Camp Gilgal Family

Once a part of the Camp Gilgal family, always a part of the Camp Gilgal family.

Category: Teen Camp West

Camp Gilgal West Teen Camp (July 15-21, 2012)


You Shall Be My Witnesses

(Acts 1:8)

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

The Gilgal Gazette is published by Camp Gilgal campers for Camp Gilgal campers
and their families and friends!


big-buckCampers and Staff

Campers: Abbey M., Amanda R., Andrew B., Andrew F., Benjamin R., Brighton G., Brooke A., Conner G., Daniela W., David S., Destiny A., Dorothy P., Eliana S., Elias B., Enrico M., Evan S., Gabriella W., Isaac Y., Jacob B., Jacob S., Joel R., Jon A., Joshua R., Judi W., Julia K., Kaleb F., Katie S., Kezia M., Leia B., Lindsay M., Louisa G., Matt L., Max C., Max H., Nitzan S., Noah P., Roy M., Sarah K., Shaya J., Vika S., Zachary S., Zachary W.boating4

Staff: Acorn, Doc, Esquire, Eyegore, Hoops, Ivory, Onyx, Sauté, Simba, Snapple, Sonic, Waffles

Out-of-cabin: Monarch, Moose, Streetlight

Only at Camp Gilgal


Elias B., Age 12 

Tabernacle is very open and is very spiritual to everyone that makes it that way. Tabernacle is a time of worship for God and is such a great chance to be able to love and worship God. From my experience in Tabernacle, I think that it is such a great chance to get to know God and also to sing to Him about our love for Him. friendsDuring Tabernacle we have fun singing and we all can sing openly and freely because no one can judge anyone on how they sing because we are all the same in God’s eyes. In my experience of Tabernacle, I believe that it should be a time of serious worship and time to praise with your family at Camp Gilgal. The one thing that I think is so cool is how Sonic, Streetlight, Simba and Doc are such great musicians and their worship songs are so beautiful that there is no way to not sing along with them. So I think that everyone should respect Tabernacle and would hope that every single day of my life I could have that.


Jacob S., Age 12 

Non-campfire is really fun. It’s also really spiritual. The things thanon-campfiret I really like about the non-campfire was that we all were singing and praising and you could feel God’s energy throughout the whole entire camp. Another thing I liked is that the tribe leaders share stuff that happened to them in their spiritual walk with God. I liked Streetlight’s story. The one that I specifically liked is the one that Doc said. Doc said that he did not feel God’s love but he later on in his life he felt God’s love. He told why he did not feel God’s love when he was younger.


Brooke A., Age 15 

Anyone who went to junior camp will remember FOB, a bitter-sweet activity that occurs every day. It is respite for tribe leaders and campers alike. FOB, which stands for “Flat on Bunk,” is a great time to write letters or take a nap. Though, if your tribe leaders permit, FOB can be a big party. The snacks get passed around, campers yell and laugh and play silly games. FOB can be a very memorable time for junior campers. But once you graduate to teen camp, FOB is no longer a regular occurrence. One camper, Judy, said “I miss having FOB.” This Thursday at teen camp we had “FOB Appreciation fob smDay,” which means we get the FOB experience at teen camp. There was much excitement with campers running to the cabins and falling into their bunks. For many it was a flash back to junior camp and the FOB activities were the same. Jon, a teen camper, said “I wrote postcards to family and friends.” Another camper, Shaya, said, “I practiced the memory verse and we had a cabin discussion.” Because camp is such an exciting and fast-paced experience, having a time to rest is great.

FOB is a tradition that the tribe leaders had as campers as well. Hoops, a teen camp leader, said “When I was a camper I definitely didn’t sleep. We played games from bunk to bunk and tried not to wake the tribe leaders.” FOB, though sometimes underrated, is an important time in camp when campers can relax and spend quality time with their tribe.

Days: Pieces of the Camp Gilgal experiences in three vignettes

Jon A., Age 15

1. Orientation
    It’s been a long drive today. Starting off from LA, we have twisted and turned ourselves almost 1/3 of the state.
    As we drive up, we are greeted enthusiastically by all who have come up before us, with window bangings and the joyful cries of reunited friends.
When assigned to cabins, the new arrivals look around pensively, not knowing yet what to expect from their freshly assigned companions.
We eat our first meal, getting to know our fellow tribesmen a little sm
Later in the evening, we hear from some of our leaders’ life stores, specifically of their experiences with camp.

2. Yosemite
After we eat breakfast, we are instructed to pack our own lunches.
                              Speculations abound about what the day will hold.
We pile up into vans. The fuss over who sits with whom is ever present.
We finally drive up into Yosemite itself, and veer left unto Glacier Point.
Half Dome awaits us – tall, majestic and unmoved.
               We squirm our way through a camp photo.
                              We eat our lunch.
Quick detour for souvenirs, and then it’s a hike down Glacier Point to Yosemite Valley.
                A whole 4.6 miles.
Depending on constitution and energy, the hike is either     
                massive fun or a grueling march.
                              Sometimes, a little of both.
At the end, we return home, hungry for a very late supper.

group-photo sm3. Vons

Thinking of grocery shopping, several words may come to mind:
Rarely would anyone call a grocery outing ‘fun’ – that is, unless one is a Camp Gilgal camper.
We are in the pool when it starts.
     Lunch had been wonderful, and most were enjoying a swim.
Thus, when greeted by a sign telling us to grab clothes, money and shoes and to flee to the cars,
it takes us completely by surprise.
As we board up and drive, speculations of where we are going are shouted like cheers at a race.
After the veteran campers recognize the venue, EVERYONE is excited – first time or not.
We overran the store with our fun. 
               The independence of shopping for one’s self is a novelty.
As purchases are made, treats are shared;
                           ice cream, sorbet, sushi, chips and cookie dough.
                                           A feast.
We finally leave, laden with our purchases and on our toes for the next surprise.

Cabin Inspection

Nitzan S., Age 14

Every morning at camp, each tribe gathers in their cabin and begins their cabin clean up. Every bed must be organized and every sleeping bag zipped up, straightened out and neat-looking. friends3 smEvery nook and cranny must be swept clean, leaving absolutely no debris on the ground. The bathrooms also have to swept out, in addition to making sure the sinks are clean. Once tribe members leave the cabin, all the lights must be turned off, the heater cannot be running and the water faucets in the sinks can’t be running.

The outsides of the cabins matter as well. All trash needs to be picked up and thrown away and the porches need to be swept off, leaving no debris. The little trash cans inside need to be dumped into the large trash can outside.

At any time in the day while campers are off doing something their cabins are inspected. The cabin is checked for anything “disheveled” or “askew.” The mattresses are checked underneath for trash and the shelves are examined for anything disorganized.

After cabins are inspected, Moose announces cabin inspection results, during which each tribe receives feedback on the way they cleaned their cabin. Small mistakes, such as gum wrappers under the beds and major mistakes such as leaving the water running, count as “infractions,” and each infraction is a 5-point deduction. The cabins must all maintain an 85-point average in order to earn the victory party on Friday.


Eliana S., Age 13

Benching. It’s something that the camp does together as a whole. The Hebrew prayer thanks the Lord for the food and substance that He provides for us. Banging on the table may be fun – well, it is fun, but benching is so much more. The words in English say, “Blessed are you, God, ruler of the world, who gives food to all with grace, kindness and compassion.” This means that God in heaven gives us food through His great goodness and He provides us with what we friends5 smneed.

Something that a lot of people take for granted is two or three meals a day. God is so good to give us such a privilege when so many people in the world don’t get that luxury.

A good thing to remember each day is to not take that for granted and to always thank God for His great goodness. That’s why we always bench after lunch. “Blessed are You, God, who nourishes all.”


Shaya J., Age 12 

I think panel is a great way to discuss questions that need to be answered in a manner of way and can be explained really well. In the panel the way you ask questions is by writing on a card, then Moose takes them from us and gives to one of the guys who answers the questions. On the panel some of the questions are really good questions, some are like really powerful. Some are meaningful. The panel is really about asking questions that are hard Friends6 smand sometimes uncomfortable, and this way I think the panel is for us so we can ask these questions. There are about 42 of us who have these questions. The location is in Vespers.

The panel is an opportunity for young people to have their questions answered about tough topics that they may not feel comfortable asking their parents or peers. Sonic said,“Yes, I enjoy the opportunity to share with young men and ladies about my experiences and what I have learned after being in their shoes.” Sonic said that he thinks all of the questions are good and it can fun and challenging to express his thoughts into short concise answers.

Adventures and Games!

Wild Mountain Cows Seen at Gilgal

Andrew B., Age 15

Monday, July 16th. Witnesses report seeing a herd of seven to ten wild mountain cows wandering behind Larkspur Cabin and Mountain View Center at around 6:20 to 6:40 in the morning. Initial witnesses were a group of early morning runners: Andrew B., Noah P, and tribe leader Sonic. Andrew reports, “They showed up after I ran. I was the first to see them, and showed many others.” Noah simply exclaimed, “Holy cow!”snapple3

Through the morning, many more sightings occurred, especially with tribe leaders heading to morning meeting. Snapple, a tribe leader, reports that she was in “complete and ‘udder’ shock about seeing cows so close to the cabins.” Camp leader Moose, on the other hand, reports feeling very deprived about missing a sighting opportunity due to urgent business. Another camper, Zach S., slept right through the event and reports some feelings of regret. Also regretful was camper Brooke A. Some other campers, however, like David S. and Max C., really just didn’t care.

Along with these sightings, lots of speculation about these bodacious bovines has arisen. How did they get there? Perhaps they came from open range down the road… Or maybe they rode in on “cow-asakis!” But bad jokes aside, how can we fathom their intentions? When one camper attempted to establish contact with the cows, they apparently gave him the “evil eye.” Does this indicate hostility? Are they just anti-social?

Anyway, conspiracies aside, cow sightings ceased at approximately 6:40am. They moved on, leaving scarcely a trace beyond some fresh pie. So what do you think of the cows? Camp Gilgal wants to know!

Water Polo (Camp Gilgal Version)

water-poloMax H., Age 14

Water polo outside of Camp Gilgal is a much different sport than what we play here. What I’ve observed of it here is that there are three types of players. “Tanks,” heavy, huge. They get swarmed on and push people to the side. They also tend to not throw as much as others. “Regulars” are what the second group is. They do everything but with no special skill. They’re the majority of both teams. And finally, “cherry pickers.” They stand next to the goal and wait for the ball to be thrown to them. They’re usually the smallest people on court. They also make the majority of the goals. The ball is usually a soccer ball and the score usually doesn’t go above 16. The teams are as even as possible and the team is only as many people that want to play.


Vika S., Age 13

Wednesday after Tabernacle we all walked to the rope course. But then the men and ladies split up. The guys went to go rock climb while the ladies went to do initiatives. Basically, initiatives were group courses you had to go through with your tribe.initiatives

The first one we went to was a course where you have to travel over three platforms and not fall into the rushing river/dusty floor. You get three lives. If you drop your foot in or drop the boards you use to get across, you have to start over. You get one short board and one longer one. You have to use both boards to make a successful bridge across. The point of this initiative was to work together and take turns.

After we finished the first exercise, we went on to the next one which was a long large log. Snapple was commanding that one. To finish the initiative, everyone first had to sit on the log and get from tallest to shortest without falling off. Then when we finished Snapple asked us to go shortest to tallest so everyone had to go to different sides. Through this initiative we learned how to listen to each other and not to rush.initiatives2

The last initiative was a bubbling lava of lake/the ground. As a group we had to have someone reach out very far to reach a rope and pull it back to the group. Then one at a time everyone had to swing across on the rope to reach the safe platform on the other side. But if anyone touches the floor or falls everyone has to start over. After everyone went to the other side, Streetlight (who was in charge at that activity) told us we had to go back but without saying a word. We successfully crossed and all of the three initiatives were over. We then met up with the other tribes and we prayed and talked about what we learned like listening to others, working together and considering other people’s limits. When that was over we all went to lunch.

Bass Lake

Brighton G., Age 15

It was a regular, fun day at camp. The day started off like any other day, except it was raining. We ate inside instead of outside and right after lunch ended Streetlight screams, “Go get ready for Bass Lake!” She said to get shoes, bathing suits, a change bass lake2of clothes, sunscreen and spending money. It was a fun drive to Bass Lake, except I got a little bit car sick.

We got there, and I jumped out of the van! I was so excited! Nobody was there because the day started out gloomy, but it got sunny and it wasn’t crowded at all! I was first in the water, and it felt so good! I got about four shades tanner. It’s so great! I got on the banana, twice! I got so much water in my nose! Leah and I hit our noses on each other’s twice!

Other than those minor injuries, it was a great day! We had an awesome worship session when we got back, and it was super cool. Everyone got really emotional, and I think everyone connected with God. It was awesome. We also had a really good dinner at Bass Lake. I even made friends that I never met at camp before! All in all it was an awesome day, and Bass Lake is the best day of camp. It was an awesome way to end my last year at teen camp.

Capture the Degel (Flag)

Joel R., Age 15

It all began when Moose told all of us to retrieve our sleeping bags and meet in the lounge. After five minutes of talking about sad pet stories, a screaming Sonic ran in the building and declared “Who is ready to play Capture the Degel?” Everyone was emphatic within two seconds. After a boring ten minutes of the rules being explained, we were finally ready to play a night time version of Capture the Degel. It was the male cfriends9smampers and female staff against the female campers and male staff. 

We decided to have about thirty people on offense, and ten on defense. Ten minutes into the game, I snuck out on my own. I was consistently running into other girls and letting them go.  Then, I heard a “Help us, help us, help us” melody. My destination was immediately saving them. Before I knew it, I was circling a bush with a male staff member and ran for it. I felt the wind of his arm swipe at me and he tripped. I could see the jail. I ran as hard as I could, touched Conner’s leg and yelled, “Jailbreak!” 90% of our offense was now in the flag circle. Another jailbreak occurred and I made it to the circle. We started planning instantly on what to do when snap. Roy tripped and distracted the defense. Matt, Noah and Jacob Stout bolted away. After 30 minutes of waiting in the circle, the whistle blows. Our whole team dashed back and we hear a bunch of cheering. Noah is holding the flag, and we won.

After hugging me tightly for saving the team, I got a bunch of celebratory high fives and hugs. There were lots of war stories, and photos to add to what was already an amazing game of Capture the Degel.

Jet Skiing with Sauté

Andrew F., Age 14

bass-lake4 smMax and I got on the jet ski with Sauté and went five miles per hour in the beginning. Once we got out past the buoys we were going around 35. We were riding near Moose and other people. Sauté tried to knock us off a couple of times. I think she did great for her first time. The only problem was I had to go to the bathroom after I got off. I loved when the water splashed in my face. Onyx stayed behind us when we were riding because he was catching all the waves. I wish we would have done it longer than 20 minutes because it felt shorter than 20 minutes. I was really hoping Max would fall off, though the only problem with that is he would have pulled me off with him. Onyx decided to splash water in our faces when he passed us. I could barely hear Sauté though. We were all going to fall off cause the turning was knocking us near the water. The waves were amazing and the water was beautiful looking. Max, Sauté and I had so much fun and it was one of the best days I could ever have. I hadn’t had that much fun in a long time. It was one of my favorite parts of camp.

5 Mile Hike Down a 3,200 Foot Mountain

Josh R., Age 14

After enjoying lunch “we” campers started going down the trail from Glacier Point to Yosemite Valley. The trail was about five miles.

Along the way we met a hiker who had gone down then back up the trail. Onyx asked him how was it. He replied it as being “beautiful and wonderful.” 

yosemite2 smWhile going down the trail we got to know our fellow campers better. New friendships and bonds were made. As I went down the trail I saw a waterfall that gleamed in the sunlight and landscape that was beautiful. Going down the trail most campers short-cutted, but some slipped then.

Hiking down the trail was tiring in the middle. There was a group of campers and staff that fell behind the faster group. Also towards the middle it was slippery and lots of campers slipped but caught themselves from falling. One camper fell and had a minor injury.

Most of the time though the hike was fun and safe. Through the hike many campers were in awe of God’s beautiful creation, such as the mountains that were large and scenic. The trail sometimes had stairs for easier descending. It had lots of trees and shrubbery at the sides of the trail.

Towards the end of the trail there was a creek that campers and staff used to refresh themselves.

After that everyone seemed more energetic, especially when we were only 100 feet from the ground. We rushed down and after only two minutes we were on the ground.

At the bottom we met an off duty ranger who told us the history of the area. He told us that there used to be millions of primrose evening flowers in existence. That all changed because the Native Americans unintentionally burned them when they burnt the grass. Now there are only hundreds and it’s illegal to destroy them. We thanked him for his story and cheered because we had made it down the 3,200 feet.

Vons / Starbucks

Noah P., Age 15

All the campers were at the pool just chilling and playing water football. Then suddenly Moose and Streetlight were holding a poster that said to get dry. So we all rushed to our cabins, got dressed and went into vans to Vons with a Starbucks. The campers and tribe leaders bought a lot of stuff.

Ifriends7c sm saw the Starbucks and got in line. The line was sort of long because of all the campers. I got a double chocolate cookie crunch which was really good. Also later I bought some sushi there which was fresh.

Now what some other people bought: Brighton, one of the other campers, bought a tub of rainbow sherbet. Everyone was trying to get some, although when we got back to camp it was all melted. He also bought some cookie dough and just ate it raw with some other campers.

Later on in the store Onyx asked me to try something. Onyx had some mint chocolate chip ice cream and some chips. He told me to try the chip and the ice cream together. It tasted really good. Sort of like eating fries with a milk shake.

We had to leave Vons and go back to camp. It was an awesome surprise and we all enjoyed it.


Roy M., Age 15 

It was dark, cold and covered with bugs. It was late at night when Moose told us all to bring a sweatshirt and pants and close-toed shoes. So many campers at Camp Gilgal brought flashlights. Even though it was dark outside I could tell a lot of campers had them because everywhere I looked there was always a bright light shining in my eyes. Moose eventually told us all why he brought us outside. It was to appreciate the stars in the sky the Lord was providing for us all. I was with my brfriends 11smother Enrico when Moose told us to lay down in the grass, to which we looked at each other knowing the grass is wet, cold and filled with bugs. After we sat down my brother and I were bored of watching the stars for so long without moving or doing anything else to entertain us. After so long of waiting for something to come save us from boredom I saw a plane and so did my brother so we tried to make a game out of it. We couldn’t.

During some of the prayers I realized I’ve been waiting for something to fill my need of boredom when I should have been enjoying and appreciating what the Lord has given us. At the moment I figured that out, a flaming hot shooting star came out which most of us saw and it became one of those summer camp memories you don’t forget.

Capture the Degel Defense (Blue)

David S., Age 12 

Despite the few who decided to defend the blue base and the even fewer who did not leave to go on offense, our defense was incredible. Even more incredible, however, was the great fun and the awesome experience I had. After choosing a site for the degel and jail among the trees, Zach and I asked everyone to keep flashlights off and voices low. Consequently, it was quite a while before the red team even found our base. However, they weren’t the only ones that could not find the base. 

Soon after the game started, Jon, Zach and I went to scout to spot all enemies in our territory. Not long after we found a group of girls walking in plain sight on the road with all their flashlights on – couldn’t be too hard to catch; however, we guessed that their goal could only be to be led to jail and from there yell and friends12 smbring the others to the flag. Searching for Sonic, Simba and the other tribe leaders was a task of stealth as well as speed. We soon found and tagged Sonic, yet getting to the jail was another matter. On the way to our base, I had not paid careful attention to the path, and even less to the way to where we were now. Without a flashlight, it was even harder. Zach took Sonic in search of the jail. Awhile afterwards the figure of Esquire was seen running around the woods towards Mountain View. While Esquire was slowing down from a wearying chase, I once again took up the chase. It wasn’t unlike a western. He was quite out of breath, so I soon caught him. Then we wandered around in what I thought was the direction of the jail. However as Esquire pointed out we were walking in circles. Eventually, I let him go as it wasn’t very fair to keep him walking around pointlessly. After some time, I found my way back to the base. Esquire, Sonic, perhaps Moose and several other girls ended up in jail. The noise of movement in the brush seemed to be a sign that enemies prowled through the trees. We tried to keep them as far as we could from the degel. Perhaps Simba or such folk crept through the forest. Yet before they could get a jail break, shouts of victory echoed through the woods – we had won!


Lindsay M., Age 13

During free time, you can do many activities. One of the many things you can do is boating. Yboating2 smou have a couple of options for the type of boats. There are kayaks, canoes, and paddle boats. Amanda and I went paddle boating and we were suddenly attacked by the Jacobs! They were too lazy to paddle their kayaks so they held onto our boat and splashed us.

The rules for boating are that you’re not allowed to go behinboating3 smd the island because the staff there won’t be able see you. You are not allowed to splash someone who doesn’t want to be splashed.  It is so much fun! After paddle boating your legs get really sore. Overall, paddle boating is the best thing to do during free time.


Julia K., Age 13

“Welcome to Vons!” That definitely was not what we all expected when we stepped out of the camp cars, carsick but friends2 smexcited. The rush around the store was total chaos. “There’s Nutella?! Where’s the Nutella?!” Eliana was hurrying to grab some conditioner. “The Haagen Dazs ice cream I bought was life changing,” said Streetlight. Everybody loved the trip to Vons… except maybe Brighton who got sick from an overload of cookie dough and sherbet. Of course, I am sure that the owners of Vons liked all the extra customers, though the other shoppers were probably a bit confused. The trip made everyone happy, including myself. It was only a trip to a store, but it could be told with just as crazy war stores as Capture the Degel. Amanda didn’t expect it, but she liked having a chance to hang out with her friends while getting whatever she wanted. Some thoughts from the tribe leaders were that they had a lot of fun and that it was nice to go. Doc and Sonic liked going inside the air conditioned room.

Whether the trip provided air conditioning or a restock on food, it made a very relaxing afternoon.


Katie S., Age 14

On Tuesday morning, we were all instructed after breakfast to pack a lunch, put on closed-toed shoes and bring our water bottles. Why? Because we were going on our annual trip to Yosemite. Clad in matching camp shirts, we piled into the vans and began our journey. We all survived the long, windy road into tyosemite smhe park, marveling at the scenery between practicing Bible verses. We next held Tabernacle in the woods, where Streetlight talked about the book of Acts. A photography session also occurred as we aligned ourselves to the nearby Half Dome. Then we ate our sack lunches as a group, while spotting many squirrels. Some of us bought treats at the store after that. Then, we were led to a viewing area from which we could see one quarter of Yosemite National Park. It was amazing, but that wasn’t the end. A steep five-mile hike led us down to the vans at the bottom of the mountain. We made it down with only one minor injury and several exhausted campers. A park ranger met us and told us about the meadows of the park and their golden flowers. We piled back into the vans and drove back to camp, just in time for a pizza dinner at 9:00pm.

Espresso Cart

Daniella W., Age 14

At Camp Gilgal we got the chance to have an espresso cart on the camp grounds. It was really good because there were a lot of things to choose from, from water to delicious milkshakes.espresso-cart sm

Many of the campers enjoyed trying all the different drinks. This year the drink cups had different Bible verses on them. All the cups blessed the campers. I had Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for but not seen.”

It was great that I could go to the espresso cart with my friends: Dorothy, Brighton, Leia and Gabby. We all got different flavors of milkshakes. I got chocolate chip cookie dough and Gabby and Brighton got Oreo milkshakes. I was really encouraged that I got to spend that time getting to know my friends more. It was a great start for the week.

Water Balloon Volleyball

J. Zachary S., Age 15

The whole camp was gathered together at the volleyball court. Rumors about what was going to happen next were floating around the crowd, each person with three different hypotheses (for most of the campers were Jewish). Multiple excellent questions were sounded, all of which the tribe leaders could not answer – I will leave it to the reader to decide whether this “could” was the past tense of “may” or “can.” Suddenly, a voice among the buzzing crowd became prevalent. All the campers grew silent, as this voice was surely the voice that would confirm one of the hypotheses. Still a few chatty voices lingered until their conversation came to an appropriate pause. Then, Streetlight announced that we would be having a water balloon volleyball tournament. The buzz of voices immediately resumed though many of these voices turned from chatting to cheering. Those who were chatting boasted to others about their accurate hypotheses, or reluctantly admitted that they were wrong, showing an awkward regret that they had predicted incorrectly and for comfort, tried to predict the event after water balloon volleyball. At any rate, all were excited about the upcoming event water-balloon-volleybalL3 smand were looking forward to the details of the game. Thus, all quieted when Moose in his excited, cracking voice told the campers that the cabins would make up the teams and (waving his hands, for here was climax of the excitement) added that we were using the blooming Double Bracket Elimination System.

The legendary Maverick had invented this and, when completed, famously stated, “Through the use of math, I have invented a system.”  🙂 Truly, the Double Bracket Elimination System looked like a table of algorithms. Sonic had copied this table for use during the game. Soon, the game started, and two tribes proudly entered their own side with thoughts of tactics and technique running through their minds, most of which were either far-fetched or would contribute a trifling difference for the game. Nonetheless, some of these invented ideas were adopted (eventually by all the teams, for all were watching, their minds split between analysis of the plays and excitement), the most effective of which I will go over here.

The most important technique was to make sure that the campers and tribe leaders holding the part of the tarp nearest the net hold it high, while those holding it farthest from the tarp keep it low, so that when the water balloon was launched, these people far from the net could have as much vertical space as possible to lift the tarp. If done correctly, the balloon should go far (instead of high), being launched like a rock on a catapult. Since it would not go high but it would go far, this left the enemy team less time to follow the balloon and catch it. Why didn’t the enemy team simply be farther away, as they would have to run anyways? Well, one could simply launch the balloon barely over the net, and, since the distance is shorter, the balloon would fall faster, thus creating lots of attention and fret over the small strip of sand around the net, and not letting any team go too far from it. This catapultic technique was further extended to include the horizontal direction of where the balloon went. The “launchers” (those farther from the net) who werewater-balloon-volleybal sm at the corners of the tarp were key to this technique. For example, a launcher on the right corner lifted the tarp extra fast with increased gusto, if that was even possible for a human to do.  The balloon would then fly left. Another tactic (that may have not been too good) which people – especially the boys – used was that when a balloon was caught, the team would immediately throw it to the other side, hopefully before they recover from the excitement. The problem with this that the team throwing was usually the more excited team (for they had caught the balloon!). The throws were often unorganized and not coordinated. Meanwhile, the other team was often inspired (by their failure to win a point) to be on their vigil, and would thus often catch it. But in some cases, the throwing team succeeded with a cheer of joy, while the enemy team looked at each other in disbelief. Such was the glorious extent of the amazing inventions of the campers and tribe leaders.

For the first game, Onyx and Eyegore’s cabin went against Sauté’s and Hoop’s cabin. Onyx and Eyegore’s team constantly threw the balloons just barely over the net, and though this surprised the other team a few times it did not work out well later. Meanwhile, Hoop’s and Sauté’s team won, because they threw the balloons far using the catapult method. Thus Sauté’s and Hoop’s cabin won, and most of the other cabins immediately learned from the game. After many close and glorious games, the Double Bracket Elimination System eventually filled up and Simba and Doc’s cabin went against Acorn’s and Waffles’ cabin. The games they played (two games as the system demanded) were both close and many times the balloon fell on the ground. In the end Acorn’s and Waffles’ team won.

After this glorious tournament the male staff played against the female staff. The game was a short skirmish and though the female staff received more cheerleading from the female campers, the male staff emerged victorious, happy to be the winners of a close game. All went back to their respective cabins, the buzz of the chatting resuming again.

Big Buck the Tree

big-buck2 smZack W., Age 14

One day we went on a hike. As usual, they didn’t tell us where we were going. We were in a forest. As we were going we saw a little creek. There were also a lot of tree stumps. Some of the people were climbing on them. The tree stumps were huge! As we kept on going we came to a big tree. It was over 2,000 years old. It was called Big Buck. We went because the tree has been alive since Messiah was on earth!

When we were there Moose took a pine cone from the ground. He said that it only can grow when a forest fire releases the seeds, and that fire sometimes is a part of our lives that helps us grow. It was so small compared to the tree. The tree was huge. It was so cool. We had an amazing time looking at a giant thing God has created. Despite finding a host of mosquitos at our destination we were able to marvel at God’s creation and make it safely back to the car.

Rock Wall

Conner G., Age 13

Wednesday was another fun day at Camp Gilgal. After our morning activities, the campers split into two groups: one men and the other ladies. While the ladies left to do… something, me and the other men went to the rock wall. It was lots of fun. Trock-wall3 smhe rock wall had six sections, and I was told that number five was the hardest. There was also a practice wall that you could climb sideways on. I was told to do a wall, so even though I have a small fear of heights I climbed the first one to get it over with. It was fun, though, and maybe I will try it again. My friends, Isaac, Jacob, Ben, David and Rico cheered me on and also climbed different walls. Isaac climbed walls three and five. Elias climbed rock wall smwall two. Jacob climbed one and two. Ben climbed three and half of four. David climbed one and three, and Rico climbed walls three and five. Our tribe leaders, Doc and Simba, were also very helpful. It was Doc who told me that I should try the rock wall in the first place. I don’t think Doc climbed any walls, but Simba tried wall four. He got about half way and stopped. In addition to the fun we had, there were some rules we had to follow and gear we had to wear. To stay safe on the walls we each wore a harness and helmet. I was very glad to have the helmet because on my way to my rock wall another camper slid on his wall and his foot hit my helmet. After I was tied to my wall, there were some commands I had to exchange with the staff member I was working with. I would say, “Belay on?” If the rope was ready the staff member, Daniel, would reply, “Belay on.” Then I would get ready to climb and say, “Climbing.” Daniel would reply, “Climb on.” Our climbing time seemed to end a bit too soon. Times flies when having fun. I recommend anyone who hasn’t tried rock wall climbing or doesn’t want to, to give it a try anyway. They could find it to be fun, like I did.

Our Camp Gilgal Family

Amazing God

Dorothy P., Age 14


I know this amazing God
I can’t seem to get Him off my mind
His eyes are always watching
His arms I am always wrapped in
There’s something about the way He sees me
That makes me feel a sudden peace
When He is near I can barely breathe
This to say I truly believe
I can talk to Him about anything
and He will answer everything
His voice is my favorite sound to hear
When He talks, I can’t help but have a listening ear
I know He will never leave me
For He is my perfect peace

Our Cabin’s Tribe Leaders

Ben R., Age 13

Along with a cabin full of great campers there are two great tribe leaders who help make this cabin complete – Doc, a doctor who seems to have the cure to just about anything, and Simba, a younger tribdoc-and-simbae leader who can help lighten up any room. These two help make our cabin complete. Doc is a great guy to be around. He has a great sense of humor and always seems to know the right time to crack a joke. Along with the lighter side of Doc comes a much more serious and wise side. He gives great advice and is a very good mentor. Simba, our other tribe leader, is in many ways quite the same. He’s a guy whose sense of humor and smile can lighten any room, and a guy who can make anyone smile. Much like Doc, he’s a very loyal friend who can take a joke, and can give you advice for just about any problem. In both cases, they’re great guys who love the Lord and will give you prayer whenever you need it. I felt very privileged to be in a cabin with such great people.

Waffles Interview

Leia B,. Age 13

This year at teen camp Waffles was my tribe leader for the first time and I got so much closer to her. Waffles first went to camp when she was ten years old and that year her tribe leaders were Sheriff and Mighty Mouse. Waffles’ favorite camp memory was when she was tribe leader for Asher and they were waffleshorseback riding and worshipping at the same time.

Romans 8:35-39 and Psalm 62: 1-2 are Waffles’ favorite verses. If she could go anywhere on vacation it would be Greece. Fudge is her favorite food. Waffles’ favorite color is mint green. Also, she likes bunnies and she loves cooking, baking and taking photos.

As a camper, Waffles met all her best friends at camp and she learned that God is faithful through all circumstances. Waffles is loved by all and will always have a special place in every camper’s heart.


Evan S., Age 14

Hoops is an interesting person. She gets her name from her love of basketball. Hoops goes to Pepperdine University and is majoring in Biology and plans to be a pediatrician, which shows her love for kids.  

Hoopshoops’ favorite sport is basketball, where she earned her name “Hoops.” Her favorite color is orange because it reminds her of a basketball. I was informed that Hoops also enjoys rugby and lacrosse during her free time. Hoops enjoys the campers, which keepers her coming back. Hoops told me her favorite part of camp is getting to know the female campers. Psalm 23 is her favorite chapter of the Bible because even though she walks through the valley of the shadow of death she fears no evil. This verse gives her courage. Her favorite night game at teen camp is Capture the Degel because it is intense and very competitive, which reminds her of her basketball days. Hoops is a great leader and is loved by all. That is why I decided to write about her and her camp experiences.

Tribe of Dr. Simba


Ben R., Age 13

The tribe of Dr. Simba is, well, interesting to say the least. Each member brings something new to the table, making our tribe much more interesting.

Interview on Ivory

Sarah K., Age 14

There are many different tribe leaders at camp but there is none quite like Ivory. Her first year at camp was in 2000 as a tribe leader when some of her children in junior camp went to camp. Ivory is married to Doc and has four children. Their oldest child is 33 years old and her name is Leah. Their second oldest child is 32 years old and his name is David. Their last two children are twins, they are 23. Both of them are tribe leaders for Camp Gilgal and their names are Cosmo and Dynamite.

Ivory has light brown curly hair and beautiful brown eyes. She is a ivory2choir director and an office manager for Doc’s medical practice. Ivory has been playing the piano since she was ten and loves it. Another thing about Ivory is that she has been to India, South Sudan, Romania and Ukraine. In India and South Sudan Ivory ministered the gospel, and in Romania and Ukraine Ivory went to music camps for orphans, gypsy children who are blind and some other kids. Ivory’s favorite part of being a tribe leader is getting to know her tribe and seeing how God is working in their lives.

This year in teen camp I was able to have Ivory as a tribe leader. She is so beautiful and nice and you can just tell how much she loves God. She is easy to talk to and listens to what you have to say. I love Ivory so much and I hope someday I can have her as a tribe leader again.

Acorn Doesn’t Fall Too Far from the Camp Gilgal Tree

Abigail M., Age 12

Everyone knows Acorn for her kind ways, her open heart and her completely selfless actions.

She never leaves a camper behind. This year at teen camp, I’ve gotten to know Acorn as a tribe leader and sister. It was my first time getting Acorn as a tribe leader. Throughout this week she has been a tremendous part of my walk with Y’shua, as well as the other wonderful staff.

 Here’s a little bit about Acorn: 

Her favorite foods are ethnic foods, such as Burmese food, Chinese food and Mexican food. Acorn enjoys mint chocolate chip ice cream. Her favorite shops are Urban Outfitters and Anthropology.

In general, acorn2smAcorn loves animals but her all-time favorites are squirrels and chipmunks. During her free time she likes to play volleyball and take lots of pictures. 

Acorn loves to travel and has been to 28 states. 

I asked Acorn, “What is your favorite memory from camp?” She replied, “This year at teen camp I made in into the degel circle and helped strategized the lady staff and men’s victory.”

She has grown up with Sparkler, Bologna, Hershey, and Waffles throughout her years at camp. Her first tribe leaders were Skittles and Capo.

Finally, I asked Acorn, “How has camp influenced you throughout all these years?” Acorn replied, “I have truly grown in my relationship with God and camp has made me want to come back as a tribe leader and encourage campers in their faith.”

Tribe Articles

Matthew L., Age 14

This is my second year of teen camp and probably my favorite year. I am taking some time right now to talk about my cabin. Our cabin was very large and rowdy. There were ten of us in all including the tribe leaders. I am gonna start with Evan. Evan is fourteen and is very enjoyable to have in the cabin. Evan said his faonyx2vorite part of camp was hanging out with Streetlight. Andrew mostly kept to himself and every so often would toss out a joke. Andrew’s favorite part of camp is the jet skiing at Bass Lake. Josh is a very loud and happy camper. Josh’s favorite part of camp was Yosemite. Max was a very serious camper. Max’s favorite part of camp was the swimming. Another camper was Zach. He was a very logical and fun camper. His favorite part of camp was CTD, aka Capture the Degel. Max C. was a very nice and strong camper. He would always work out inside our cabin. Our tribe leaders were very helpful. Eyegore told us about experiences in his life that were very helpful to me and my fellow campers. Onyx was just a fun and loving tribe leader and sometimes he seemed to act like a camper. All in all, I was excited to be in such a helpful cabin and teen camp was awesome this year!

Interview with Simba

Max C., Age 14

Q: What is your favorite camp activity?
A: Jet skiing because I get a crazy burst of energy.

Q: Whasimba smt do you enjoy to play or do during free time?
A: This year I loved playing volleyball.

Q: What is your favorite camp song?
A: Psalm 23 because it has good lyrics and it touches my heart.

Q: What is your favorite color?
A: Red, because it’s cool.

Q: What’s your favorite sport?
A: Dodge ball because it’s fun.


Isaac Y., Age 13

Doc is one of the tribe leaders. He was born in New York City but lives in Salinas, California.

He works as a family doctor and specializes in homeopathy. Doc wanted to go to camp because he loves kids, camps, witnessing and the outdoors. Doc wanted to be a doctor because the Lord told him to, even though he himself did not want to become a doctor. Doc’s funniest thing he has seen as a doctor is a bead stuck up his pastor’s daughter’s nose. The best thing about being a doctor as told by Doc is when the people he helps get better and they do not have to come back. 

Doc’s favorite thing about camp is seeing young people learning to follow the Lord.ivory

Doc’s favorite color is green.

Doc’s favorite thing to do at camp is to play music. He plays guitar, saxophone, chapman stick, flute and super cajon. 

Doc is also married to Ivory, besides all this great information.

Interview with Monarch

Louisa G., Age 13

This year at camp I got to interview Monarch. She is very interesting. This is her first year at Camp Gilgal, but she loves it and would like to come back.  Her favorite part of camp is worship and Tabernacle. She got her name “Monarch” because she loves butterflies.

Monarmonarch2smch’s favorite Bible verse is Romans 8:28, “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him.”

While not at camp, Monarch likes to read. Pink is her favorite color and her favorite food is spicy Mexican food. Vanilla is her favorite ice cream flavor.

Monarch is married and has two daughters, Daniella and Gabriella. She wants to visit Israel.

Monarch is an MD in family practice. She loves to treat people, especially campers.

Monarch is a great person and I hope you get to meet her.

My Cabin!

Rico M., Age 12

People in my cabin are really funny and fun to hang out withtribe-w-simba-doc. My cabin is really dirty sometimes so cabin inspections aren’t fun because we have to get up early and clean up a big mess. But we always end up getting good scores on our cabin. The people in my cabin are Ben, Isaac, Jacob, Elias, David, Conner, Simba, Doc, and me. It’s pretty fun at night. Sometimes we play card games with Conner’s cards. I always seem to lose and then we do our prayers and then we go to sleep. 

Doc and Ben play their guitars a lot and they’re both really good at it! Overall it’s fun in our cabin.


Kaleb F., Age 15

Onyx is aonyx3smn exceptional person. I have known him for about three years. He is a person who I feel I can go to about anything. What he says to me is greatly valued. He loves to study and learn new things.

His favorite movies include Braveheart, The Lord of the Rings trilogy and lots of Out of the Country titles. He was born in the Michigan area but moved to Orange County. He is currently in college at Biola. He is getting his degree in Psychology. He played football in high school. He played offensive line and defensive line.


Amanda R., Age 13

This year at teen camp I got to interview Sauté! Sauté is my leader. She is so fun, creative and enthusiastic. This is Sauté’s first year being a leader at teen campsaute

Her favorite part of teen camp is the night games. Her favorite color is red-orange. Sauté is French for jump. Sauté is a ballerina. If she wasn’t at camp she would be going to ballet. 😀 She decided to be a leader at teen camp because she wanted to be more involved with Jews for Jesus. Sauté loves dancing and being outdoors. Her favorite verses are Jeremiah 29:11 and James 1:2-3.

Sauté heard about camp through her brother Simba, who heard about it from Bandit. Sauté’s favorite camp foods are the enchiladas and the salads at teen camp. Sauté is an awesome leader and I am looking forward to seeing her next year!


Jacob B., Age 14

When I first heard Eyegore’s story about how he found God’s Son, Jesus the Messiah, I felt like it truly explained what God does for us.

Eyegore grew up in a nonbeliever household where he learned a Jewish culture. He, at the age of eleven, lost his father and from there started a hard seven years of addiction to drugs and rebellion.

When he was at a breakineyegoreg point in his life, he and his friends went to a Christian concert and he heard a man preach the gospel. After he got home he said his first prayer including Jesus in it.  From that moment on he was cured from his addiction. He described it as a miracle.

He got clean and started going to church where he met his wife, Cookie, while working for a day care for the church, because he loved kids and seeing them develop their relationship with God.

In conclusion, I really enjoyed Eyegore as a tribe leader and I really enjoyed getting to know him not only as a leader but a friend I can look to for advice.

About Moose

Destiny A., Age 13

Q: What do you like most about camp?
A: The campers!!!

Q: What do you think about the hike?
A: I think Yosemite is a beautiful place. I am glad the campers got to take the hike. I am glad they had fun and challenged themselves.

Q: What is your favorite food at camp?
A: Tri-tip.moose-pine-cone

Q: How long have you worked at Camp Gilgal?
A: Since it started in 1991.    

Q: Would you say you enjoyed the campers here?
A: Definitely!!! Yeah, that is my favorite part of camp. Without campers there would be no camp.

Q: What is your favorite animal?
A: No favorites. I am a big fan of all animals.

Q: What are your favorite activities at camp?
A: Bass Lake and Yosemite.

Q: How many pets do you own?
A: I own two pet cats, Dodger and Rosie. Dodger is a boy and Rosie is a girl. They think they are dogs.

Q: What is your favorite Bible verse?
A: Philippians 2:1-11.

I really enjoyed interviewing Moose.


Kezia M., Age 14

Here are some fun facts about Snapple: Her favorite ice cream flavor is mint chocolate chip. She loves pickles and drinking Snapple. Her favorite part of camp is spending time with the campers and Bass Lake. Her least favorite csnapple smamp foods are French toast and beef sandwiches. She has been going to camp for 13 years as a camper and six years as staff. Her favorite Snapple flavors are Lemon Tea, Diet Peach Tea and Trop-A-Rocka Tea, and her favorite color is green. She is so much fun to be around, and she is the coolest tribe leader ever! Her favorite camp memory as a camper was winning tribe of the year with her cabin and spending all their money on Chinese food. Her favorite movie is Stand By Me. Her favorite things to do are going on a roller coaster, coming to camp, traveling, hanging out with friends and baking.

Snapple is such a cool tribe leader. She gives great advice and is always willing to listen to you. She likes to drink tomato juice, wears the coolest rings and is the most amazing tribe leader in the world!

My Cabin

Gabby W., Age 13

Here’s a glimpse of my cabin, which includes Acorn and Waffles as tribe leaders and Vika, Leia, Destiny, Eliana, Abbey and myself (Gabby). We were all chosen to live together for a week. While driving to camp all of us were in the same van. The first day we were warmly introduced by all the tribe lwaffles-acorn-cabineaders. Later we were given a cabin and then got acquainted. At around six we went to dinner and sat as a tribe.

After worship we settled down and started devotions. Then it was time to sleep.

When I woke up everyone was slowly blossoming and creating new friendships. After we woke up and ate we got in the vans and headed to Yosemite. While we were there we went on a four mile hike. On the hike we talked to most of our friends and our cabin mates.

On the third day we put all our friendships to the test during initiatives. There were three sections. In the first one it required us to build a bridge which made us communicate and have a strategy. The second section required us to stand on a tree log and get in order from tallest to shortest. This made us work as a team and talk. The last section required us to reach a rope wing and reach the ElevatedIsland. To me this was the hardest activity. This section made us consider something that might be harder for other people.

Later than night we played Capture the Degel. It was men with ladies tribe leaders against the ladies with men tribe leaders. Leia and I grouped up and found Vika and Eliana. On the fourth day we went to Bass Lake, and you could swim, jet ski and go on a banana pulled by a ski boat. Almost everyone did something with a cabin member.

I hope the next two days go wonderful and that we hopefully talk over the year and see each other next year.


Judi W., Age 13

I asked Streetlight what her favorite color is, what her favorite Bible verse is, what she does outside of camp, how long she’s been a tribe leader, and why she wants to go to Feords and ride a whale.

streetlightShe answered: Navy blue. 1 Peter 5:7: “Cast all your cares upon the Lord because He cares for you.” She likes to get her nails done, she goes to school and she writes music.

She’s been a tribe leader since 2007. She wants to go to Feords because it is beautiful and incredibly mysterious. She wants to ride a whale because they are also beautiful and incredibly mysterious, and also because who doesn’t want to ride a whale anyhow.

Streetlight is very kind and is full of compassion towards all the staff and campers at camp.

She is very helpful to all that ask her. Streetlight is part of my family. She wants to be there for everyone. She is very loveable.

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