In the last week of the school holidays, we had the privilege of taking 30 kids to the beautiful Carmel site just outside of Franschhoek for four days.
The fun started as we got onto the bus, singing songs and getting to know one another. We made a short stop to Giraffe House where we watched a reptile show and saw giraffe and eland. We arrived at the campsite and went straight into opening Mifkad where we learnt the camp rules and everyone received a customised Winter Camp ’17 beanie. The tochniot (activities) started off on a roll with the fashion show that evening, where the channies were divided into groups and had to dress up in certain themes, such as hippies, the circus or even their madrichim. They really enjoyed both walking down the runway as well as watching the creativity of their friends. The fun continued before bed with an ‘army night’ run by our Israeli team where we learnt about and had a demonstration of what is done in the Israeli army.
The next day we had a guest visit from Rabbi Sam Thurgood, who shared some wise words, followed by the Amazing Race, where the channies had to run around the campsite performing various challenges and collecting clues and puzzle pieces. Before lunch, where food was served from a different country each day, such as Italian or Ethiopian, all the channies participated in Master Chef, with the younger ones making chocolate biscuit balls and the older making pancakes. The day continued with the kids having free time, with various sport and bead and mask-making being offered. We also announced groups for the Channies Shticks happening that night.
After supper, everyone brought their sleeping bags where we watched the Shticks performed by both the channies and maddies and watched the award-nominated movie Kubo and the Two Strings.
Our last full day started after breakfast with a hike. After lunch, the older kids and some maddies enjoyed a mad hatters tea party where they made creative hats and had a hairspray fight. Afterwards, the younger channies competed in Minute-to-Win-it, trying to complete the various activities in a minute or before the other teams. That night, everyone participated in a ‘Pass-the-Parcel’ which the kids had to perform certain actions when they received the parcel. The rest of the night was spent hanging out with new friends and maddies, enjoying the last night together. After spending most of their last morning packing, we ended the camp by coming together and thanking the various people, as well as the chanichim themselves, for making the camp as great as it was. We ended off with a massive sticker war, before getting onto the bus covered in hundreds of colourful stickers.
Overall, being on this winter camp was a great experience for both chanichim and madrichim alike. With all the fun, new friendships and multiple layers of clothing worn, it was hard to even notice the freezing weather, and I am sure I do not just speak for myself when I say I cannot wait for Wintercamp next year.
Ryane Fox, Rosh Winter Camp 2017