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Created: July 05, 2024 | by Camp Galil
Galf 6

Shalom Galil families!

Although the day started out rather normally as kids woke up, headed to the toren, and went to breakfast, things started to go awry during avodah. During their usual tasks, chanichimot in each avodah found a flag with a letter on it. We gathered as an entire camp to discuss the strange discoveries, and found that when placed together, they spelled out a word. Although some were stuck on “galf 6” for a bit, some rearranging left us with 6 flag (the s was never found). By that point, the jig was up, and Mazkirut confirmed that we were going on kupa trip to 6 Flags Great Adventures!

By 11, Galil had arrived to the amusement park, sporting cool new camp t-shirts and excited to make the most out of the day. Many of the younger chanichimot decided to ride their first big rollercoaster, a brave choice that resulted in a lot of fun times. For kids who weren’t as interested in the rides, several madrichimot set up a little station in the pavilion where campers could hang out and enjoy some more chill activities, such as wrapping tefillin with some Chabadniks who were sitting nearby.

For a lot of groups, figuring out which ride to go on next was an exercise in compromise. But for most, they were able to ensure that every kid had a chance to go on the ride of their choice. From the Nitro to the Harley Quinn to the Carousel, there was something to everyone’s comfort level.

After a long, tiring day at the park, chanichimot got back on the busses. Although many at first assumed we were heading back to camp, Bucks County natives noticed that we were not only not going in the right direction, but we were in fact approaching the iconic Styer’s Orchards. We were treated to an incredible barbecue dinner in a pretty field. As the sun set, campers played sports and checked in with each other. Once darkness fell, everyone sat and watched an exciting fourth of July firework show. Finally, we piled back into the busses and headed home to Camp Galil.

Watching how kids act at an amusement park can be an interesting study of character. While some were happy to go wherever their friends wanted to, others had a hard time compromising when no one wanted to go on the same rides as they did. A few kids found it challenging to not be allowed to buy things from the stores and restaurants at the park. In addition, a good handful of campers just didn’t want to be at 6 Flags at all. When we’re on campgrounds, madrichimot put a lot of effort into making sure that everything is as fair between the kids as is possible. Shituf, or sharing, is a key element of our socialist values. It’s a big reason for our kupa system, where chanichimot can collectively decide on snacks and candy to buy, rather than each of them having their own, which could very quickly result in discrepancies and jealousy. However, all of that careful infrastructure suddenly becomes tenuous once we leave machaneh and reenter the wider world, where capitalism and individualism still reign. Kids find that they have to make small sacrifices for their friends, a skill which can take a lot of work. It’s so much harder to think about the needs and wants of others than it is one’s own. But at Galil, a big part of our mission is to guide chanichimot through that emotional labor. And at the end of the long day, as we crossed over the bridge and spilled into the parking lot, everyone was equal again— or, at the very least, equally tired.