God’s Grace is Sufficient
(2 Corinthians 12:9)
“The Lord said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'”
The Gilgal Gazette is published by Camp Gilgal campers for Camp Gilgal campers and their families and friends!
List of Tribes:
Tribe of Benjamin:
Beau N., Colton Z., Josiah G., Keane R., Nathanael D., Zeven Z., Long Shanks, Swank
Tribe of Issachar: Aaron M., Gregory V., Jacob A., Malkiel A., Misha K., Scooter
Tribe of Naphtali: Ana H., Elizabeth D., Kaylie L., Sierra K., Nature Valley, Sonic
Tribe of Simeon: Daphne N., Hannah D., Ketzia B., Lydia C., Rebecca T., Strings, Baby Carrots
Out of cabin staff: Twister, RedSox, Blewish
Zeven Z., Age 13
Tribe of Benjamin
Camp Gilgal is so exciting! On Tuesday of teen camp the whole camp went over to the upper and lower initiatives courses. These things had challenges that were close to the ground and you needed to work on as a whole group, and the other activities you had to wear more specialized equipment and you were more on your own. I especially liked something called “The Leap of Faith,” the wall, and the trust fall. For these activities we were given an explanation of what the feature looked like and we were given examples of things we should do and things that we weren’t allowed to do.
The trust fall is where one person stands on a wooden platform that is two to three feet off of the ground and then the rest of the group has to stand behind them and prepare to catch them when they lean backwards. They have to trust that their team is going to be paying attention and keep them safe and their team has to work together to keep their “falling” member safe. This really is all about teamwork. If you don’t pay attention and work together someone could get hurt.
Then, there is the wall. The wall is about eight to ten feet where you must lift each camper and staff member over it, by only using each other. The wall is flat, but there is a ladder so that one or two people can climb up into the platform at the top to help grab people as they are being lifted up the wall. At first it looks impossible, but if you think about the order that you send people up and work together everyone can make it up and it feels awesome!
The last part I’d like to talk about is my favorite, “The Leap of Faith.” This is part of the high initiatives course and for it you have to wear a helmet and a harness. There is someone who has been trained that is belaying you to make sure that you are very safe. This is a telephone pole that you climb up. You can’t just get to the top of the telephone pole, you have to stand on top of it. This might be a scary thing for some people, but I thought that not having anything to hold on to was really exciting, especially the part where then you have to jump. I loved this part and I did it at least four times! During my jumps on the leap of faith it was so awesome to be able to take the jump off of the top and then glide to the ground. It is amazing how your adrenaline is pumping through the whole thing!
I personally would recommend camp because it teaches teamwork, respect, the Bible, and good values. If you like to have fun Camp Gilgal is the place for you, so come join us! I can explain a lot about what we did, but if you really want to know how great it is you will just have to join us at Camp Gilgal. This was my first summer at Camp Gilgal summer camp and because this initiatives activity was so early in camp and was so surprising to the veteran campers I wondered what other cool things might be coming up. It made me so excited for the rest of teen camp and for camp in future years to come.
Rebecca T., Age 15
Tribe of Simeon
Once this summer during a game of Nukum, the game got super intense. That is saying a lot, because this year at teen camp we played A LOT of Nukum. The ball was being heavily volleyed and was rapidly hurdled from team to team. Elizabeth was on my team and she threw the ball directly into the net. She got out on that turn, but then as soon as she was back in the same thing would happen again. She just couldn’t seem to get it over the net. We were all having a great time and everyone (including Elizabeth) just thought it was so hysterical, that it didn’t even matter.
In the same game, Long Shanks (one of the staff) who was also on my team couldn’t catch the ball. He had had too much practice with volleyball and couldn’t get used to catching and throwing the ball instead of volleying. Once he was trying to catch it but instead kicked it hard and it went really far. Maybe this is because Long Shanks is so tall, but the ball flew and hit Jacob’s chest on the other team. Everyone was pretty much in shock from laughter and for Jacob from the impact. Everyone was totally fine, but something like this pretty much happened in every game.
Nukum is my favorite activity at Camp Gilgal and I know that teen camp this year felt pretty much the same. There were always people on the Nukum court, even when we were on our camp out! I love it because it is fun, exciting, and competitive, moves quickly, and is a game that everyone can play. All of my favorite memories from this summer happened on the court and I can’t wait to see what next summer’s favorite game will be!
Beau N., Age 13
Tribe of Benjamin
My raft was awesome because Scooter, Baby Carrots, me, Nature Valley, Nathanael, Keane, and Gregory were there. Scooter and I have a special bond because we go to the same congregation and have the same birthday. I have found Scooter to be the funniest person at camp, so having him in our raft made sure that we had fun. Also, Scooter seemed to be a magnet for water, but he took it like a pro and didn’t seem to mind. Baby Carrots couldn’t stop laughing and was laughing so hard—she even pointed at him, like we couldn’t see how wet he was!
This was way better than junior camp because we have more freedom and junior campers would never make it on the river! They might fall out or get lost! The whole day Scooter was giving it his all, listening to our guide, and even paddling HARD through the rocks. Scooter even pushed me in and I held on to part of his life jacket. Nature Valley took advantage of this moment and pushed him in so we both ended up in the water.
We weren’t the only ones who ended up going for an accidental swim! Kaylie and Zeven both fell out of their raft and our raft was able to pick them up, so we were a fun boat and a rescue boat!
White water rafting is a great experience, something that I can’t wait to do again, and something that makes me look forward to future teen camps.
Malkiel A., Age 14
Tribe of Issachar
There are always surprises in teen camp! This year, we went to do the high ropes course. The course hasn’t been set up and able to use for a lot of years, so we are a very lucky group of teen campers. I was a little scared to climb the first feature to get onto the course. The first thing that I had to do was to climb a twenty foot tall tree but then I was able to overcome it because of the encouragement from my fellow campers. The challenges that were there included climbing the tree and going through the rope bridge. Then, there was a wire and ropes that you had to hold on to. The next challenge was to go over the bridge made of wood, wires, and nothing else. You had to believe that all of the things were going to hold you up and trust your balance to get through. The last and most awesome thing was the zip line!! While I was climbing the tree I felt scared. When I was going through the different bridges it felt cool, scary, and increasingly awesome. When I went down the zip line, it honestly felt like the best moment of my life. I felt a freedom like never before. It felt like flying, something that I’d only dreamed about before. In that moment I felt like I was experiencing a dream come true. The high ropes taught me that God is with me and He is always there for me. When I finished the course I wanted to start over and do it again. If you are ever given the chance to do this activity at teen camp, you definitely should!
Gregory V., Age 14
Tribe of Issachar
The activity selection is when after breakfast one of the staff announce the activities for that day. There are a bunch of activities including archery, Nukum, soccer, artsy fun, sun bathing, bending, fort building, and hiking. There are only two activity sessions, and the staff announce what activities are available for each session. There were just three activities per session, so you have to choose carefully and pick your best day. A lot of the activities are only things offered at Camp Gilgal East teen camp. For example, bending is about pretending to bend fire, earth, water, or air. Sun bathing is when you go outside to lay in the sun, chill, and work on your tan. And fort building is when you find materials to make forts. My favorite activity is archery. I have always wanted to be able to try it and I am so glad that I did this year. Another one of my favorites is Nukum. Nukum is related to volleyball, but instead you just catch and throw the ball back. If you know about the junior and teen camp activities in Gilgal, the teen ones are much better. It is great to be at teen camp and have more selection and not have required activities like Hebrew and craft. At teen camp you have different activities every day and I love that I get to pick what my days look like.
Misha K., Age 14
Tribe of Issachar
At Camp Gilgal the most awesome and important activities are eating and of course, pool time! The pool is not freezing, not too small, and definitely not lame. If you don’t like the pool or swimming in general, you can still hang out with your fellow campers in the shallow end or attempt to dunk the staff. Trust me guys, 2013 is a hot year and on a hot day at Camp Gilgal, the refreshing pool will keep you alive for sure. We have an hour and a half of swimming time every day after lunch so you will be able to swim a lot at Gilgal. We do extra activities like water bending, racing, frisbee, and other things for campers young and old and staff, too. My favorite time in camp is pool time where Camp Gilgal awesomeness is unleashed! One of our Canadian campers is my favorite to swim with. His name is Nathanael and we have been campers together FOREVER. Campers make pool time at Camp Gilgal better than any other pool there is.
Sierra K., Age 13
Tribe of Naphtali
This year’s camp out night started out with a hot yet enjoyable road trip that lasted about two hours. My van listened to great music and had a nice little dance party on the way there. When we arrived, everyone had to set up tents. This involved much more teamwork than I had expected. While Red Sox and Blewish got dinner started, most of the campers went swimming in the salt water pool. Many of us got in and played a game of water frisbee.
After swimming, we got back into dry clothes. We ate delicious hamburgers and hot dogs with grilled veggies and some much needed water. Then, an intense game of Nukem followed. Everyone was getting bitten by mosquitoes. We found sticks and made wonderful s’mores. At this point, we weren’t just being bitten by a few bugs, we were being eaten alive. We decided to put up our white flag of surrender and retired for the night. My tent consisted of Red Sox, Nature Valley, Ana, and myself. We had a good camp devotional about 2 Corinthians chapter 4. It was about living a life that would bring Y’shua’s light out. We had a good conversation about bugs after and then we went to bed. I left the camp with a whopping 34 bites! The saddest part was that I was nowhere close to the person with the most! In the end, this has been my favorite camp out night of all the three that I have been on because I have learned the most and had the most new spiritual insights to take home. I learned that I want to live a life that Jesus would be proud of. This night was also great because of the intense quality time that I got to spend with Nature Valley and Ana. I loved it!
Elizabeth D., Age 14
Tribe of Naphtali
For Scream-O this year my partner was Kaylie. We completely won the whole game, staying at Table 1 for the whole game except for the last round, which made me really mad. Nevertheless, it was hilariously fun! Last year we weren’t that good, but we totally changed that this year. I so enjoyed it, and not just because we kept winning!
Scream-O is an intensely fun game played at Camp Gilgal teen camp. It is a game for pairs of two that go against each other teams. Then, each person will receive a set of cards from 2-12, and two die. Teams will roll the die and attempt to clear all their cards according to the numbers shown, therefore getting a Scream-O. I love this game because everyone is intensely concentrated on winning a round, and when you do, you can scream your head off, hence the name. This game is so loud and amazing and if we could play it again, I would definitely do it. I think that everyone would! At Camp Gilgal I love this game with my friends and there are even more fun activities to do there.
Kaylie L., Age 13
Tribe of Naphtali
This year, white water rafting was super fun. The all day trip included swimming in the water and holding onto the raft for your life. The guides were all super chill and were not scared at all to get the people in their rafts a little damp. In the rapids water would splash all over you, but you had to keep paddling through the currents and over the rocks. My guide had a cheer that we would do after we finished a rapid to let everyone know that we were the best. The cheer would go, “Boom shakalaka boom!” Then we would repeat it and at the end we would all lift up our paddles and scream out, “Boom!”
At the slow and deep parts of the river we would do flips into the water or get thrown in by a staff member. That was one of the most enjoyable parts of the whole trip. Another part of the rafting trip that was super fun was called surfing. Surfing is basically when the raft would go up to the end of a rapid and everyone in our raft would lean to the front and would get a face-full of water.
Going on the river we had to be focused and disciplined. We had to listen to commands like “two forward” and “left side back.” You couldn’t just paddle however or whenever you wanted. You had to make sure to listen to the guide so that you would get to experience all of the best parts of the water. Especially inside of the rapids we would need to push against the water to get us around a rock. Throughout the whole ride the people on the raft grew closer and we proved that teamwork was definitely needed. Justin (our guide) told us that we weren’t the strongest group he’d worked with, but that because we worked in synch with one another we were more valuable as a group than a raft full of guys with giant muscles.
This was the second year that I have done a rafting trip and my guide seemed to give us a much better ride than last year. Our guide knew a lot about the river. He knew all of the water features better and he took us through amazing routes to get us through the rapids to get us insanely soaking. Overall the rafting trip was so fun, my favorite part of camp, and I would love to be back on the river again without a second thought.
Daphne N., Age 14
Tribe of Simeon
The decathlon here at teen camp is most definitely an adventure. The decathlon is an all-camp activity where there are a few different teams and from there it is all fun, games, and competition! You never know what to expect at any of the events, especially because some of them seem impossible. This year, my team came in third place out of all three teams. Although we basically lost, it didn’t bother me because of all the fun that we had. We were able to work together and have a great time. At some times it gets pretty intense between you and your worst competition, but when you finally win, a specific event it is a great moment to feel superior.
In total, there are ten events. In my opinion, the event this year that was the most challenging was the soda event. This event included an entire case of nasty tasting soda in which you and your team must drink the sodas as fast as you can and then stack it as high as you can! However, the most fun event we played was called limbs. For this, you and a partner from your team are standing at a distance apart from one another and two different body parts were called, for example: ear and knee. You would run to each other and touch an ear to a knee. It was really funny and competitive which made it by far my favorite. The decathlon here at teen camp is definitely something that’s worth turning against your friends for a while, while competing against them.
Keane R., Age 13
Tribe of Benjamin
“How to Be” is a very exciting activity. It teaches you how to be anything that you can imagine. We played games relating to being other things. We had a lot of fun pretending to be Bible characters, mythical creatures, cartoon characters, etc. In the activity we played a lot of improv games.
One of these games was called “Party.” In this game the person who is “It” pretends to host a party and people begin to join their party acting out specific characters. The person hosting the party has to guess who their guests are or what they are trying to be. The party continues until the host is able to identify what their guests are doing and then those guests are counted as “out.” When we played I really enjoyed this game. In the first round Scooter was the party host and I was a bagworm. Other guests at the party were Larry the Cucumber, Little Red Riding Hood, Dora the Explorer, and many others. It was very exciting and I know I had a great time using my imagination and I think everyone else did, too.
Jacob A., Age 13
I want to tell you about my cabin at my first summer at Camp Gilgal teen camp. When I first got to camp everyone had already been there for several hours because I flew in and my flight got changed. Blewish met me at the van and introduced me to my tribe. Scooter showed me around, talked to me about camp and some things I needed to know, and I handed in my electronics. I was so excited that there were top bunks left and I picked one and worked to get settled right away and fell asleep almost immediately. The next morning I started to learn the ropes of camp and the other campers told me the things they knew about the schedule. I quickly felt at ease, especially with my cabin.
During teen camp, your cabin is your home. Your cabin mates are your tribe and your friends. You must keep your bunk and your bags neat and tidy for cabin inspection. To make your bunk the most comfortable that it can be you might want to bring a few of the following items: a small plug-in fan, bed sheets, a pillow, and a sleeping bag. The sleeping bag should be able to folded or rolled neatly—you don’t want it to make your cabin clean up more difficult! Cabin clean up and inspection are great because they teach neatness and responsibility.
In your cabin you have the benefit of your fellow campers from places near and far and your tribe leaders. This year, my tribe leader was Scooter and we were called Issachar. We had five guys to hang out with during tribe time, tribe Bible study, and to help with cabin clean up. We learned a lot about each other, got to experience new personalities, and became fast friends.
Tribe Bible study is a very important aspect of camp life. We read the Bible and had a discussion of the meaning of what we’d been reading, and discussed how it applied to our lives. Having the habit of daily devotions is something to get used to and might be a little bit uncomfortable at first, but it is a really good practice. Our time together in 2 Corinthians helped us to grow and learn about the Bible and really enhanced my spiritual time at camp.
Nathanael D., Age 12
Tribe of Benjamin
Swank is one of the coolest tribe leaders at camp! He really enjoyed white water rafting. The reason why is because from the time he was eight until he was twelve he would spend his summer in a canoe, so he is used to being on the water.
He really likes the Bible verse Jonah 2:1-2 which says, “From inside of the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. He said: ‘In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help and you listened to my cry.’” These verses spoke to Swank first when he was a camper and one of the staff shared it during a Bible study. It is a very hard hitting verse for Swank. He loves the reminder that God is always available to him when he needs help.
Swank has a definite fear of heights, and this year at camp all the campers and staff had the opportunity to conquer that fear. We got to do the high ropes course, and it had obstacles that seemed like they were dangling from the trees. I was really surprised that someone like Swank who seems like a big, strong, grown man could be scared of heights. It was great that Swank shared that with me.
It was great that we watched The Avengers at camp this year because it is Swank’s favorite movie. He likes it so much that words aren’t enough to explain it. I pretty much agree with him, I love getting to see this movie over and over!
Swank is studying English in college (and some other stuff) and he really likes to read. He especially likes to read books written by Chaim Potok. They speak to him and make him really think deeply.
On the first night of camp we always have pizza, but Swank wishes that just one time we would have BBQ chicken pizza because that is his favorite kind. I really think that Swank is a great tribe leader. He is a fun loving (and hairy) tribe leader and you would be a lucky camper if you get to have him. But you better act fast, because Swank loves to travel. He has already been to England, France, Romania, Israel, Jamaica, Mexico, and Canada and he is dreaming of going to Australia next!
Josiah G., Age 13
Tribe of Benjamin
For my first year at camp I was in the tribe of Benjamin. Of the two boys tribes we were the only one with two tribe leaders. We had Long Shanks and Swank. On the first day of camp when we chose our tribe name, we picked Benjamin and we had to go into breakfast last and we told Twister and RedSox that we would always go last for everything. We go last at meals, at line up, and for activities. It is nice to let others go before us. Shanks and Swank are really good at helping us to grow spiritually during camp and I’m really glad that they are my tribe leaders. Our tribe has lots of fun together and I couldn’t imagine being in any other tribe.
Ana H., Age 14
Tribe of Naphtali
Every morning, between cabin clean up and the first activity, each tribe comes together as a whole. We need to come together prepared with our Bibles and open minds. We meet together outside of our cabins in the tree knoll, on the porch, or on the picnic tables. This allows us to see nature and to make sure to stay focused while we are studying the Bible. We read over the Scripture that we’ve been assigned for the day, answer the questions, and share our experiences with one another. It is so nice to hear my friend’s stories, and find out new ways that we can relate to one another. This year is the first year that there have been tribe Bible studies and I think that it is a great thing. We have been reading 2 Corinthians and discussing God’s great comfort and mercy. My tribe talked about problems that we as Messianic Jews face and that how we act affects how the rest of the world thinks of us and more importantly how they think about Jesus. Our memory verses are 2 Corinthians 5:17-19. These verses talk about our new life following Messiah, and how we have the responsibility of sharing this gift with others by reconciling people to Him. Tribe Bible studies make us all closer to each other, and make it easier to be able to share stories and comfort each other like Messiah comforts us.
Colton Z., Age 13
Tribe of Benjamin
At certain times of the day we have chill time where we are allowed to chill or have time to do what we want. For me, personally, during this time I like to play sports like soccer or Nukum. I love sports and being active, but this is also time to nap or just talk with friends. During chill time I’ve also played card games or just plain relaxed. Chill time is something a lot of people look forward to. Out of all the planned activities at camp this is the only time that is fully yours. Some kinds who usually keep to themselves come out of their shells and show their real personalities. Along with many other campers and staff I really enjoy chill time. Chill time makes camp just that much better. I’ve been to every Wonderful Winter Weekend since I was seven and this is my first year at summer camp. Wonderful Winter Weekend was fun but not nearly as fun as this! I had such a great experience and having chill time here makes it better. I would love to come back here every year from now on and eventually become a tribe leader.
Ketzia B., Age 15
Tribe of Simeon
At teen camp, Tabernacle usually happens in the evening. Tabernacle is a really great time to worship, admire, learn, and grow closer to our Creator. This time of worship and learning usually takes place in the Mishkhan, but occasionally it will take place at campfire. As soon as we start Tabernacle, we open up with a time of prayer and then we go into worship. This helps me get into the right state of mind because I love worship.
We then recite the Shema, which is a Hebrew prayer that says that we have one God. Then we have a message from one of the staff. This year, the messages were from 2 Corinthians, and they were taught by Blewish and Twister. I really liked talking about this book, because the people in Corinth and just Corinth in general relates a lot to our world today. I also love the books that Paul writes in the Bible. I find his writing style and even just his voice in writing really easy to follow and remember. Tabernacle is a really great time and I come out feeling refreshed and renewed. Tabernacle is a one-on-one time with God and I love it. One thing that really stood out to me in Tabernacle was talking about God’s comfort to us and how we are to share His comfort with others. It reminded me of how Y’shua came to Earth and shared His love with everyone.
Lydia C., Age 14
Tribe of Simeon
Each time we go to campfire the sky is always glimmering with different and beautiful colors. The view and the sky just gives me a sense of peace and makes me feel so much closer to God. When we pray and sing songs, I just know that God can hear us, that He is listening, and that He cares for me. Teen camp campfire is also much different than junior camp campfire because we spend time having a group discussion instead of opening with the goofy songs at junior camp. This year we talked about our identities and remembering that what other people at school say about us, what our parents say about us, and even what we say about ourselves isn’t as important as what God says about us.
Campfire is so fun! Even though this year mosquitos attacked everyone, we still found a way to be happy and sing songs together. We sing songs like “Create in me a clean heart” and “Jesus loves me campfire style.” These songs helped us to calm down from our busy day and focus on who God is and to focus on the discussion that we were going to have or the testimonies that we were going to hear. I would definitely recommend coming to Camp Gilgal, it is my favorite part of the summer and I know that every year I’ll grow closer to God there.
Hannah D., Age 14
Tribe of Simeon
One thing that I look forward to every year is the road trip to and from camp. The best part of the car rides is the anticipation of the upcoming week of camp. Also, the ride back is kind of like an epic finale of all of the things that I experienced at camp. Pretty much every van thinks of itself as the “party van.” We listen to music that gets the people going. I’ve always liked road trips because we all get to spend time and talk with one another. It is a great way to get excited for camp and to transition home from camp, too. It is always fun and on the ride back we stop and all eat lunch together. For real, it is awesome and you have a great opportunity to grow closer with people. Also, my friends and I made up a dance move together in the car so it was like camp had already started before we got there!
This year’s car rides were very memorable because it is my last year at this camp as a camper. Overall, this year’s car rides allowed for the fun from camp to continue even off camp grounds.
Aaron M., Age 15
Tribe of Issachar
Camp is a fun place. There is white water rafting, paint ball, and lots of fun activities like “how to be a bender,” archer, and even “prancercizing” (whatever that is). We even have campfires! However, camp is more than a place to have fun. It is also a place of spiritual growth. I have gone to camp for seven years, and seeing that this is my last year as a camper (before adventure camp which happens other places), I have decided to write about how it made me grow. I started at camp not really knowing what to expect, but I soon learned that camp is a place where God is. The leaders were inspiring and really knew God. Their testimonies on how they came to faith in Jesus as Messiah were supporting and encouraging to me. In junior camp we had campfires and Tabernacle. That is where we learned about God and how He loves us and cares for us. Camp Gilgal helped me grow closer to God and helped me understand my faith.
This year we did a challenge course called the high ropes and at the time I heard about it, it made me really scared. I am terrified of falling! Even though I was scared, the fun that I thought it would be made the risk worth it. I got up onto the course and immediately did not want to do it. But, with the help of the leaders and instructors I was able to overcome my fears. When I think about it, it shows me that God is there with us, and also that we need to trust and put our faith in Him. He will lead us through the trials and not let us fall.
Camp Gilgal is a place where we can both have fun and grow in our faith. It is a place where Jewish teens can be with other teens and learn about the Messiah, Jesus. As for me, I hope I will be able to come back to camp as a leader, so that I can help other campers to grow in their faith as I did.