Camp Gilgal Family

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

Category: Junior Camp Midwest

God Will Gather Us and Bring Us Home (Jeremiah 29:11)

Camp Gilgal Midwest Junior Camp (June 21 – July 4, 2015)

God Will Gather Us and Bring Us Home

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“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11



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


Tribe of Reuben: Grace M., Rachel S., Rahela D., Shira T., Tikva C., RMain page1ocky, Maple

Tribe of Asher: Emily H., Hannah H., Hannah S., Lydia G., Selah C., Shayna T.,Shoshi S., Ruby, Balloo

Tribe of Issachar: Abigail D., Adelaide M., Annalise P., Hannah B., Krystalline L., Mariam G., Toto, Buttercup

Tribe of Manasseh: Abigail H., Anna A., Deborah S., Lydia H., Maddie H., Bologna

Tribe of Judah: Aaron S., Benjamin A., Joshua D., Matthew M., Seth M., Hero, Riff Raff

Tribe of Benjamin: Efren S., Elijah S., Max M., Nathan L., Cauliflower, Captain Crunch

Out-of-Cabin: Abacus, Bullfrog, Butterfly, Maven, Sneakers, Blewish

Campers in Training: Ari “Baby Ari Crocodile” Z., Aviva “Twilight Sparkles” Z., BlMain page2-1ueberry R., Joshua “Yoda” H., Judah Z., and Bubbles

Our Camp Family

The Tribe of Issachar

MMariamGueli1 1ariam G., Age 12
Tribe of Issachar

The tribe of Issachar is a group of six unique campers and two staff. First is Toto, one of the tribe leaders. She is from California and this is her third year as camp staff. Second is Buttercup. She is a really funny person and this is her first year as camp staff. Next is me, Mariam. This is my second year at camp, and I am twelve years old. Hannah is next. This is her second year at camp and she is also twelve. Then comes Adelaide. This is also her second year and camp and she is twelve years old. Next is Talyn. She is ten and this is her second year at camp. Then comes Abigail. This is her first year at camp and she is eleven. Last but not least is Annalise. This is her first year at camp and she is eleven. I like my tribe because we have a good balance of ages and personalities. I also like this tribe because some of my closest friends are in it. I hope you feel like you have met our tribe and have enjoyed it.

Tribe of Reuben

Tribe of Reuben

Hi! My name is Rocky. This has been my first time I ever got to go to junior camp. Although I’m a bit too old to be a camper, I’ve still been having a blast here as a tribe leader! My tribe is the tribe of Reuben, and my Rocky1assistant tribe leader is Maple. The girls in my cabin are all very funny and a ton of fun to be with! We’ve all had to work together in many ways to help each other grow and be successful as a tribe. As a team, we designed our tribe degel (flag), and came up with a tribe chant. Every day we work together to clean our cabin and clean the girl’s restroom as well. The most fun thing we got to do together was build and race our own cardboard box boat in the lake. We brainstormed together, then constructed a raft-type boat with cardboard, duct tape, and plastic. Our boat lost the race, but our whole cabin had a ton of fun anyways. All of the girls in my cabin have helped make my first year at junior camp super enjoyable, and I hope to come back again!

Watch Out for Bullfrog

DeborahSalgado2-1Deborah S., Age 13
Tribe of Manasseh

Have you ever wanted to play kickball with a big group of people? Well, Bullfrog decided to play with us. We were all happy he was playing. He was on my team with Joshua, Abigail, Lydia, Nathan, Riff Raff, and others. Then it was Bullfrog’s turn to kick. All of us had our hopes up. We all thought he was going to hit it far and high. Well, guess how far and high Bullfrog kicked it? For kickball you have three strikes. Seth was going to roll the ball so that Bullfrog can kick it and run. Seth runs the ball, and we all have our hopes up. He kicks it….. right to us! Bullfrog kicks it to Joshua first, and Joshua was on his team. That was his first kick. Here comes the second one. Guess where he kicks it? No, he doesn’t kick it high or far. Yes, he kicks it to his own team again, but this time right to me! Overall Bullfrog is a really nice, awesome, and cool tribe leader. But after that we all make sure to back away from Bullfrog when he kicks.

The Tribe of Manasseh

Abigail H., Age 12
Tribe of Manasseh

I am in the tribe of Manasseh. There are five girls in my tribe. We have Debbie, Maddie, Anna, Lydia, and myself. Our tribe leader is Bologna. She is amazing! We are a very athletic tribe. My favorite game is Ha Dov RatzAbigailHammond2 1. It is like Sharks and Minnows and it is very fun. Another thing I really like is all my new friends, and the Kehila (community). I love the younger girls. I am excited because our tribe has gotten 100 points for cabin clean up each day. I hope we win tribe of the year.

The symbol of the tribe of Manasseh is a bundle of arrows. On our flag we have a bow and arrows flying all over the flag. Each of our names is inside one of the arrows. We painted streaks of red and orange to make the arrows look like they are flying. I can’t wait to see what happens at camp next year!


Abigail D., Age 11
Tribe of Issachar

Toto is a believer in God and Yeshua. I have asked her a total of five questions about Camp Gilgal. I asked Toto how she felt about her campers. I was not surprised when she answereAbigail Davidd that she loves Mariam, Annie, Talyn, Hannah, Adelaide, and me. She also said she has a lot of fun with her tribe, especially in the mornings. Before Toto came to the Midwest she went to Camp Gilgal in California. As I listened to her, I realized it is pretty different. One thing is that the Midwest has different activities than the West Coast. Also, Camp Gilgal West is near Yosemite National Park, and Midwest is in the middle of the woods at CranHill Ranch. Another question was what her favorite activity is, and she said riflery. She chose it because she loves to shoot things. Toto and her dad used to shoot clay in the air. When Toto first got here, her first thought was that the cabins were rustic and different from the West Coast. Now for the last question, I asked her if she likes the Midwest or West Coast more. She said she can’t decide because she likes them both a lot. I really enjoyed learning about the inside scoop of Toto’s experience at camp.

Camp Gilgal Favorites

My Favorite Parts of Camp

Efren S., Age 12
Tribe of Benjamin

One thing we do at camp is have Tabernacle in the Mishkan. What I like about Tabernacle is that we worship God. I also like when we sing songs. I like the EfrenSalgado1Mishkan because Blewish gives all of us a turn to talk and ask questions. Another thing we all did together in the Mishkan was Skit in a Bag. I liked it because we used our tribes to make a mini play with the props that were given to us. My tribe’s skit was pretty good because it made a lot of people laugh. I was a princess and the story was about my friend Max who was supposed to save me from being kidnapped.

I also enjoy the lake because I get to swim and play with my friends. Another thing I like is when we play sand volleyball. My favorite thing to do there is getting to go on any type of boat I want. My favorite is kayaking. I really like my tribe because we all like to do the same things at camp. Another thing I like is when we play gaga ball. I especially like to play with my tribe because we all know each other well. I really enjoy spending time with my tribe.

What I Love at Camp

Lydia G., Age 10
Tribe of Asher

My favorite thing about Camp Gilgal LydiaGuelliis the gaga ball pit. The one thing that I love is that you make lots of friends. Everyone in my tribe is already friends. I’m really excited about doing Skit in a Bag. Everyone in your tribe has to be in the skits. There are also fun activities like fort building. One day after swim time we played a bunch of games. I really liked Clump and Ha Dov Ratz. How you play Clump is that a referee says a number and we have to get in groups with the number of people the person called. How you play Ha Dov Ratz is that there are two lines, and all of the people go to one side except for one person, who is the bear. They go between the two lines. They yell out Ha Dov Ratz and then try to catch people as they run to the other line. If they tag you then you are also a bear the next round. I also really like the petting zoo, and there’s even a donkey! At the lake there are lots of activities like a diving board, paddleboats, canoes, and kayaks. At the end camp is sad to leave, and you will be really glad you came to Camp Gilgal.

My Favorite Things to Do at Camp

HannahHicksHannah H., Age 10
Tribe of Asher

I like Camp Gilgal because we make boats out of cardboard, plastic, and duct tape. I also liked swimming and splashing in the lake. I especially liked making friends. I am really excited to go horseback riding and do riflery. I also liked archery and face painting. I liked finding frogs and toads. I love going to the petting zoo, and I even got to hold a chicken! I’ve had so much fun and camp isn’t even halfway over yet! I love coming to Camp Gilgal and playing games and making friends.

My First Time at Camp Gilgal

Lydia H., Age 13
Tribe of Manasseh

I’m writing as a camper who hasn’t experienced any other religious camp before, and I can say it was a completely wonderful surprise that Camp Gilgal is now one of my favorite camps. I learned many new things such as Hebrew, jiu jitsu, and rock climbing! I did many new activities and I loved them all. I’ve experienced many different camps and I will be heading off to more later this summer, but I know that I will come back to Camp Gilgal. This is my last year at junior camp, and next year I willLydiaHeilman1 be heading off to teen camp! Junior camp has had its good and bad moments, but I got to enjoy them with people I love and hope to stay in contact with when camp is over. The campers I share my cabin with will always have a place in my heart and mind. I have made friendship bonds that probably will never break. I am in the tribe of Manasseh, the oldest girls tribe. Even though I am one of the older campers, I feel like my age makes no difference. Many of us came to camp as strangers, but we have bonded together as a single community. That community is together in friendship and close in faith. I like that we all stick together. I love Camp Gilgal, and I hope I never stop coming.

Never Be Afraid

Deborah S., Age 13
Tribe of Manasseh

Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to be a new camper? Or to not know anyone? Well, that’s how I felt the first day of camp. I was so excited when Blewish told my siblings and I everything we were going to do in camp, but when it came to start packing I was scared. I didn’t want to come to camp because I wasn’t going to know anyone, and I was going to be far away from my family. I came on the bus, and it took about four hours. I was so bored on the trip, but I was getting used to meeting kids on the bus. When we finally gotDeborahSalgado2 1 to camp everyone was yelling other campers’ names, and I was scared. I was a little calmer because at least my siblings were with me. This is a good experience for me because I get to interact with God more and get to learn more about Him. Within the first five days I got close to my cabin mates and others outside my cabin. One camper in particular was Rahela. In one activity where we were face painting she drew a butterfly on my left cheek, a caterpillar on my arm, and a rainbow on my knee. Then Captain Crunch drew the Superman logo on my face. Grace also drew a butterfly on my hand. Camp Gilgal is the best, and I am so glad I got the chance to meet Blewish and Sneakers and come to camp. I have the best cabin with Lydia, Abigail, Anna, and Maddie. I also have the best tribe leader, Bologna! She is so caring, and she is a fun person. I’m so happy I met other staff like Hero, Balloo, Rocky, Maple, Buttercup, Toto, Captain Crunch, Riff Raff, Cauliflower, Butterfly, Bullfrog, and more! Even if I miss my family the camp staff make me feel like I’m home. Blewish and Cauliflower gave me nicknames like Little Debbie, Nutterbutter, Diddle D, and OCP, which stands for oatmeal cream pie. I’m so glad I get to come to Camp Gilgal and meet new people and learn things about our one and true Father who provides everything, helps us, and comforts us. I’m so thankful that God helped my parents be able to send me here. Camp Gilgal was the best experience ever. It’s the best camp you should come and join, even if you feel scared. God will be with you the whole journey.


TalynLesperance1Talyn L., Age 10
Tribe of Issachar

Tabernacle is a place where you worship the Lord. In Tabernacle we sing praises to God, say the Shema, and listen to the lesson of the day. The Shema is a prayer that reminds us why we pray to God. The lessons that we’ve done are Genesis, Jeremiah, Daniel, Exodus, and Esther. We do lessons to help us know what happened in the past. We learned that the first exile was in Genesis with Adam and Eve. Then Blewish taught us that the next exile was in the time of Jeremiah. This is when the people were exiled from Israel by God. They were kicked out of the land because they were disobedient to God. They were then taken to Babylon. God told them to plant crops, have kids, and get married. What I’ve learned from this is that my temporary home is here until I can get home to heaven.

Godly Examples of Perseverance

Nathan L., Age 12
Tribe of Benjamin

NathanLesperance1There are a lot of examples of perseverance in the Bible. The one that stuck out to me is Job. He is a great example of perseverance. In the story, God let Satan take away all of Job’s possessions. God was testing Job to see how loyal he was. Job had to go through a lot of stuff, such as his sons dying, cattle dying, and crops dying. Job had to go through a lot of hard stuff, yet he still stayed loyal to God. Although Job went through all of Satan’s tests, he still remained loyal to God. He believed so much in God that even when his friends said he did something wrong, Job kept praying and believing in God. After going through all of this, he still trusted God, despite that he had a hard time. Because he stayed loyal to God, Job was given double of everything he used to have.

My Time at Camp

Selah C., Age 10
Tribe of Asher

I like Camp Gilgal because I like being wSelahCohen1ith friends. My favorite activity is FOB. My second favorite activity is crafts. I also like swimming in the lake. The food here is good, too. For crafts everyone is making a tzedakah box. We have a campfire almost every night. We sing lots of songs there. We also sing at Tabernacle. I am in the tribe of Asher. Our symbol is a tree. Yesterday, I went climbing on the rock wall. I was a little sore afterwards, but it was very fun. I also like holding Emily’s toads. They are named Cherry, Pepe, and Eclipse. I have been having a good time at camp.

Letter to Future Camper

MaddieHall1Maddie H., Age 13
Tribe of Manasseh

Dear future Camp Gilgal camper, I know that you might be scared to come here, but you shouldn’t be! It is really fun. You get to do face painting, go to the general store, and cook things! Another really cool thing is picking your tribe name and designing your tribe’s degel (flag). This camp is the best camp that I have ever been to! The people here are really nice and kind. The staff are super fun, too! Plus each cabin is a tribe and has a tribe name from the twelve tribes of Israel like Issachar, Manasseh, Asher, and so on! We all get to compete to be tribe of the year. The tribe that wins gets a special prize.

My Experience at Camp

Elijah S., Age 13
Tribe of Benjamin

Before I came to Camp Gilgal I was really timid and shy. My tribe leader Cauliflower has been teaching me that everything will be okay when I trust in God just like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob did. Now I can stand braver and more confident with God while facing any obstacle. Having a cabin of guys my age has been really nice because we can relate to each other on a level that most other people cannot. The point of this tribe is men coming together as a squad and as friends. My favorite activity at camp is gaga ball. You might be wondering what gaga ball is. I’ll tell you all about it. It is kind elijahstamm1 1of like dodgeball. The rules are that you hit the ball with your hands and if it hits you under the knees you are out. The last person standing is the winner. I like it because it is constant action and the games go really fast. Two more of my favorite activities at camp are Mission Impossible and Clump. Clump is a game where you have to get into a group the size that the referee calls. If you cannot get into a group with that amount of people then you are out. Mission Impossible is a game played when it is completely dark outside. It essentially is a late night scavenger hunt, but there are spotters. They will spot you if you are not careful and sneaky.

Games and Adventures

The Zoo

AaronScarborough1Aaron S., Age 12
Tribe of Judah

One thing that I liked doing during camp this year was the field trip to the zoo. First thing after breakfast we went to the restrooms and then to a bus. After a couple minutes of waiting we got on the bus and then Sneakers and the camp staff counted everyone to make sure we were all there. After that we got moving. Like most bus rides it was loud and noisy, but I daydreamed out the window. Everyone else was singing camp songs until we pulled into the John Ball Zoo. After we got off the bus we all got in tribe lines and the staff counted the kids again. I used to go to the John Ball Zoo a lot when I was younger, but I hadn’t been there in a very long time. Then we started to walk, and we saw a lot of animals, like kangaroos and lemurs. We saw a frog place, poisonous dart frogs, and lots more with Bullfrog. Then we went to the larger animals. We went to the other side of the zoo. Over there they had lions and wild boars. We were running out of time so we went to see the chimpanzees. They mostly sat there grooming, so we left and saw some reptiles on the way out. Finally, we went to the gift shop to spend some of our own money. I liked the dart frog a lot so I bought a plastic one. The day ended with a quiet bus ride home.

Horseback Riding

Mariam G., Age 12
Tribe of Issachar

One of the best parts of camp was horseback riding. While we waited for our horses to be ready we played gaga ball. It was fun, but it had rained earlier that day so it was not easy to play. When we got into the barn the lady working there let us choose a helmet. She then showed us how to get on the horse and how to ride it. After that we split up into two groups. Each person got on a horse. The horse I had was named Bo. The horse was a male and he was a caramel color. He was probably the tallest horse there. He was really slow on the trail, but he was easy to control. On the trail ride I was second to the back, and there were about nine horses on the trail. There were two people who worked with the horses there to help us. They helped us when something happened or if we had a question. They talked to us and asked us questions about Camp Gilgal. I loved horseback riding, and I hope you come to camp and ride too!

Field Trip

Adelaide M., Age 12
Tribe of Issachar

The field trip this year was the best! AdelaideMartonosiWe got amazing donuts while half of the tribes went cherry and strawberry picking. After that we switched. I chose to go strawberry picking! It took a while to pick all of them, but it was fun. Afterwards we came back and got lunch. When we got back to the bus, we got stuck in a ditch as we were pulling out of the driveway. We were on our way to the zoo, so we really wanted the bus to get out of the ditch. Of course, we eventually got out. When we got to the zoo we went to the aquarium. Then we saw some warthogs and I screamed “It’s Pumba from the Lion King!” Then my whole tribe started singing “Hakuna Matata.” It was the best day of camp ever!

Cherry Picking

MatthewMarit1Matthew M., Age 12
Tribe of Judah

It was a Wednesday, and right after breakfast we got on a big bus. I was so excited because we were going cherry picking. I collected two full baskets of cherries and ate one of them while we were at the cherry picking farm. I also had a cherry donut, and trust me it was so good. There was about one full acre of cherry trees. In the center of the farm there was an air compressor that looked like a cannon. It was really loud when you were right next to it. The cannon has a red top and a blue body. It was connected to this white house, and it is used to scare off the birds from the cherries. The people that work there told us to collect the darker cherries because they are the sweetest and the best ones. In conclusion, cherry picking was so much fun. I want to thank Blewish for everything he did for camp to get us there. If you go cherry picking, I hope you have fun too.

Gaga Ball

Joshua D., Age 9
Tribe of Judah

I am going to tell you the rules of gaga ball, how fun it is, and how to play. The rules are that if you get hit by the ball under your knees you are out, and if the ball goes out of the arena without bouncing off the ground you are out. If the ball hits you above your knees you are still in. If the ball bounces and theJoshuaDavid ground and then goes out, then you are still in. I am a good judge of awesomeness, and I give gaga ball a 10 out of 10. You might think it is easy, but it is not as simple as it looks. To hit the ball you make a fist and then you hit the ball. You can use your palms too, but it isn’t as powerful as your fist. Also, you can’t catch the ball. You can hit the ball against the wall of the gaga pit multiple times to get momentum. I hope you now have a better understanding of gaga ball.

A Typical Afternoon at Camp

BenjaminAllen1Benjamin A., Age 10
Tribe of Judah

This was a typical afternoon at Camp Gilgal. We went to the beach and raced cardboard boats. My tribe got second place! The first place winner got a ton of points. We built our boat in the shape of a bubble. We thought it wouldn’t work, but surprisingly we got second place. It took us twenty minutes to fill it with air. After the race we went kayaking. We went all the way to the other side of the lake. We peddled fast away from there. Afterwards we had tribe time. We went to the game room and played carpetball. Then we played ping pong. We then spent our money at the general store! After that we had a campfire where we cooked hotdogs and roasted marshmallows. It was a really fun day at camp!


Annalise P., Age 10
Tribe of IssacharAnnaleisePanken

Archery is a very intense activity. You have to be careful at the shooting range, and follow all the rules. You get to shoot at a fake dinosaur! There is a certain archery stance that you have to be in. It is sort of like a superhero position. You face the side of the arm that you write with. Hold the bow with the arm you do not write with and use your thumb to hold the arrow. With your dominant hand, put your middle and ring finger below the arrow, and index finger on top. Then hold, pull back, and shoot! My first time shooting, I had trouble doing it correctly. After practicing a little, I pulled back as far as I could go, aimed, and shot very close to the bullseye! My friend shot one of the fake animals in the eye once. So no matter what kind of person you are, you should take archery. It’s my favorite.

Fun Days

The Lake

Rachel S., Age 9
Tribe of Reuben

Hi, my name is Rachel, and I am going to tell you about my favorite thing to do at Camp Gilgal. It is swimming in the lake. You can jump off of rafts, and you can play with water toys such as rubber floaties, noodles, and other fun things! We even made cardboard bRachelSalgado1oats. My tribe’s boat sunk, but it was fun because we got to splash each other when we were done. When we go swimming, people that pass the swim test get a blue band and get to go in the deep end. When you get a yellow band you have to stay in the shallow end, unless you are wearing a life jacket. At the lake you can also go canoeing, kayaking, and boating. I went kayaking with my brother and my best friend, Rahela. It was her first time and she did great. I passed the swim test and got a blue band. The next time we go swimming I’m planning on going kayaking with Rahela and then going swimming. I also like to get a floatie and let my brother push me off the raft. Sometimes I go with Rahela in the shallow water. There are even activities like volleyball for those that don’t want to get in the water! I have so much fun spending time at the lake!

The General Store

Hannah B., Age 12
Tribe of Issachar

HannahBirndorfThe one thing that every camper and tribe leader looks forward to at camp is the general store. You can buy souvenirs like sunglasses, bandanas and other things. They also sell food and drinks such as ice cream, soda and a lot more. It’s also a great place to just hang out with friends, chill and talk. Personally, I like the chocolate malt. Before they put the malt in, they put in chocolate syrup around the inside edges. It makes it taste so good. The general store is one of the only buildings with electricity and air conditioning! Every day, the campers ask their tribe leaders if they can go to the store for tribe time. I love going to the general store!

The Good Ol’ Beach

AnnaAllen1 1Anna A., Age 13
Tribe of Manasseh

At camp, we have been to the beach, like thousands of times. Probably my favorite part of all of it was the mat the lifeguard puts out. My brother Benjamin and I love that thing so much. We always play this one game. In the game, if you fall off the mat you are automatically a shark. Then you’re supposed to get other people off the mat. I was always the last to get off. There was this one time these two boys from outside of camp played with us. The older boy and I didn’t get out for a while. When he did get out he was the only shark that stood a chance against me. Other that the mat, there are many other things to do at the lake. I swam in the deep end, and hung out with my friend Hannah. There were so many fun things I did at the lake.

My Favorite Activities

Abigail H., Age 12
Tribe of Manasseh

My favorite activity at camp was cooking. We made these delicious sugar cookies, mashed up Oreos, and then put melted Hershey’s chocolate on the Oreos. Then, we put the Oreo mixture on top the cookies. We put little chocAbigailHammond1olate edible candies that look like rocks on top of the Oreo mixture. We then dyed dried coconut pieces red, orange, and pink to make them look like fire. Lastly, we put mini pretzels into a triangle. It looked like mini campfires and tasted awesome!

I would suggest going to Camp Gilgal because you learn a lot about God, and do amazing, really fun activities like cooking. I also really like FOB. It stands for Flat On Bunk. You can memorize Bible verses, write letters to your parents, sleep, or write articles for the Gilgal Gazette (like this one)! You get pretty tired at camp so FOB is amazing. I really recommend it. So my point is, Camp Gilgal is amazing and extremely fun and a great place to make new friends and have a community. So go to Camp Gilgal! You will not regret it.


Grace M., Age 10
Tribe of Reuben

Campfire is so much fun because you get to sing and dance. My favorite song is about twelve men spying on Canaan. Ten wGraceMarit1ere bad and two were good! I also like the “Banana Song.” It is about how sweet God is. Each of our songs has hand motions. Sneakers teaches us lessons about Jewish values at campfire. The first was Kehilah, which means community. The second was Tikkun Olam, which means to heal to world. An example of community is eating together, worshipping God together in Tabernacle, and spending with each other. An example of healing the world is picking up trash from the ground and helping one another, like a doctor or nurse. Campfire is about learning about God, respecting Him, and praising Him.

Animals at Camp

Shayna T., Age 10
Tribe of AsherShaynaTavalin

My name is Shayna, and I like Camp Gilgal because I get to see the animals in the petting zoo and I get to ride horses. Today I got to play with my camp friend’s pet toad, Pepe. Today was also fun because I got to do face painting with my sister, who let me cover her hands in rainbow colors and glitter. I’m really excited to find my own toad because I love toads. When I find a pet toad I’m going to name him Chum.

Gilgal Report

Rahela D., Age 8
Tribe of Reuben

Hi, I will tell you about Camp Gilgal. The first thing I will tell you about is kayaking and swimming. The thing is, I love kayaking and swimRahelaDavidming! The first time I went kayaking was Wednesday, June 24, 2015. It was my first time ever kayaking with my best friend Rachel in the lake. Kayaking looks like it is hard, but it is not. It feels shaky like you are going to fall, but you won’t. Now I will tell you about swimming. There is a swim test. If you pass you get to go in the deep end. If you do not know how to swim or if you don’t want to take the swim test, you can get a yellow band. If you pass the swim test you get a blue band. There is a boat race where you have to use cardboard, duct tape, and plastic. My tribe didn’t win the race, but I still had fun.

The Petting Zoo

Shira T., Age 9
Tribe of ReubenShiraTavalin1

There is a petting zoo at Camp Gilgal. I didn’t get to touch the goats, but I saw the brown one and got to brush him. There was also a ram. The horns were pointed up like a mountain goat. He reminded me of a mountain goat that I once saw. There is also a donkey. He is really big. I hear him in the morning! The llamas look silly. They’re pretty much donkeys but with long necks. There are bumps with smooth parts in between. The sheep there kept trying to squeeze into the chicken pen! The petting zoo is pretty much my favorite activity.

Hebrew Class

Sethmargolis (1)Seth M., Age 11
Tribe of Benjamin

At Hebrew class there are three teams. Almost every day each team gets a new list of vocabulary words to learn and study. The teams then compete, and the winning team gets a prize. Bologna asks questions, and you have to be the first one to answer correctly. We have lots of fun and all have gotten a prize. The teams are really even and fair. I am studying for my bar mitzvah, but I did not know a lot of the things they teach, and I am having a blast learning new things. Every day I know more and more. I have Hebrew right before lunch, so I get to stay in the dining hall afterwards. Last year Hebrew was different. It was divided by beginner and intermediate. I love Hebrew this year much more than last. Hebrew is awesome.

My Experience at Camp Gilgal

Max McClusky, Age 11
Tribe of Benjamin

During the first week of Camp Gilgal we had a campfire where we talked about community. It made me think that camp is a safe place to make friends and learn about God. It’s been fun hanging out with people during activities, and having my brother here as a tribe leader. I like shooting things at the range, and it’s fun to hit the targets. I didn’t even hesitate to pull the trigger. It felt very natural. Archery reminded me of video games. At lake time it’s fun to play volleyball, go swimming, and kayaking. It’s fun to hit the volleyball. Kayaking is fun because it’s intense to be floating on the water. I like swimming because it’s a good workout. Skit in a Bag was also fun because I got to make up the story. Mission Impossible was the best because we had to sneak around in the dark and not get caught. I also like my tribe and hanging out with our tribe leader, Cauliflower. It’s been fun goofing off with the tribe and being at camp.

Jiu Jitsu

Anna A., Age 13
Tribe of Manasseh

One of my favorite activities after luAnnaAllen2-1nch was jiu jitsu, which is a kind of martial arts. The instructor was a tribe leader named Cauliflower. We learned how to do proper stretching techniques. I didn’t do so great with the cartwheels, but other than that I did well. The most fun part was learning the actual moves. I especially loved the grab. It kind of reminded me of ballroom dancing. We were shown this one move that looked really awkward. Anyways, the most important thing I learned is that jiu jitsu should only be used for self-defense. Use it for offense and you’re sure to lose.

My Story

Shoshana S., Age 11
Tribe of Asher

ShoshanaStamm1I love Camp Gilgal because of all the friends you make here. My name is Shoshi, and I’m in the tribe of Asher. I’ve made so many friends, and I’ve only been here a couple of days! The first day was awesome. I got here early and played gaga ball for the rest of the day! Gaga is pretty much Octoball. The rules to gaga are simple: hit the ball with your hands. It’s pretty much reverse soccer. You play in an octagon-shaped court and try to hit people below their knees with the ball. My favorite day was when I went rock climbing. The rock wall was amazing. There is an easy, medium, and hard wall. I mostly climbed on the easy wall, and almost got to the top once. I also went on the medium wall and got halfway up! The next day I was sore, but it was fun anyways. We share the food court with another camp, but we have our own room. It’s a bit of a walk to get there, but the food is awesome! Sometimes they have dessert and it’s always delicious. So far we have had brownies and ice cream sandwiches. There is also a beach and a petting zoo. The petting zoo is pretty self-explanatory. There are goats, lambs, and a donkey. There are also horses, but you can’t go in the pen with them. There are only certain animals you can go in with, which includes the goats, lambs, and donkey. There are also llamas, but you can’t go in the pen with them. Then there’s the beach. It really isn’t a beach so much as a lake. You have to pass a swim test to go in the deep end. There are two colors of bands you get. Blue is if you pass the swim test, and yellow is if you choose not to take the test or don’t pass. Even if you have a yellow band you still get to go in the deep end, but you have to wear a life vest. Camp Gilgal is awesome, and my tribe is awesome too!


Emily H., Age 10
Tribe of Asher

There were a lot of fun things at Camp Gilgal 2015. There was horseback riding, toad and bug catching, swimming, and a petting zoo. Horseback riding is very fun. If you are ten years old and over 52 inches tall, you go on the horse trail. If you aren’t, you go around a horse arena. There are lots of toads andEmilyHammond (1) bugs at Camp Gilgal. I like to catch the toads and bring them back to my house. Swimming is also awesome! Before you swim you take the swim test. There are floating rafts in the deep end. We like to play king of the hill on the raft. The petting zoo is really fun. There are sheep and chickens that you can hold. There are also rabbits, goats, a ram, and a donkey. Camp Gilgal is really fun. There are also tribes. Each tribe gets a name from the twelve tribes of Israel. Then you get a symbol for your tribe and make a degel (flag). There are Hebrew classes and Tabernacle. During Tabernacle we learned about the exile of Israel. We also learned about Abraham. During Hebrew we learn how to speak and write the aleph bet, numbers, and some animals. For a craft this year we made tzedakah boxes. We painted and decorated them. Making friends at camp is so easy. I love coming to camp because I have so many friends here!

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