegetables, rice, and of course, challah.

Soon, we will watch the oneg (age-group performance), and do rikud (Israeli dancing) all together. Shabbat shalom!

 

Welcome to second session!

 

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After an amazing first session, second session is here!

The chanichimot (campers) arrived to Mosh at noon today, where the Madatz (counselors-in-training) greeted them in their traditional silly costumes. Then, everyone went to the MLC (big red pavilion) to dance, learn some cheers, and find out who their counselors are! Here’s one of the cheers we learned today, called “I go to Mosh”

I go to mosh, I got to mosh
I go to mosh, I go to mosh
Everybody look at me ‘cause I’m a kid at mosh!
I got my swim trunks, and my flippy floppies

Where am I? I’m at the sherutim, I’m at the melechet yad!
I’m at the combination sherutim melechet yad
I go to Mosh!

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After going to their living spaces to put away their stuff, the chanichimot (campers) went to the chadar ohel (dining hall), where everyone enjoyed a lunch of pizza bagels and broccoli. Everyone also made sure to drink lots of water to prepare for the action-packed, hot afternoon ahead of us.

Next, each shikva (age group) rotated through stations to help them adjust to camp! Each group went to the pool to take a swim test, got health checks at our new Marp (infirmary), took a tour of camp, and met with the melavot (inclusion specialists).

At 4:30, everyone met up in the MLC to learn about anafim (work groups) and chugim (special interest groups). The madrichimot (counselors) who are running these different groups performed silly skits to introduce their respective anafim and chugim, and then the chanichimot wrote down their preferences.

Next, we had peulat shikva (age group activity), where each shikva learned the rules of camp and got to know each other.

After dinner, we’ll have tochnit erev (evening activity), where the chanichimot will have a chance to meet the madrichimot and learn some fun facts about them!

It’s been a great first day so far here at Mosh, and we’re all so excited for the session! Keep checking the blog, Facebook page, and CampMinder for updates on all of the fun we are having!

Tikkun Olam and the Save the Serpentine Rally!

Every session, we spend a day outside of Mosh doing Tikkun Olam, which translates to repairing the world. At Mosh, we teach our chanichimot (campers) about social justice and taking responsibility for our communities; Tikkun Olam allows us to put these values into actions.

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This past Wednesday, machaneh (camp) split into two groups. The lower shetach, which includes the Amelim, Chotrim, and Tzofim, went to Real Food Farm, an urban farm which seeks to improve access to healthy food in Northeast Baltimore. The chanichimot took a tour of the farm and helped out by weeding and spreading mulch. After a lunch of sandwiches, apples, and pretzels, we participated in an activity run by Mazon, a Jewish organization dedicated to fighting hunger. We learned about people who benefit from organizations like the one we worked with, as well as government assistance programs that aide those experiencing food insecurity. The chanichimot then wrote letters to President Obama encouraging him to keep supporting programs like SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and free and reduced priced lunches in public schools.

The upper shetach did something similar, at a community garden run by Gather Baltimore. After weeding and working in the garden, the chanichimot participated in a peula (discussion) about food justice run by Repair the World, a Jewish organization focused on social justice.

DSC_0102After getting back to camp and enjoying some time in the pool, Chug Whose Streets? Our Streets, one of our special interest groups, helped us continue putting our values into action by organizing a rally for the Serpentine. Here’s what the chanichimot journalists in Chug Moshington Post had to say before the rally:

“The Serpentine Barrens have long been an important place at Mosh. We marvel at the strange beauty of purple serpentine grass as we hike through the Barrens, and we stare out over them from the sunset bench in the mornings. But this machaneh treasure is under attack from a foreign invader. The invasive species Greenbrier has begun to take over our serpentine, taking up space and resources that would otherwise be used by plants native to the Barrens.

So how can we end the Greenbrier infestation in our Serpentine? The chug and activist group Whose Streets? Our Streets! Has a solution. Initiating a controlled burn of the Serpentine Barrens would burn out the Greenbrier, and strengthen the local species by enriching the soil. The Susquehannock people carried out these burns for hundreds of years before European colonists robbed them of their land. As the current caretakers of this land, it is our responsibility to continue protecting the Serpentine by carrying out these burns.”

At the end of the rally, mazkirut (camp leadership) told the chanichimot they supported the idea and would bring it to the attention of the Board of Directors.

Check on Facebook and CampMinder for more photos of both our Tikkun Olam and Save the Serpentine Rally!

 

Meet our new communication specialist!

Hi, I’m Hannah. As we come to the end of first session and start getting ready for the next session here at Mosh, I’ll be stepping into the role of communications specialist.

This is my first year on tzevet (staff) and my fifth year at Mosh, and I am incredibly excited to be able to share the amazing things that happen at Mosh with the outside world!

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Here’s a bit about me: This past June, I graduated from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School. In the fall, I’ll be starting Workshop, which is the gap year program in Israel run by Habonim Dror! After my nine months in Israel, I’ll be heading to Ohio to attend Oberlin College, where I hope to major in American Studies and write for the college newspaper.

Just as Josh did this past session, I’m going to be updating Facebook and CampMinder with pictures quite regularly, and posting on the blog two to three times a week. I’m looking forward to keeping you all updated!

 

 

Revolution!

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Hi, my name is Milo! I am a Madatz (CIT), and I have been going to Mosh since 2008, when I was in Amelim.

From Sunday night through Monday night the Madatz led a day full of special activities called “Revolution,” or Revo, for short. Revo is one of the most highly anticipated events of the summer. Every session, we simulate a real revolution, as the chanachimot (campers) help the Madatz overthrow the madrichimot (counselors).

This session’s Revolution revolved around the theme of Avatar: The Last Airbender, a popular cartoon with characters who represent the four elements: earth, air, fire, and water.

After kicking the madrichimot out of camp on Sunday evening, the Madatz split the chanichimot into groups. Each group represented one of the four elements. The campers found out which element they were assigned to by melting a frozen t-shirt with the name of their element written on it.

On Monday morning the Madatz ran an “intensive training program” for the campers, so that the kids could learn how to control their specific element. These activities ranged from playing soap hockey on the MLC floor to running through an obstacle course on the softball field. Other stations involved drinking iced tea, rap battles, climbing over a bridge made of inner tubes, and meditating in a massive air bubble that was constructed by the Madatz.

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In the movie, the protagonist Aang has a blue arrow on his head. Joey, my fellow Madatz, shaved his head to look the part!

As the plot of Revo thickened and an evil spirit stole all of the powers from the protagonist, Aang (played by my fellow madatz, Joey), the chanichimot had to work together to take down this treacherous enemy.

Finally, during a massive battle involving throwing paint, water balloons, and baby powder, the campers were able to defeat the evil spirit. After an afternoon of hard work and tons of fun, order had been restored! The Madatz concluded Revo with a final dance party for all of the campers while the madrichimot returned to camp after the 24 hour-long coup. Although exhausted after a long day, the chanichimot and Madatz alike enjoyed an awesome Revo!

Shabbat Again!

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We can’t believe that it is already Shabbat again at Camp Moshava – the week seems to have flown by with all the fun activities happening, the deepening of relationships with old friends and the new friends we’ve been making.

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Monday and Tuesday were spent on the amazing tiyul (hiking and camping out). On Monday afternoon we left the main part of camp in groups of ten. We walked to three separate sites, still on Moshproperty, where we set up our tents and had a cook out. After dinner we sang songs under the stars and had a really special evening. Tuesday morning we awoke to the sounds of the birds chirping, and after breakfast we hiked to one of the sites, playing games along the way. After lunch on Tuesday, we arrived back at the main part of camp having had an amazing experience.

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Racial Justice Night was on Wednesday. From 5 pm onwards the schedule was different and the focus of the content was about racial justice. The chanichim went through a round robin where they were able to openly discuss things like the school to prison pipeline, racial bias and microaggressions. They then had a chance to choose a chug to attend. The options ranged from depictions of race in the media to the relationships between Jewish and Arab Israelis. The night ended with a recap of the things they had all talked about as a kvutsa. At Mosh we think it is essential to educate about racial justice, to situate ourselves in our privilege and to work towards creating a more just reality as Jews and as Americans.

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Shabbat Decorations!

Shabbat is a very special time here at Mosh, and each summer we strive for ways to improve it even further. With the additions of mechina (preperation) and the shabbat carnival last year the holiday is even more reflective, calming, calm than ever before. But one tradition that has been around seemingly forever has been kishutim l’shabbat (shabbat decorations).

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Every shabbat for as long as we can remember an anaf has made decorations to hang up in the chadar ochel during the shabbat meal. In recent years those decorations have begun to more directly reflect our values here at camp and be more than just pretty drawings. So last week the theme for the decorations was Gay Pride and Equality in Marriage, with rainbow drawings and smiling faces plastering the walls

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This week the theme is Environmental Justice. In order to make the beautiful decorations of trees and leaves, anaf shabbat reused old carboard to cut out the shapes for leaves and used paper towel rolls for the trunks. So not only are they preaching being conscious of our environmental impact, but they’re practicing it as well!DSC_0769

Those in the anaf hope that the decorations will not only beautify the chadar for our Friday night dining, but also make their friends think more about the environment and see how things like cardboard boxes can be recycled.

Thanks anaf shabbat! We’ll see what next week brings!