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Created: July 04, 2024 | by Camp Galil
Welcome to IKEA

Shalom Galil Families!

Although it took a startling amount of reminders, chanichimot managed to drag not only themselves but also their laundry bags to the toren this morning. After singing and raising the flags, the Ivrit Shimushit skit creatively introduced the Hebrew word of the day: mafya, or bakery. Kids were a bit disappointed that they were not allowed to eat the incredible stale bagels used as props for the act, but the fresh ones served at breakfast more than made up for it. Breakfast was followed by avodah, which chanichimot were hopefully a bit more excited for after yesterday’s peulot and games. 

In communications sadna, it was Amelimot’s turn for a fun, royalty-themed photoshoot. They did an amazing job of sharing all the costumes with each other in order to make sure that everyone was included.

Sadnaot were followed by pish alef, where the chanichimot engaged in interesting discussions on a variety of subjects and played some fun games. They were then off to lunch, had some rest time, and then some exciting chuggim. In potato chug, chanichimot made batteries out of, surprise surprise, potatoes. Paleontology chug went back down to the creek, where campers played in the water and stacked stones. In music chug, kids experimented with new instruments, and in soapstone chug, they worked on their carving projects. 

Chuggim were followed by pish bet, snack, and sports. They then had some free swim time down at the pool and some shira before dinner. Oddly, dinner seemed to occur in an IKEA food court, which was explained only after the meal by the oddly accented CEO of IKEA and pop-culture mascot Djungelskog the bear, who invited the kids on a tour of the iconic furniture store for tochinit erev.

However, as the night went on, things got a bit odd as the “tour” turned out to involve chanting the names of IKEA products, dunking in a blue-and-yellow ballpit, and some extraordinarily competitive musical chairs set to ABBA songs. After completing their round robin circuit, chanichimot moved to the kikar (field), where each kvutza assembled various items of furniture out of cardboard– only for the CEO to ask them to sacrifice their carefully built items into a fire. They continued to chant product names as the flames rose, but then, when Djungelskog the bear went to sit down in an IKEA chair, it immediately broke underneath her, revealing the low quality of IKEA products and breaking the illusion. As tzevet rounded up their chanichimot for bedtime, many were still calling for a refund.

Sometimes, activities can get very hectic, but the controlled chaos is often a key element of the fun at machaneh. It offers kids a sort of freedom of expression that can be a bit difficult to access out in the “real world.” At camp, a kid can scream as loud as they want without the neighbors complaining. Although it can sometimes be difficult for madrichimot to determine the exact right balance of chaos to order, a little crazy can go a long way towards a camper having a good time. Since chanichimot live and interact with each other 24/7, they’re forced to get over any fears of embarrassment fast, and once that’s out of the way, the floodgates open to all sorts of silliness and exploration of expression. For a lot of kids, camp is a place where they step into themselves and have new and unique chances to grow and learn, and the magical mess we so carefully cultivate at machaneh is a big part of that.