By Jake Beckert, Rosh Eidah of Chalutzim
Time can move in funny ways at OSRUI. Our days are so full that 24 hours can feel like a whole week. On the other side, chanichim (campers) are having so much fun that a week can feel like it goes by in a blink of an eye. While everyone experiences this time dilation a little differently, there is a general consensus that after four weeks at camp it’s a good idea to change up the routine a little.
For this reason, last week all of Chalutzim left together for our tiyul canoe (canoe trip). Unlike tiyulim in Moshavah, the Chalutzim tiyul is less about roughing it in nature, and more about getting out of camp, seeing a different part of the world, and having some time to relax and joke around.
The tiyul was three days long, and we go at a very relaxed pace. Every day starts out with a fantastic homemade breakfast prepared by the madrichim on open fires. After eating and cleaning up we get into the water to start our day. We make sure to take plenty of breaks along the way, in order to swim and have fun on the beach. After a few hours in the canoe we still arrive at our campsite with time to hangout before dinner.
Dinner (and the food in general) is always a highlight of the canoe trip. Grilled hotdogs and hamburgers, along with incredible homemade Israeli food make for a meal that our chanichim will remember for years to come. After dinner there is just enough sunlight for a quick program, making smores on the fire, and a short shira (song session), before going to our tents to sleep.
For most of the Chanichim the canoe trip is one of the biggest highlights of the summer. Something of the magic of being together all day long, and outside our usual location, helps the campers make new connections and get to know new friends.
By the end of day three, however, everyone is ready to get back to camp, and really ready to take a shower.
As we come back from the trip there is a feeling of a refreshed ruach (spirit), among the staff and campers. It is great to return home, to OSRUI, and bring with us an incredible excitement for the weeks to come.