Shoafim’s Israeli Style Birthday Party and Yom Toy Story


Hey Shoafim friends and family!

    Everyone loves birthday parties.  Unfortunately, our birthdays only come once a year, which is why the other night Shoafim partied their socks off at a "just because" birthday party with a twist: Israeli style!  The mishlahat (Israeli staff) in Shoafim transformed one of our activity spaces in camp into the scene of a classic Israeli birthday party and came with a slew of party games that you would find at every Israeli party.  Each of these games gave our hanichim both a taste of Israeli culture on a more day-to-day, mundane level as well as encouraged further group cooperation and team-building as they were challenged to pop balloons with a random partner and were encouraged to laugh and play with hanichim they may not typically be used to seeing.

    The momentum continued today with Shoafim's "Yom Toy Story," a day of unique programming created by our own madrichim around the theme of the Toy Story movies.  The day began with a Mr. Potato-Head-building-contest using art supplies and a real spud, and continued with a human arcade (like the arcade in Pizza Planet, for those familiar with the movie).  Hanichim actively engaged in human foosball and human air hockey, among other smaller sports games like knock-out and a camp favorite called ninja.  After the arcade, hanichim, in their respective groups, painted their own "Andy's moving vans" and raced in a two-person box-car relay race around the migrash (field) outside the tzrifim (bunks), completing various tasks along the road.  Throughout the morning, hanichim were able to focus on their small group's team dynamics with hanichim from other tzrifim in the edah.  I was especially impressed by the high level of independence and cooperation between the hanichim and how they carried themselves with other members of their team.

    In the afternoon, after a showing of Toy Story and a peulat tzrif with their own bunkmates, the hanichim came back together for a musical/dance performance by group (presented as "karaoke night at Pizza Planet") and a reconnaissance mission of the toy soldiers, wherein the hanichim had to design a successful parachute for an egg by using materials they earned only after completing an obstacle course modeled after a military experience.  In the end, every egg survived due to the engineering expertise of edat haShoafim.

Check out a few highlights of the photos from today's festivities, and please see the website for more photos like these!

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    As I write this, we are looking forward with much excitement to our Etgar (camping trip) tomorrow night into Friday morning, as well as a special opportunity to work with Jordan Gorfinkle, the comic strip artist who has been at camp for Kishroniyah.  He will be running a special workshop just for Shoafim Thursday and Friday mornings, a wonderful way to book-end our etgar and send us into Shabbat.

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