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Created: July 02, 2024 | by Camp Galil
Galil will not be basted!

Shalom Galil families!

At 8am this morning, Galil chanichimot woke up in their new tzrifim for the first time. Within a very quick half hour, madrichimot did their best to convince their wards of the importance of tooth brushing so that each kvutzah could make their way to the toren for hitkansut boker (morning flagpole/gathering), where they raised the flags, sang songs, and briefly celebrated Canada Day. Once the chanichimot had stood up for long enough to ensure no relapses into REM, they were treated to the very first ivrit shimushit (hebrew learning) skit of the summer. Through the story of two failed convenience store owners and their most persistent shoplifter, they learned the Hebrew word ten, or give in English. 

To the delight of many, breakfast involved a seemingly endless supply of pancakes, which served as much-needed fuel as the chanichimot headed off to their avodah (chores) around camp. They then headed to sadnaot with the specialists. In the communications sadna, the chotrimot had a deep-sea themed kvutza photoshoot.

While the younger kvutzot had instructional swim and some fun in the sprinkler, the older kids had more peulot (lessons). Next was lunch, followed by chuggim.

The paleontology expedition chug, for one, headed right into the woods and to the creek to look for fossils. Some campers were a bit more interested in the living animals that live in the beautiful Tinnicum Creek, but others made some good finds, and they all had fun sampling some edible leaves.

To fight the afternoon slump, madrichimot organized fun and often bizarre activities for each kvutza during pish bet. Say-Tzo built bridges as they worked together to cross kikar without touching the ground, bogrimot learned about dugma (responsibility) by pieing their madrichimot, and the chotrimot could be witnessed attempting to floss trees. 

Post-pish, the bogrimot distributed a disappointingly healthy yet delicious snack of clementines. Chanichimot then ran off to go play some sports, followed by free swim. They took showers and then headed to shira and hitkansut erev. In the meanwhile, tzevet were hard at work setting up the Chadar Ochel (dining hall) for a visit from President Joe Biden.

While the kids were a bit confused to see the chadar decorated for Thanksgiving, not to mention the president eating dinner with a turkey, all was revealed during a skit during which Joe announced that he was pardoning a turkey. Unfortunately, that turkey was, in fact, evil, and the chadar erupted with shouts as radical insurrectionary turkeys infiltrated, leading the kids in chants of “We will not be basted!

After a bit of chofesh, the chanichimot walked through a round-robin of turkey and thanksgiving themed activities including bobbing for yams, pecking for candy, and launching mashed potatoes at tzevet members. This also served as a get-to-know-you activity so that kids had a chance to meet other madrichimot who they might not normally interact with. Ultimately, the kids’ collective efforts brought about liberation for the turkeys, and the night ended with some thematic and delicious pumpkin pie.

Before everyone headed off to bed, I had a quick chat with Liam in Amelimot and asked him how he felt about his first ever full day at camp. After talking at length about how much he enjoyed the pancakes at breakfast, he told me that he really enjoyed instructional swim, and the swim test wasn’t even that hard. It’s always so beautiful and shocking to see how readily kids can overcome whatever challenges are set to them, whether physical or intellectual. At camp, those challenges come attached to responsibilities, even for the littlest of kids. Even as much as we depend on the madrichimot and the older campers, it wouldn’t be the same without the kid serving fruit salad who sorts out everyone’s favorite fruit, or the kid who is so excited to sing so loudly despite the fact that they know none of the words, or the kid always ready to share their startlingly in depth knowledge of dinosaur species. In many ways, we depend on the kids as much as they depend on us. 

After Liam shared his insights with me, he ran off, pumpkin pie and whipped cream smeared on various parts of his face and body. I’m excited to watch him and all of his friends push through all of their challenging moments this summer.