A Report From MACHON Etgar!

On Wednesday morning, the rugged edah/division of Machon
went on their three day, two night Etgar trip. 
Etgar literally means challenge, and our hanichim/campers found
themselves being challenged early and often by the difficult activities planned
for each group.  We sent one group
backpacking, one group rock climbing, one group 
biking and two groups canoeing.

I went along with one of the canoeing groups. While I can
only speak for my group, I have been in touch with the others and I know that
they are having a blast as well!

Our group bonded early with our guide, Jen, and we have
been having non-stop fun since we started paddling along the Connecticut River
yesterday morning.  But this fun did not
come without its fair share of challenges/etgarim.  At one point, Aliza L. had to lay
completely flat in her canoe while she and Emily A. narrowly avoided canoing
into obstructive branches.  And the faces
of Ian B. and madricha/counselor Sara L. were priceless as they
paddled through what I dubbed the Sea of Reeds (however, this area is still
known as the Connecticut River to official cartographers).

This morning we woke up early and held Shaharit/morning
prayer services at sunrise.  Few things
are as spiritual as tefilla/prayer next to a river while the sun rises over the

Right now, the group has just finished setting up their
tents and are taking a swim to cool down. 
We will soon make dinner and go over to the other canoe group — they are
hosting tonights medura/campfire, as we hosted last night.

It has been an amazing few days allowing different
hanichim the opportunities to spend quality time with friends outside of their

As the Rosh Edah/division head, I could not be more happy
spending my time getting to know more and more of the hanichim — especially while
they push themselves to overcome whatever etgar stands in their way.

Signing off-from the banks of the "Sea of
Reeds", Ezra

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