After a summer full of learning, creating and maintaining friendships,
self-discovery, and an inconceivable amount of fun, it is finally time to say goodbye to Mosh until next summer. Although this is a bittersweet time for most, the values of Mosh and the good times we had with stay with everyone much longer than this summer.
Thank you to each and everyone of you for following the blog. Having watched the amount of blog views increase exponentially each day has been fullfilling. It is so great to know that are so many attentive and loving parents. Thank you for sending your son/daughter to Mosh and we are all so excited to see you again next summer!
Keep in touch with Moshniks and stay involved in the Habonim Dror movement throughout the year by coming to the Eizor events!
Zman Metzuyan (translated as “a great time”) is the time during each day that the chanachim (campers) learn about Israel. Over the past four weeks they have participated in a variety of activities where they explored and better understood the country along with it’s many conflicts.
Photo by Sarah Joelson
On this particular day, the chanachim learned about the many protests that are currently taking place in Israel. After discussion of these issues they acted out skits that displayed these problems.
After that, they pretended to be Israeli citizens and protested the health care system, educational system, the gas shortage, and housing.
While these protests were only acted out, the kids became much more aware of what is going on in Israel.
At Mosh there are two huge events that stay in everyone’s minds for years after the summer is over: Revolution and Bocoup.
Revolution is a 24-hour period in which the Madatz (CITs) take over the camp and kick out the Madrachim (counselors). They think of a clever way to call “revolution” and have a public uprising against the madrachim. Sometimes they even have fake outs to get everyone really excited for the actual call. They create a theme with characters and skits that are involved in all the activities throughout the day. The kids are guided from station to station where there are fun games, challenges, and activities having to do with the theme. This 24-hour period is completely planed by the madatz. After all the fun and games are over, there is a huge dance party before the madrachim come back.
This year, the Revolution theme was Spongebob Squarepants. The Madatz surprised the kids by calling revolution during movie night. After chasing the madrachim out with water balloons, the fun began. This started with all the kids being “flushed down the toilet” into the ocean where they met the famous Spongebob and his friends. After a day packed with activities and a revo dance, the chanachim were reunited with their madrachim.
Bocoup is similar to revolution except it is run by the bogrim and is six hours long. This year, the theme was Peter Pan, and the kids enjoyed an adventure in never-never land for the day!
I apologize that there are no pictures because the chanachim kicked me out!
Each week, a different shichva (age group) prepares a series of skits, dances, and songs that they perform for the rest of camp. These friday night performances are called onegs. This past week it was the Madrachim/Madatz (Counselors/CITs) oneg.
The principal (Maytal) and director of the school board (Avi) welcome the students to school and tell the students where they will be going from homeroom. Photo by Sarah Joelson
Each year at Mosh, there is a day designated to a specific educational theme. On “special day”, a world issue is explored and taught in a fun way. This session, the special day was designed to inform campers about education and how issues of race, money, and equality affect opportunities for creativity in educational systems. The goal of the event was to emphasize the importance of creative arts in schools, and that the measure of a school’s success is not based solely on test scores.
Camp Moshava was transformed into a typical high school–there were the stereotypical jocks, cheerleaders, goths, and nerds (acted out by the counselors) . In addition, the kids were served meals as if they were in a high school cafeteria.
Groups of kids went around to different stations where they participated in an array of both academic and creative activities. They learned songs and dances, created a chemical reaction with Einstein, expanded their minds with a fun writing exercise with Mark Twain and Dr. Seuss, discussed ancient historical figures with Ceasar Chavez and Emma Goldman, and made some beautiful art with Picasso and Pollock.
After that, they had recess where they played 4-square, hopscotch, kickball, drew with chalk, and jump roped.
Avi (rosh mosh/head of mosh) acted as the director of the school board. He told “Mosh Secondary Academy” that to be the number one school, it was necessary to cut all of their art programs and focus solely on improving test scores.
So, everyone went to a SAT prep carnival where they practiced English vocab, math, writing, sentence completion, spelling, and history. Next, everyone joined together again for the activity, “Are you smarter than a test taker?” The event was presented like a game show and the campers answered SAT questions in hopes of achieving better test scores.
Then there were special chugim. During this time, discussions took place about education including the differences and similarities between private and public schools, test-taking being a dominant method of education, and education gaps.
Eventually, the “students” became angry and upset with the school board’s decision to remove their art programs so they decided to revolt!
They drowned out the school board with music and successfully took over the school! All of the arts programs were reinstalled!
At the end of the day, they celebrated their success with ice cream and treats at the “school dance”.
Ice cream at the school dance. Photo by Sarah Joelson
Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) is a very important value of Habonim Dror. We have discussions about how to make the world a better place often; however, we realize it is imperative that we do more than talk and take action together.
Before we left we got into groups to discuss where we were about to go and what type of work we would be doing. The Bonim and Bogrim went to a therapeutic horse farm to help people with different types of physical and mental disabilities. The Amelim and Chotrim went to First Fruits Farm where they picked zucchini, peppers, and tomatoes. All the food from First Fruits Farm is donated to people who need food.
After we got back in the afternoon, we reflected and discussed on the work we had just done in small groups.
To view more pictures of Tikkun Olam at First Fruits, click here.
Tiyul (meaning hike/trip) is a camping trip the entire camp takes for two nights in which we go hiking, make campfires, and spend time together in nature.
This session, we camped out in Catoctin Mountain National Park. After we set up the tents, we played frisbee and cards. Later that night we played verbal “Sporcel” (an online trivia game) and enjoyed a campfire and s’mores.
The next morning, we ventured on a four mile hike to Cunningham Falls State Park and climbed the falls. The final destination of the hike was Hunting Creek Lake where we swam and relaxed. Eventually, we were shuttled back to the campsite in Catoctin. That night we had medurah (campfire), sang kumtitz (songs), and campers had the opportunity to perform songs or skits in front of the campfire. On our final day, we all indulged in hot chocolate, bagels, and cereal, and then headed to our mystery kupa trip.
The camping trip is always followed by a kupa trip (reference the post about kupa money). This is a trip the whole camp takes together to a fun location. The destination varies from year to year, and this year the kids were thrilled when we pulled up at a splash park and an 18-hole mini-golf course.
Thank you to all the friends and family who could join us on visitor’s day! We enjoyed seeing/meeting you and we were happy that you got to spend some time with your kids.
For those of you who could not join us, here is a quick synopsis of what took place. First, parents/friends arrived and had a picnic lunch with the chanachim (campers). There were tables with pictures of each shichva (age group), a camp picture, and Mosh merchandise being sold. Next, visitors were presented with a series of speeches, songs, and videos in the MLC. Then, visitors were lead to tzrifim/ohelim (living spaces) where they were introduced to their child’s madrachim (counselors). After that, they could choose to participate in a variety of sadnaot (workshops) including swimming, israeli dance, teva (hiking), and softball.
As the day came to a close, there were some tearful goodbyes to those where we leaving Machaneh (camp). Fortunately, however, we are excited that many kids decided to extend their time at Mosh!
Visitor’s Day Video:
To see more pictures of visitor’s day, click here.
Sadnaot (workshops) are a time during the day where the camp splits into several groups that engage in different activities. In ropes course, trigger games are played that use logic, teamwork and encourage kids to think outside the box. At the beginning of the summer, along with the other Madrachim who got certified to lead ropes, I learned several games that forced chanachim (kids) to practice working in a group and thinking critically. For example, we asked the chanachim how quickly they could get their whole group through the hoola hoop. After a few attempts taking 15 seconds each, we asked them to work together to find a new method and told them we thought they could do it in under 5 seconds. They looked shocked and then soon realized that they could all stick their hand in the hoola hoop at once to satisfy the requirement.
In another game, they were asked to lower a hoola hoop together each holding it up with one finger parallel to the ground and all their fingers had to touch the hoola hoop at all times. They were told to start with the hoola hoop at average shoulder height. They stood in a circle and became frustrated when they couldn’t lower it the whole way with everyone touching it. However, after they thought more about it they realized they could lie on the ground and start the hoola hoop at average shoulder height (an inch off the ground).
After a few quick games, we all walk down to the ropes course and the chanachim are “spotted” by the certified madrachim as they attempt to walk from tree to tree on a wire. Other rope challenges involve swing from platform to platform and climbing through spiderwebs of rope.