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Created: July 03, 2024 | by Camp Galil
Yay Labor!

Shalom Galil Families!

Today was another fun, full day at machaneh, with a special focus on labor for Yom Avodah. Chanichimot started their day off right at the toren with some songs, flag raising, and Ivrit Shimushit. Today’s Hebrew word of the day was kar ly, or “I’m cold.” Despite the chilly start to the day, spirits rose along with the temperature as campers headed off to breakfast. To everyone’s delight, there were an abundance of cinnamon rolls. After filling their bellies, chanichimot headed off to avodah to help maintain our beautiful campsite. 

In the communications sadna, Say-Tzo posed for some space-themed photos and took part in the latest camp craze: rubber gloves filled with water. Everyone seems to be very entertained by these DIY fidget tools.

Instead of typical programming for Pish Alef, the entire camp gathered at the moadon to explore the importance of avodah through some dress-up and fun skits. By the end of the activity, even the more reluctant chanichimot were chanting for labor. After some lunch and some rest time, they headed off to chuggim, where soapstone chug got started on some carving, paleontology chug went foraging for milkweed flowers, and potato chug… potatoed?

In the spirit of the day’s theme, chanichimot moved on to some more peulot about the importance of labor. Some sports and swimming time helped shed campers’ extra energy, and after changing out of their swimsuits, they learned some new songs and chants at shira and lowered the flags. Dinner involved some delicious lentil and couscous stuffed peppers, much to the delight of those with slightly more sophisticated palettes.

During tochinit erev, Yom Avodah came to its logical conclusion with a color war between avodah groups. Chanichimot cheered for labor as they soaked their madrichimot in the dunk tank, chased around a madrich with paint, squeezed sponges onto each other, and competitively tossed candy into each other’s mouths. By the time they were off to bed, everyone was excited to wake up to avodah tomorrow. 

As kids of all ages trickled out of the basketball court, I asked Spenser in Amelimot why he thought avodah was important. He responded that it gave us some time to get some good labor done. It was a bit shocking to hear such a young kid express a love of labor, but the sentiment was widespread among chanichimot of all ages today. I even overheard some older campers expressing that they were confused why we were focusing so much on avodah today, since its importance was already so innate and obvious to them after many a summer at machaneh. At first, avodah can feel a bit like “chores,” a concept that most kids might associate more with obedience than with responsibility. Galil’s implementation of avodah, however, offers chanichimot a new way to relate to labor as a way to take ownership over the camp. Kids have a role in creating, cleaning, and maintaining almost every space at camp, from meals to medura (bonfire). We give the chanichimot responsibilities, which requires a lot of trust, both from tzevet and from their peers. The confidence they gain from that carries through to many other aspects of their lives at camp and at home. After all, someone who can properly clean a toilet at the age of 9 can probably do just about anything.