Kayitz 2017 Opening Day!

Was it this morning that our gates opened and kayitz 2017 began?  We’ve had such a packed day that it feels like we’ve already been together at camp for days!

We had some rain during tzevet (staff) t’fillot this morning, but by 11 AM when the gates opened, the sun was shining.  As always, it was such a delight to welcome all of our hanichim (campers), to see the excited smiles on the faces of all of our hanichim and their horim (parents).  There were lots of hugs and laughs as old friends reunited and many new faces were welcomed into our kehillah (community).

On Tzad Aleph (A-Side), after some fun introductory games and a yummy snack, we kicked off our official programming at 1:00 with a huge Tzad-wide peulah (program), a Hakarat Hatov Derby!  Hakarat Hatov (the value of gratitude) is our camp’s educational theme this kayitz.  The kids divided by tzrif (bunk) and raced together all around the tzad aleph migrash (field), trying to complete as many challenges as possible, together as a tzrif!  In front of every tzrif building was a staff-member running a different game or challenge.  Some were designed to introduce the theme of Hakarat Hatov, while others were designed to teach new kids about different aspects of camp, while others were just fun silliness.

(My own station was Connect Four, in which I challenged any camper to try to beat me in Connect Four.  I won a lot of games, but two wily tzrifim were able to beat me!)

After that program, we all gathered as a machane (camp) in our new Chadar Ochel (Dining Hall) for Aruchat Tzohorayim (lunch).  It was so much fun to see everyone’s astonished faces as they walked into our brand new, large, air-conditioned Chadar Ochel!

After lunch we began a Tzohorayim Tzrif (Bunk afternoon), in which the tzrifim together had an opportunity to participate in different activities all around camp, including: making slime in omanut, sports, team-building games on our ropes course and in our Spider’s Web, face painting, zumba, ga-ga, and lots more.  We were briefly interrupted by some rain, but while that meant we had to all move inside, the fun continued.

At the end of the afternoon, the entire machane gathered in our Bet Am Gadol (our gymnasium) for another new tradition: a Tekes Petichah (Opening Ceremony).  There was a ton of ruach (spirit/energy) and a lot of singing and dancing.  It was electric to see the entire camp gathered together, everyone so happy to be singing and dancing together.

Following that ceremony, Tzad Aleph headed to the Chadar Ochel for aruchat erev (dinner) — spaghetti and meatballs — followed by peulot erev, fun evening activities by edah.  Tzad Bet had the first assembly of their Roo sports teams (for our intercamp with Ramah Berkshires), followed by aruchat erev and their peulot erev.  As I write this, Tzad Aleph campers are already on their way to sleep, while Tzad Bet campers are in the middle of their peulot erev.

Whew!  See what I mean?  It’s been quite a day here at camp!  We are so grateful to all of our camp parents who have entrusted us with your children.  It’s been a fantastic yom rishon (first day) here at camp, and we can’t wait to start the regular program machar ba-boker (tomorrow morning)!  Layla tov (good night)!