Monthly Archives:July 2015

Masada, Jerusalem, and NBA players?!

Posted by on July 26, 2015
Dear Camp Micah,
We ended last week at an Orthodox community in the Lower Galilee called Hoshaya. Part of the group was hosted by very welcoming families at Hoshaya while others stayed with relatives all over Israel. The whole group came together on Sunday morning and we proceeded to hike down a cliff (with no ropes!). Jordan Barr thought it would be a good idea to throw his water bottle off the cliff; It wasn’t. Next, we went to a goat farm where we milked mamma goats and made cheese. We also made some salads with some focaccia bread. Afterward, we went to yet another British Mandate museum. Riveting!
On Monday, we went on a Bio bee tour at Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu where we fed donkeys, ate dates, and saw, like, 4 bees in a box. Charlie Goldsmith finally had his first date!( get it)Then we travelled back to Jerusalem for the final leg of our trip (tear tear). We met a rabbi who had nine toes and talked to us about becoming bnei mitzvah. He was 4 years late.
The next day we went to the most famous holocaust museum, Yad Vashem. This took us back to our days in Poland and we learned about the roots of antisemitism. On a happier note, we volunteered at Abu Gosh Children’s Home where we re-painted walls. Sam Marram had so much paint on him that he blended in! After much osmosis of Holocaust information, both in Poland and in Israel, we had the chance to reflect artistically at the Kol Ha-ot center that night.
On Wednesday morning, we went to Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem where we re-enacted the battle during the 6 day war to win back Jerusalem by playing capture the flag using underground tunnels. Jordan Barr, yet again, made a smart decision to run through a bush of thorns. He’s still bleeding. Following that we volunteered at Pantry Packers where we packed lentils and rice assembly-line style for families in need. It was practically the Industrial Revolution. That night we met a cool reform rabbi who helped us reflect on our trip and open up about our Judaism.
Thursday was a big day–we all got re-bar/bat mitzvahed at a conservative temple in Jerusalem. Erica Kleeman had her very first bat mitzvah! Most of us gave speeches about anything meaningful to us. For brunch, we returned to our Jewish roots by eating pork and cheeseburgers. Just kidding, we had bagels and lox. Soon after, we went to an archeological dig where we unearthed 3000 year old artifacts from underground caves. George Patsouris found teeth! Jordan Barr struck again by finding a full, intact plate. web services  Then we rode camels in the desert and had a Bedouin dinner. Bedtime was early because the next day, we would wake up at 3 a.m. to make it in time for the sunrise on Masada.
Little addition: tonight at the Western Wall, we ran into NBA stars DeMarcus Cousins, Omri Caspi, Iman Shumpert, and Chandler Parsons. Some of us got autographs and selfies!
It was quite an eventful week here in Israel, and we hope the first week of second session has been as amazing as ours. It’s bittersweet to know we’ll be back at camp soon, but we’re all looking forward to seeing everyone.
See y’all soon, and Shabbat shalom!
Love, Maya Metser, Enna Spivak, Caroline Safran, and the rest of Micah in Israel 2015

 

Endings

Posted by on July 18, 2015

It was another busy day here at Micah as campers and staff participated in their final day of activities. The weather cooperated once again as we all enjoyed a day filled with sports, the arts, intercamp competitions, and a final play rehearsal.

We visited a local camp for our first ever gymnastics intercamp “competition.” A van filled with eager campers took part in a co-ed gymnastics exhibition where they got to show off their stuff! Both camps were so supportive of each other as they cheered for campers on floor, tumble track, bars, beam, and vault. We ended the morning with a handstand contest and the Micah campers were victorious!

Here at Micah, we hosted 15 and under boys basketball and 15 and under girls softball intercamp games. It was the perfect way to end a session filled with activities and to put to use all the skills campers gained through their weeks of practice.

Tonight, the entire camp gathered together for our first session Blue & Gold banquet. The festivities of the night included a delicious Shabbat dinner, song session, and Erev Shabbat service. After the service, we all returned to the Dining Hall for our awards ceremony and slideshow. Campers then went back to their bunks to get ready for bed and to participate in Final Ledge and Final Nedge (ceremonies in the Boys’ and Girls’ Areas that help bring closure to the session for those campers who will be leaving us on Sunday).

It’s amazing how quickly the summer is going by and that packing day is already upon us!

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Flash Mobs and Five Year Club

Posted by on July 17, 2015

We awoke to another beautiful day at camp this morning.  Several campers left directly after breakfast to hike Mount Success. The buzz at breakfast from those hiking was how much they were looking forward to hiking past an old plane wreck and then finding a small stream to cool off in and enjoy the scenery. Several other campers signed up for a 15U boys flag football tournament at Indian Acres while others opted to test their skills at a Spelling Bee competition in Portland.  Go Micah…M-I-C-A-H.

During today’s lunch, campers were still discussing the fun they had last night during their evening activities.  The Critters and Prowlers enjoyed a mock Bar Mitzvah-style party which included a sign-in board, snacks, and playing games like Coke and Pepsi and The Limbo. The Timbers and Summits danced the night away at Uncle Milts at their weekly dance. Just as lunch was coming to an end, we were all surprised by a flash mob of dancers, led by our dance instructors, Charley and Hannah, right in the middle of the Dining Hall!

This afternoon, we inducted the newest members of the 5 Year Club as all new and old members celebrated with an ice cream social after lunch.  At this event, campers and staff received their 5 Year Club t-shirts and watched a video montage of pictures taken back in the summer of 2011 (the first summer of our newest inductees!)  It was so sweet to hear the oohs and ahhs and laughter that ensued as each new photo popped up!  Mark’s speech that followed explained that the reason our camp community is so strong and united is because of these camp “lifers” sitting before him today.

As we all head to bed tonight, we’re looking forward with anticipation (and a bit of sadness) to celebrate our final Shabbat of first session together tomorrow night.

Goodnight Bridgton and Sebago!

 

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Exploring the North!

Posted by on July 16, 2015
Greetings Camp Micah!
After yet another week of exhilaration, recreation, and Israeli education, we believe that we have found spiritual emancipation. We began our holy week with internal contemplation, hanging out in Tsfat with the #orthodoxnation. The boys went into a 500 year old Mikvah with no reservation, while the girls enjoyed an afternoon of deep meditation. Next we got ready for Shabbas great anticipation; we joined an orthodox service on a roof top and sang with full participation. The next day we rested, as God did after creation, and held morning services on a hill top to start the day with an exclamation. Then we ended Shabbat with a pretty jamming havdallah celebration! On Sunday we met IDF soldiers who taught us about Israel’s foreign administration; staring at the Lebanese border was quite a revelation. On Monday we biked for the Save A Child’s Heart organization, raising money to fund for heart operations. For some this bike ride caused much frustration. On Tuesday we hiked to a waterfall filled with water from cloud condensation. On Wednesday we rode a cable car up a mountain and zip lined down in much elation, and then at night we went on a musical boat cruise that had superb flotation. On Thursday we made pita bread and wine at a 2000 year old Talmudic village simulation, and hiked through a river, which was quite an exploration. http://www.campmicah.com/exploring-the-north/Too bad Alexa had to miss out because of her hand inflammation…we wish you could all be here, but you’ll just have to use your imaginations. See you soon, Shabbat shalom, love Noah Stanton, Isaac Appel, Joel Linkewer and the rest of Micah in Israel, peace and salutation.

We’re Back! Shabbat, Mark’s Birthday, and Color War Recaps!

Posted by on July 16, 2015

After a brief glitch with our blog posting technology, we’re back! It’s been a busy few days here at Camp Micah from Shabbat through Color War. Check out all the news below!

Shabbat Is Here! (July 10, 2015)

What gorgeous weather we had today at Camp Micah! A group of Critters and Prowlers hiked up Mt. Sugarloaf today and ended their adventure with a swim in the Saco River. Campers enjoyed plenty of sunshine and some cool breezes while participating in all of their daily activities in anticipation of Shabbat.

Fridays are always a nice way to gather together and take a step back from our fun, jam-packed days to reflect on the past week and welcome Shabbat into our hearts. It’s so touching to watch the entire Micah community come to dinner in their white Shabbat shirts to enjoy a delicious meal together.  Paula, our baker, often gets a rousing round of applause at the end of the meal to thank her for her delicious Challah and desserts.

The song session that follows our meal really takes Shabbat to another level here at camp.  The energy in the room is palpable with campers singing, dancing, hugging and smiling from ear to ear before walking down to the chapel for our service.

During this evening’s service, Rabbi Lipof told us a story which reminded us that if you can’t have the best, make the best of what you have. Your second choice just may end up being the right choice for you in the end. We can’t believe that one week from tonight we’ll be welcoming our final Shabbat of the session and taking part in our first session banquet. It’s amazing how quickly time goes by here at camp and we’re all trying to make the most of every moment.

 

Mark’s Mitzvot (Saturday, July 11, 2015)

In honor of Mark’s upcoming birthday, we spent many of our Shabbat rotations today completing innumerable mitzvot to make the world a better place. Campers created blankets for Project Linus, baked dog biscuits for a local animal shelter, made cards of thanks and baked cookies for the Bridgton Fire & Police Departments, assembled soup kits, baked blueberry cake, wrote letters to soldiers, made play-dough for a preschool, and so much more. It feels so good to help others and do our part to make the world a better place. There is nothing Mark wants more for his birthday than for his campers to follow our camp’s mission and philosophy.

Throughout the day, campers also got to visit our MArt station (that’s Mark’s Art!). We all put our own special touch on a communal piece of art to be presented to Mark the following evening. It was hard for over 300 people to keep a secret from Mark…we’ll see how surprised he is when it’s presented at his birthday celebration tomorrow!

As always, we finished our Saturday with our cookout and campfire, complete with a hilarious weekly Micah Update from Daniel Anderson and Alex Brodsky. Before we ended the night with havdallah, the CITs teased the whole camp with what we all thought was certainly going to be the break to Color War. Oh well, we’ll just have to wait until the real break happens (whenever that may be!).

 

You Say It’s Your Birthday!!! (Sunday, July 12, 2015)

What an exciting day here at camp!  We spent the entire day celebrating Mark’s birthday.  The morning began with thunderous applause and cheering in the Dining Hall as carts of Dunkin Donuts (Mark’s favorite) were wheeled out from the kitchen as a special breakfast treat. After breakfast, many campers participated in the volleyball, baseball, and soccer inter-camps offered all around camp. It was quite common to see many campers decked out in batman gear in honor of the birthday boy while walking around to activities!

In the afternoon, many campers signed up to participate in magic workshops, hosted by our special guest, Peter Boie – a magician for non-believers! To continue the celebration, we enjoyed an all-camp evening activity where we had the pleasure of watching Peter dazzle and amaze us all. Before Peter took the stage, Mark was presented with the art project we all worked so hard on the day before!

Peter’s act was filled with mind boggling illusions and fascinating sleight of hand tricks that had us stumped all night long. As if the anticipation of Color War wasn’t enough to drive us all crazy, Steve Monge was called up by the magician to participate in a trick. We were certain that this MUST be the Color War break we were all waiting for. But alas, Steve and the CITs fooled us all yet again. As the magic show finished up and all the campers and staff were getting ready to leave Uncle Milt’s Performing Arts Center, the whole room went black and the stage curtain was replaced with blue and gold! Blue and gold lights started flickering and music started playing over the sound of screaming children (don’t worry; it was happy screams of Color War!). Just when we thought nothing could top this fun filled day celebrating Mark’s birthday, COLOR WAR FINALLY BROKE!  Stay Tuned for all of the exciting details.

 

Color War: Day 1 (Monday, July 13, 2015)

After an exciting evening with Color War breaking and captain voting, both teams met on the softball field to compete in the annual tug-o-war. The teams were neck and neck throughout the morning as the winners of each pull traded back and forth. After that all-camp event, units split up to compete in kickball, tennis, soccer, basketball, softball, and so much more. The afternoon brought a swim meet and track meet which once again had the teams neck and neck. The spirit and sportsmanship of both teams was a joy to watch. After dinner, the Color War Committee debuted a new game to the camp, “Keys, Please!” Team captains were given clues to the locations of painted keys hidden around camp. Campers scurried all around camp searching for keys to be turned into the “locksmiths” who would tally the value of the keys. Special “challenge keys” were also hidden around camp that could be redeemed for the chance to successfully complete a challenge, such as walking across the slackline or putting together a tricky cube puzzle. All the campers said that they loved the addition of this new game and are excited to have it added to the annual competitions for years to come! Tomorrow is certain to be another tight day of competition as Color War will come to an end before dinner. Good luck to both teams!

 

Color War: Day 2 (Tuesday, July 14, 2015)

After a little extra sleep this morning, both teams awoke ready for another busy day of competition. The morning was filled with two rounds of Unit Activities (when age groups compete against each other in athletic events around camp) and the afternoon was spent participating in the Critter Spelling Bee, Prowler Riddler, Timber Ultimate Charades, and Summit Co-Ed All Star Basketball Game. It was once again too close to call – especially the Critter Spelling Bee which went into an unprecedented third round of sudden death word challenges!

After the afternoon unit events, both teams came together for the annual all-camp Scavenger Hunt. Team captains were given a list of 200 items to find around camp. Some everyday items, like a Micah winter hat, were easy to find. Others, like an un-tie-dyed 2015 staff t-shirt, were nearly impossible! Both teams put their all into this final activity of first session Color War. As the competition came to an end, both teams did a big clean-up of camp as the Color War Committee tabulated the score. http://www.campmicah.com/were-back/ http://www.campmicah.com/were-back/All campers and staff gathered at the flagpoles to sing the Micah Alma Mater and hear the first session score. Blue is currently ahead by 175 points as Color War is put on hold until it breaks again during second session and the competition heats up again!

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