Camp Gilgal Family

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

Category: Teen Camp East

Bible Topics

By Judah W. age 15

Tribe of Zebulon

 

Every day at Camp Gilgal we have activities after breakfast. I admire the camp staff, they keep us on track and let us choose one Bible topic. The Bible topics are interesting and they don’t just teach us about the Bible, they teach us about controversial topics in society today. One Bible topic was about gender in the Bible. This topic was very interesting to me because from Bible verses I had heard before camp I had a misconception that men were represented as superior to women in the Bible.

However, after studying the Bible topic, I learned that context is very important. We looked at the laws restricting the rights of women during that time period and learned that even though the verses seemed to be putting women beneath men, women were actually given more rights than they had previously.

The Bible topics I chose were taught by Beardo. He is my favorite leader to read and analyze the Bible with, he makes it fun and interesting. I really enjoy how Camp Gilgal approaches teaching teens about God. Unlike other camps, Gilgal gives campers a choice of what Bible topics we would like to learn about. Camp Gilgal has an incredible staff that I trust and the staff stays connected to the campers even after camp. If I feel unmotivated to study the Bible on my own, I can Skype my trusted leader Beardo even when I’m not at camp.

Camp Out Night

By Eliana A. age 14

Tribe of Benjamin

 

A big part of teen camp is the (infamous) campout. All of camp packed up, squeezed into vans, and after a two hour drive of sleeping, k’vetching, and singing/screaming at the top of our lungs, we finally got to the camp ground. We waited in the vans and watched Anonymous passionately scream to her music for about 5 minutes. After we got out of the vans and used the restroom, we set up our tents, got our tent assignments and waited for the pool to open. The mosquitoes and heat were really bad, so when the pool opened, almost everyone got in. After the swim, there was a bit of time where we all chilled; some of us played basketball, some played around with a volley ball, and other hung out around the picnic tables or played at the little playground. We then walked back to our tent area and relaxed until we were told that it was time to eat! While we talked, we periodically slapped ourselves, flailed our arms, and exclaimed whenever the mosquitoes bit us. By the end of dinner, nearly everyone had changed into pants, and doused themselves in bug spray. A couple of us played with a volleyball until the bugs got too bad. Then we ate s’mores, got ready for bed and tried to get sleep. Even though the weather and bugs were far from desired, it was still a really good time for fellowship and fun, and dinner was delicious. No matter how bad the bugs, the drive, or the heat could have been, they weren’t as bad because the staff and the campers are just that great. Camp Gilgal knows how to camp!

Rafting Adventures

By Asher W. age 15

Tribe of Zebulon

 

No one really knows how it happened, but we do know two things:

  1. Y’didyah bent time and space
  2. He also bent his femur on a rock

The Camp Gilgal rafting trip of 2017 began on a Wednesday night at a local camp nearby. Even though these nocturnal hours were fun, the night was filled with millions of mosquitoes. The following day, the entire camp loaded into vans that took us to Wild Waters, a white water rafting company committed to providing a safe and enjoyable day on the Hudson River. After we changed in the wonderful cedar smelling washrooms and covered each other in sunscreen we were fitted with flotation devices. Once the river-rat look was achieved with the aid of helmets and paddles, we were directed into the Wild Water bus and had an orientation.

Everybody was laughing and singing Amazing Grace as the bus pulled onto the gravel road that leads down to the river. After unloading we circled around Hiccup, the camp intern, to receive our raft group assignments. Once we met our charismatic guide, we carried our raft to the water with our groups. Under the command of our guide, my raft paddled around to practice for a few minutes before floating between two trees and into our first rapid. We had almost navigated ourselves out of an exceptionally exciting rapid, when a mob of water swept our raft into a rock, jerking us in a sudden 180 degree spin.

Regretfully, Y’didyah had failed to tuck in his feet properly and bent time and space as he was propelled out of the raft. With a splash that a uranium bomb would have been proud of, Y’didyah back flipped into the river and floated safely to another raft. Within minutes, we welcomed the soggy Y’didyah back into our raft and continued to the next rapid. It is always best to laugh, get back up and check to make sure your contacts are still in.

Worship

By Rachel H. age 13

Tribe of Benjamin

 

I have always felt that worship should be a time where a person feels a close and personal connection to God. This can truly be said about worship at Camp Gilgal. When the whole camp joins together to sing songs of praise and gratitude, you can feel God’s presence around everyone. What makes worship at Camp Gilgal even more special is that campers can be a part of the worship team. Whether you’re a singer, a guitar player or a piano player, campers have the opportunity to directly be a part of worshiping God through music.

Worship can change someone’s life and my life has been touched countless times through worship at Camp Gilgal. During worship we as humans have a chance to draw as close to God as we can on Earth. For me worship at Camp Gilgal unlocks a door into God’s love that I have never noticed before.

Fort Building

By Gavyn R. age 14

Tribe of Zebulon

 

At camp, there is a wide assortment of activities. Some include field sports, beard theory and fort building. I will be talking about fort building- where we get all the available mattresses and pile them up. Then we make a fort, sit in it and talk for the rest of the time until our next activity. Afterwards we have to put all the mattresses back.

When my team built our fort, one of our mattress walls was really weak, so one of us had to act as a human pillar to hold the wall up. Eventually, we fixed the wall and she just sat exactly where she was standing. I love fort building!

Devotions

By Netanya W. age 13

Tribe of Benjamin

 

Devotions is a time at night when you and your tribe study the Bible after a long, yet fun day at camp. At teen camp we do not do devotions every night (sometimes we have Bible discussions with the whole camp), but when we do it is great because we get to learn more about God and talk about him with just our tribe. Not only that, we get to read and understand the Bible in more depth. This week at camp, my tribe has been talking about forgiveness. It is important to learn how to forgive and forget. During devotions, you are able to bond with your tribe and get to know each other more. As well, you build up your relationship with God and your friends.

Tabernacle

By Elie W. age 13

Tribe of Judah

 

Every evening at Teen Camp we go to tabernacle. Tabernacle is a time where we praise and learn more about the Lord. We start with worship led by Anonymous, singing great songs about Yeshua and his love for us. My favorite song is Oceans. One awesome part about worship is if you want to contribute to vocal or music, then you can! We then recite the Shema. This is a prayer that shows us that we need to listen to God. Next is the message. This year, we studied the book of Mark led by Red Sox. My favorite lesson was about the sower. In this parable, we learned how our faith looks in various times in our lives, depending on our situation. Red Sox does a great job at explaining difficult ideas in the text. Tabernacle is a unique part of Camp Gilgal and I greatly enjoy it.

Decathlon

By Nazra B. age 13

Tribe of Judah

 

This is my first year at Camp Gilgal and one of the many fun things that we did was the decathlon. This is an activity that all of camp takes part in. we split into two teams that compete in ten different activities. Fun fact: the deca in decathlon means ten in Greek, and the athalon means competition. The first thing we did was pick team names. My team name was “The Petitioners,” and the other team was “Chuck Norris Pomegranate Lotion.” We then made a team cheer that was funny and silly. We also made castles out of food. Some of the food that we used were citrus slices, dry ziti pasta, cheese puffs, milk duds and bamboo skewers. For this activity, we had to communicate and work with each other. We also had to come up with a story about the castle. Our team’s story had a princess, a ball pit and a prince. Another activity was the soda chug. We had to work with our teams to drink an entire pack of soda. After we finished, we had to build a tower out of the cans; it had to be sturdy and tall. The soda tasted good, but it was a little too much for me! Throughout the whole game, we constructed a duct tape hat that we presented at the end. There were a lot of other activities we did, and they were all so much fun and a great experience for my first year at camp.

The Hiccup Chronicles- Vol 2

By Shai K. age 13

Tribe of Dan

 

“The world does not deserve Hiccup, he is too nice. But the world needs him.” -Elliot S. Adler

Oh, Hiccup. He is the greatest. When we first met way back in 2014, it was his first year as staff and my first year as a camper. He instantly became my favorite tribe leader. Now let’s talk about his favorite activities. Hiccup loves paintball because he can beat all the teens since he is older than them. He is still trying to break in his Chaco’s, which have been making his feet scream, ironic because Hiccup loves to scream 24/7. Hiccup loves the Bible theme this year at teen camp (Yeshua our Messiah). He loves that we are learning more about Yeshua and how we can respond to who he is. Hiccup likes camp because he likes spending time with campers and encouraging them in their faith.

Campfire

By Alana F. age 13

Tribe of Benjamin

 

Campfire is a peaceful part of the day to escape a teen and tribe leader’s stressful life and to relax by the warm fire. Red Sox, the camp director, leads a discussion by the campfire whenever the weather is good. When Red Sox leads the discussions, she tries to be as descriptive as possible and ask all the campers questions. When she asks us questions, they are not just random, but they are related to the gospel. We talk about many different things, for example, how your words can affect others, how having believing friends matters, but you should still keep growing your own faith. In conclusion, campfire is relaxing, and helps us learn and grow in our faith.

Memory Verse

By Hannah K. age 14

Tribe of Judah

 

Each year at Camp Gilgal, all the campers memorize verses from the Bible. The teen campers have a shorter passage than the junior campers, however, they have two weeks of camp and we only have one. This year, our passage was Philippians 2:5-11. It basically states that Yeshua, our Lord, came to Earth to save us, by dying on a cross. It also said that every knee will bow down before the Lord in the end times. I still remember the old memory verses from junior camp. They will always be in my heart, and I use them when I need comfort.

This morning, our director, Red Sox, announced that 7 boys already memorized the Bible verses! So, during pool time, a group of girls sat down and started to read the passage over and over again. It was pretty chaotic but we were getting it. We all learned our verses in less than 30 minutes! As I am writing this, there are 6 girls and 8 boys who know the passage, but I am positive that we will catch up to them.

Gator

By Daniel C. age 13

Tribe of Dan

 

Hello, I’m your friendly neighborhood Daniel man and camp is good because of Gator. He makes camp fun because he is chill, nice and he is a man with a plan. Gator knows how to make everything fun, especially when we play soccer. I ask him questions about the Florida Gators. The conversations we have at meals are good and we talk about helicopters and movies. This is Gator’s first year at camp and he is from Florida. Gator likes the beach just like me and he’s going to be a chiropractor.  He’s in college and has a business degree and he does rowing. Gator’s favorite verse is Isaiah 30:31.

Testimonies

By Ilan T. age 14

Tribe of Dan

 

Testimonies have always been a very interesting and exciting time for me. It is great to see how our tribe leaders have grown and continue to grow in their faith. Every day at lunch the tribe leaders share their testimonies. They tell us about their spiritual life, how they came to faith and how they hope to continue their journey with God. I think their stories are inspiring to a lot of people. They encourage me to know God more. I have heard of times when men and women in different churches listen to different testimonies from people in their church and come out of the service completely changed. This reminds me of one of the campfire sessions, we talked about how our words can affect other people.

White Water Rafting

By Y’didyah B. age 15

Tribe of Dan

 

White water rafting is a fun time where all of camp goes down the rapids of the Hudson River. I have been before (last year), but this year was really special because:

  1. I fell out of the raft– twice.
  2. I almost drowned Anonymous (unintentionally).
  3. We set a record for the most people that fell out of our guide’s raft.

Speaking of our guide, she was really cool, like most of the guides are (as well as our tribe leaders 😉). She even gave herself a camp name, Rock Star. Next time, I will ensure that my feet are tucked in the raft. As Elliot says, “Never play yourself.”

Field Sports Fun

By Paul G. age 15

Tribe of Zebulon

 

One of my favorite activities at Camp Gilgal is field sports. During the first two days of camp we played soccer and kickball and it was really fun. In the soccer match, Asher and Ephraim really shone. They were both really good and were able to get past almost everybody. Kickball was a blast, I loved running after the kickball and dodging it. The volleyball net broke, but the net was fixed with a hammer and duct tape. After the net was fixed we all played newcomb. It’s an amazing game and always a camp favorite. The day was exciting and fun thanks to my friends and tribe leaders.

Tribes

By Rachel M. age 15

Tribe of Judah

 

As soon as I arrived at camp, we were given our tribe assignments. These are the people that we will be living with for the whole week. I was very excited to meet the new people at camp and see familiar faces. After everyone got settled, we got to choose tribe names. We had the option to choose from the 12 tribes of Israel. My cabin chose the tribe of Judah. As the week went on, I really got to know the girls in my cabin and form new friendships. A couple days out of the week we had tribe time. During tribe time, we got to do activities to bond with our tribes and get to know each other better. During one tribe time, we hiked into the woods and had snacks. We made a lot of jokes and laughed till we cried. The best part was having to run back to our cabin because it was pouring rain and we were all muddy. Tribe time reminded me of how much fun Camp Gilgal really is.

Farm/Mensch Day

By Simona B. age 15

Tribe of Judah

 

At teen camp, we do something called Mensch day, it is a Jewish concept of helping the less fortunate. This is a day where all of camp goes out in the community and does a good deed. This year we went to a local farm about 10 minutes away from camp. This farm grows various crops for a food bank. They have multiple employees and very committed volunteers. The workers’ passion for helping those who don’t have as much food as themselves was inspiring. It was such an incredible opportunity to be able to help. At the farm we were split into many groups. The groups pulled weeds, vegetables or fruit. My group washed lettuce and picked kale. We were all a muddy and sweaty mess. I love that we were able to help out the area where camp is located and the employees were grateful for our help. It was so hot that day, but it was rewarding. We even got Italian ice from Red Sox at the end of the day!

The Pool

By Abigail D. age 13

Tribe of Benjamin

 

The pool is one of my favorite places at camp. Simply swimming in the pool is fun and also playing with the basketball and soccer ball in the net. I also liked the pool at the campsite where we went the night before our big white-water rafting trip. The pool there was salt water instead of chlorine, which got into my eyes a lot. Alana and I were usually buddies. The buddy system is a useful plan for not losing anybody. The weather at camp was good; not too cold but not too hot. This meant that we could go swimming almost every day, although the water was very cold. If you didn’t want to swim, you could stay in the game room. I usually learned my memory verses while playing a game in the pool to make it more fun. The pool is an awesome way to cool down and have fun with your friends.

Field Trip

By Gracie R. age 15

Tribe of Judah

 

At teen camp, we took a day trip to go white water rafting and it was so much fun! We went in the morning so it started really easy because it was cool outside. The experience was so great because we really get to bond with the other campers in the raft. This year I was in a raft with Ruski, Gator, Simona, Hannah, Gavin and Ephraim. During one of the rapids, Ephraim fell out and lost his shoe and it was really funny.

We stopped a couple of hours into the trip to eat lunch on an island and it was a nice little break. My favorite rapid was the narrow one because there were so many waves and we got soaked. My favorite part of the trip this year was when we were at the end of the trip and in the calm part of the river and we sang Disney and campfire songs. After we got to the end of the river and back to the wild waters building, we ate a super yummy dinner. I loved going on this trip.

Devotions

By Elliot A. age 15

Tribe of Zebulon

 

Devotions are led by tribe leaders usually just before lights out. During devotions, our tribe focuses on related passages with a common theme of issues we face as believers. This year, Beardo led my tribe through the Christ hymn (Philippians 2:5-11). This passage has really helped me comprehend the vastness of Christ. The passage describes Yeshua’s connection with the Father, and how he gave up bliss for lowly human life. We read through the passage every night and focused on a different verse each time. I really enjoy discussions with fellow believers. This year’s devotions along with those of past years have really encouraged me in my faith, and helped me dive deeper into understanding Yeshua’s great love!

Guys Day

By Eithan S. age 14

Tribe of Dan

 

Guys day is when all the boys and girls are separated in groups. The boys and girls play a game called shuffle butt. In shuffle butt, everybody keeps moving from one chair to another and you try to get in an empty chair before anybody else. After playing the game the group goes into a Bible Q & A about life. The questions were a lot about being a guy and growing up in your faith. It was good to hear from Beardo and the other male staff too.

Camp Out

By Ephraim L. age 13

Tribe of Dan

 

It was a long drive to our campsite, but we listened to music and had fun in the car. When we got there we put up the tents and it took a while, but it was worth it because then we went to the pool. The pool was the best part of the camp out. For dinner, we had hamburgers, hot dogs and corn on the cob. There were a lot of mosquitoes and they would attack in armadas, so we hit the hay early. The next day we went white water rafting. It was awesome. I loved bouncing up and down and spinning around. There was one drop that sent me flying off the raft. It was okay though, because I got pulled back in.

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