Machon- Back from Etgar

Dear Machon Parents,

Yesterday, Machon returned from an exciting three day etgar trip.  Etgar, meaning challenge, is an opportunity for campers to take part in a camping trip with other chanichim from the edah.  The options this summer were fantastic: mountain biking, backpacking, canoeing, rafting, rappelling, rock climbing, and spelunking, The campers were divided, according to their preferences, into groups of 10 or 11.  Etgar is a fantastic program because it challenges chanichim to test their limits, both physically and mentally.  It is truly wonderful to see two campers, who have not yet the opportunity this summer to spend much time together, work together to climb up a mountain, navigate a canoe through the river, or cook dinner for the group.

I was privileged to take part in the Huck Finn Rafting Adventure etgar.  The chanichim built rafts out of wooden planks and carpet, placing them on two connected canoes.  In groups of four, we lazily paddled down the river, sharing stories and encouragement.  I was impressed and excited by the enthusiasm displayed by each camper, volunteering his or her services in any way that helped the group.  The chanichim's  willingness to put the group over themselves reflects the quality of their character.  As a rosh edah, I relish the opportunity to interact with the chanichim at this personal level, and I look forward to building upon the relationships built over etgar.

Kol Tuv,
Ben Panitz 

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