Camp Gilgal Family

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

Category: Teen Camp East

Camp Gilgal Teen Camp East (July 15 – July 22)

Theme: LORD, Help My Unbelief

Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

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

Tribe of Levi

 Erik A.
Boaz B.
Daniel C.
Shai K.
Ephraim L.
Nathan S.

Staff: Verde

Tribe of Judah

Eliana A.
Nazra B.
Alana F.
Sydney F.
Dinah G.
Netanya W.
Eliana W.

Staff: Watson and Ruski

Tribe of Benjamin

Elliot A.
Y’didyah B.
Gavyn R.
Asher W.
Judah W.

Staff: Beardo
Out-of-cabin staff: Sneezy and RedSox


The Pool

Alana F., Age 14
Tribe of Judah

If you have ever been to camp you know that it can be very hot. Also, if you have ever been anywhere you know that one of the best ways to cool off is the pool.

The pool is soooo nice. It is one of my favorite things about Camp Gilgal because it is cold, fun, and refreshing. 

If you don’t like to swim or forgot your swimsuit like I have done before, you can always hang with your buds. I mean, don’t get me wrong. The game room is fun and all, but the pool is 1,000 times better.

The thing about the pool is you don’t even have to put your full body in the water to have fun, you can dangle your feet in and talk to the counselors and campers. But… if you’re anything like me you will just jump in without even testing the water first. In conclusion, pool time is the best time ever!!!!!!


Asher W., Age 16
Tribe of Benjamin

There has never been a more valiant and courageous troop than the noble six of the camp
Gilgal Light Brigade. Aimed with paintball guns and sporting matching Adidas merch, Y’didiah, Judah, Elliot, Shai, Daniel, and I did battle against foe after formidable foe, heroically braving minor bruises and multi-colored projectiles.

Lord Tennyson, who was there at the time, wrote about us in his poem, the Light Brigade, when he said,
“When can their glory fade
O, the wild charge they made…
Honor the charge they made
Honor the [Camp Gilgal] Light Brigade.”

Yeah. You could say paintball was epic.

At first glance, us Camp Gilgal campers do not look like natural born soldiers. In fact, we often appear completely incapable of playing paintball altogether. For example, many of us have less than 20-20 vision, suffer from asthma, and have very poor depth perception. We have also diagnosed ourselves with stage 5 terminal forgetfulness, spontaneous orthopedic paralysis, and the eponymous bone termite disease. All in all, when we showed up at the paintball place, we were not expecting to be very good.

The first thing the six of us did upon arrival was size up the opposition. They were giants and we were grasshoppers. Clad in black paintball masks and armed with chrome guns, we were fighting campers from nearby Camp Pinnacle (though formidable they turned out to be really nice). The Pinnacle kids were crazy good. But Gilgal was better. Dodging paintballs and diving behind plywood bunkers, we asserted our dominance in every match.

Paintball was an amazing experience and I can’t wait to play again.


Boaz B., Age 14
Tribe of Levi

Soccer was fun. It was a Friday, it was pretty hot, and every 30 seconds Verde and Ruski told us to get water. 

Soccer was a little different because we only had seven players including Verde and Ruski. On my team was Judah, Verde, and me. On the other was Ruski, Ephraim, Nathan, and Daniel. The score ended at 3-2, us.

Camp Gilgal has activities like soccer, basketball and whitewater rafting, and lots more. There are at least two activities each day. If you are thinking of coming to Camp Gilgal or sending your kid, you have a good mindset. It’s a great place to find friends and have a deeper connection with God even through the regular, daily activities.

How Inside Jokes Impact Your Camp Experience

Dinah G., Age 14
Tribe of Judah

While spending time at a summer camp away from home developing meaningful relationships with your fellow campers can seem daunting, at Camp Gilgal, the staff give us opportunities to get closer through things like all camp activities, chill time, and pool time. But, the thing that really strengthens our bonds are the inside jokes we have!

When you’re at camp, having silly jokes with the other campers can make you feel closer with everyone else and can promote the forming of a bond. The tribe leaders encourage it and we all enjoy the jokes.
This year at teen camp I was in the tribe of Judah and we had A LOT of inside jokes. Whether it be Eliana A’s overuse of the word “yeet” or Netanya’s title as a “problem camper” (given to her as a joke by Eliana A. on the first day when she was having an issue with finding her flip flops), or us using slang/terms from other places (such as wicked and gnarly), our tribe had lots of jokes. The other tribes had some jokes, too!

To me, the jokes and silliness are the best part of Camp Gilgal. The staff encourage our jokes and assist us in developing bonds. The jokes make us all feel included and even the staff join in on the fun which is something I really love and think is unique about Camp Gilgal.


Whitewater Rafting

Daniel C., Age 14
Tribe of Levi

At camp, we get to go whitewater rafting which is really fun for many reasons.

First, you get to raft in the rapids which is really crazy fun! I also got to “fall off” the raft and swim in a few
areas which was refreshing since it was hot outside.

When I hit a rock, I got startled and got
serious about paddling. Whitewater rafting is also a great workout for my arms.

There was a thing my guide let me do called “riding the bull” and it was when you are at the very front of the raft holding on to string which gave me more responsibilities (hitting rapids). We went surfing on a huge rock and I was so excited.

These are some of the many reasons why whitewater rafting was so awesome. Kids should come to Camp Gilgal because it is a good experience and helps you grow closer to God. Through whitewater rafting, I


Eliana A., Age 14
Tribe of Judah

One of the really unique things about teen camp is the Whitewater rafting trip, but I’m nowriting about that. The trip wouldn’t be all it is without the campout night before.

First, we load up vans with all of us campers and it takes about two hours of singing and a quick WalMart shopping spree to arrive at the camping site.

None of us had seen it before and almost immediately we saw a tetherball pole, used the toilet, and saw a guy riding his bike in circles. Once we got out of the vans, we eventually unloaded, got our tent assignments, and started the nice task of setting up the tents. Then I think we found the showers and bathrooms. They’re very nice and smell like fresh wood because both are made out of wood. Us campers also found nice rocks to climb on, for like two minutes, before the tribe leaders noticed. Then, while RedSox and Watson started the food, most of us went down to the lakeshore and either swam or got beaten by the tetherball. Eventually the tetherball won and the lake closed so we settled for the playground. There was gymnastics, flexing, and fun.

if you thought we could use the playground equipment correctly, you thought wrong. Eventually, we walked back to camp and sat at the picnic tables waiting for dinner. When we finally got to eat, it was burgers, hot dogs, and grilled vegetables. It was great. We sat and ate and talked for a long time. Then we cleared out and all sat in a shape for a devotion and campfire.

We only had three Bibles and flashlights. We talked about shame vs. guilt. It was a good discussion. Also, there was watermelon. Then we were allowed to stay a little longer to look at the stars. Around five of us stayed then we ate s’mores. After all of that, we got ready for bed and slept in the tents. It was a great night.

Scream-O: Making Camp Gilgal History

Elie W. and Netanya W., Age 15
Tribe of Judah

This year at Camp Gilgal, Scream-O was extremely gnarly. Elie and Netanya began their Scream-O adventure thinking that they would be absolutely rubbish at the game, like all the other years. Because Elie and Netanya had good sportsmanship, they decided to yolo it. Even if you lose at Scream-O it is incredibly fun.

Now it is time to assure you of how epic this game of Scream-O truly was. The game is played with two partners, which obviously was Elie and Netanya. They then randomly choose one of the tables to play at, but the catch is that they had chosen table #11, which is the hardest table. If you lose at table #11 then you would have to go all the way to the end. When that happens, you are pretty much dead meat and there would be no chance of winning.

This game is based on chance, so it takes no real talent to play it. Scream-O is a brilliant game that is unique to Camp Gilgal. It basically consists of rolling dice and adding up the sum, but for Elie and Netanya they added on their fingers despite their age. 🙂 The game is played with many rounds, so winning or losing is usually no big deal.

That being said, Netanya and Elie started their first round of Scream-O carefree and laughing, as usual by the first round, their fate had changed. They had won. They were beats. They couldn’t stop winning. By the third round they were both so incredibly hyped up and yelling to the extent that their voices had dropped three octaves. Scream-O was super duper dope. We were undefeated for a massive total of 12 rounds, making Gilgal history. This ends our epic, wicked, and super gnarly Scream-O adventure at Camp Gilgal East Teen Camp 2018.

On the Gilgal Gazette

Elliot A., Age 16
Tribe of Benjamin

Every year at Camp Gilgal, campers partake in the ritual commonly known as “Gilgal Gazette;” these informal digital newspapers include positive camp stories and feedback to encourage new campers to attend Camp Gilgal. They are also a useful tool in the art of reminiscence.

I feel Gazette is a fun thing and really builds our camp experience. I can look online on camp’s blog and read articles I wrote six or seven years ago.

For instance, today RedSox read us an article I wrote in 2013, which was about boating. It really is amazing how all aspects of our camp experience are chronicled by charismatic characters of kids, all from different viewpoints. My mom loved being able to read about my camp experiences online and thinks it’s a spectacular way to recruit new campers, and I must say I agree.

So, my guy, come to Camp Gilgal. It is very fun, a special way to get closer to God in a unique setting with other Jewish believers. The Gilgal Gazette is one of my favorite activities at camp because it involves writing and I love writing. I hope you will enjoy it too!


Ephraim L., Age 13
Tribe of Levi

Paintball is one of the activities we have here at camp, but if you don’t like it you can also go on a hike. However, I’m here to talk about paintball! When we go to paintball we first take a short hike through the woods. There was another camp that was running paintball. They played a few rounds with us, but the most fun is when we play against our fellow campers. This is the most fun because we get to play with each other. Before you can start playing you have to get a mask and load your gun up. Then you enter the map and can start blasting paint. If you get hit, you’re out. There are many different game modes, they are all fun to play. Some of the different modes were capture the flag, 10 v 10, and Black ops. In Black ops the goal is to rescue the prisoner in the woods or if you’re on the other team your goal is to shoot him. I liked 10 v 10 the best because it was quick and easy to master. Overall, I love Camp Gilgal and paintball. 


Erik A., Age 14
Tribe of Levi

The purpose and goal of Camp Gilgal is to get out of your busy and repetitive lives revolving around schedules, especially as we are transforming teenagers. We come to camp happy, joyful, sometimes confused, and even broken as life gets more complicated and eventful, especially in this day and age.

However, in the midst of our questions and struggles, there is a time to express it all with God first and then with Beardo.

T.A.W.G stands for Time Alone With God, so every morning—with no shame—you express everything you want and need to our loving Father. Any question, no matter how big or small, deep or shallow, will and can be answered. With the help of God and the use of Beardo’s knowledge, any confusion and question will be wiped away. It is the best time to just be one-on-one with God, as a child to a Father. Spiritual, mental, random, to specific questions can be asked, for there is no correct or wrong questions. No questions to ask? No problem. You can meditate on God’s Word and learn so many things from laws, to our mission, to Jesus’ sacrifice and His love.

With me specifically, I have questions about identity, our mission, how to serve God, how to read the Bible, and more. As a Jew and a Christian, it was difficult to understand who I am and I was lost. However, because of God’s attention and care for us, God helped Beardo to help me understand who I really am.

Thanks to the one and only opportunity to question and learn at teen camp, I have learned so much and grown. T.A.W.G was a very good opportunity to spend time with God and learn where other places don’t have it. If you do go to teen camp, please take the chance to grow your faith and have questions. You will grow with God! 

New Ground Worship Team

Judah W., Age 15
Tribe of Benjamin

I love to sing. Through this love my relationship with God has really strengthened. Asher, Elliot, Y’didiah and I have always sung at camp.

The past three years at teen camp have been filled with medleys of Disney songs and One Direction. It’s not necessarily my type of music, but it is a collection we all know. We would get so good at these songs we’d harmonize. But at this point in time I was still way too nervous to lead in worship. As I’ve been singing at camp endlessly throughout the past three years of teen camp, I’ve loosened up. I can sing anywhere with my tribe now, no matter who is watching/listening.

Literally everybody in my tribe except one was on the worship team, and since this change in my confidence had occurred I was comfortable leading worship for the first time. I had a lot of fun and I sincerely loved praising God.

Leading worship was the first step towards bettering my relationship with God. Bettering your relationship with God and not relying on your own strength to complete our greatest challenges was what the lessons at Tabernacle and Shabbat were all about. As my heart gave way with worship my ears opened and I took in the message that all the goodness within us isn’t ours but God’s and that we need God’s relationship like we need air.

This message was something that I needed to hear and will stick with me forever, because the challenges that I face are way too difficult to complete on my own and God can be that support in my life as my relationship continues to shape itself and evolve.

Farm Day

Nathan S., Age 14
Tribe of Levi

Camp is often thought about as a place to have fun. Without a question, there is a myriad of
enjoyable experiences in Camp Gilgal—from pool days to camp games to even rafting. What I am going to write about may differ from your conventional way of thinking about ‘fun.’ That activity is farming.

Early in camp, campers get the opportunity to not only experience something new and different, but also give back to the community. That opportunity is to help harvest plants in the local farm. The farm we are located near has 30 acres of land. Usually farms should have two people working for every acre, so in this case there should be 30 workers. However, this farm has only five workers. This is why it is so important to volunteer there. That’s where Camp Gilgal comes in.

When we were at the farm, we did a variety of things. We started off by putting together boxes and stacking them. This was very easy and satisfying. It was even bordering on addictive. We moved on to pack leaves called swiss chard. Many of these leaves had very beautiful red, orange, or yellow colors. We then moved on to picking garlic scapes, which was my personal favorite. The simple act of snipping them is very satisfying to me.

We wrapped our day at the farm off by picking up rocks in order to clear the path for the ground to be useable. I liked the feeling of finding a really big rock to put away. What really made this trip extra meaningful was the fact that the food we picked was to be donated to a food bank. Not only did we help the farm, but we helped the community as a whole.

In conclusion, Camp Gilgal is a lot of fun and the fact that we can give back to the people around us makes this camp feel very meaningful. Plus, the actual act of helping can be enriching and unique. I would definitely recommend coming here.

New Campsite vs. Old Campsite

Nazra B., Age 15
Tribe of Judah

This year for the overnight we went to a new campsite. The old campsite wasn’t that good. The bugs were the worst—it was like a dense fog of mosquitoes. It was dreadful. They could bite through your pants. But it did have a pool that we could swim in and it was secluded so we could talk in any volume we wanted.

But the new site that we went to was way nicer than last year. It had a big lake that had a very delightful temperature, a basketball court, several playgrounds, and a very fun game called tetherball.

The sleeping arrangements were really splendid. I think I slept better in the tent than in the cabin beds. When we all woke up you could see the beautiful lake with fog rolling over it like a wave.

For dinner while the campers were enjoying the lake, Watson and RedSox made a delicious dinner of hot dogs and hamburgers over the open fire. After dinner we had a campfire discussion and got to spend time looking at the stars—something the old site’s mosquitoes never let us do! I loved the campout and can’t wait to come back to this campsite.


Shai K., Age 14
Tribe of Levi

It’s about the second day at camp and we had just finished dinner, and RedSox told us we were going to be playing an all camp activity. This activity is called Scream-O. Most people say this is a game of chance, but it is definitely a game of skill.

So, basically what you do during Scream-O is you find a partner then you set up six tables. The goal of the game is to make it to the first table. You and your partner are given numbers 2-12 written on cardboard and two dice. The goal is to roll the die and whatever number you get you flip over your number. Then if you and your partner flip all your numbers, you yell, “SCREAM-O” so loud that your vocal cords are vibrating with the power of 1,000 elephants. Then that round is done and whoever wins moves up.

Scream-O is definitely one of the most fun games at camp and I look forward to it every year.

Tree Knoll

Sydney F., Age 15
Tribe of Judah

Camp Gilgal is a camp where there is so much to do. It is one of the highlights of my summer.
Gilgal is a great place, and one of my favorite spots in camp is the tree knoll.

The tree knoll is the place at camp where there are a bunch of trees. The tree knoll is the perfect spot to set up hammocks. It is the best spot because after a long day of fun activities it is a nice place to just chill. The tree knoll is also a great place for some activities. One activity that was there in the tree knoll was learning how to be a Canadian. That was where Sneezy taught us some Canadian things. During the activity we got to be all comfy in our hammocks.

Another activity that was in the tree knoll was karate. Sneezy was the leader of that too. It was nice to learn karate in a shady cool place. We also had high tea in the tree knoll. We all ate food and drinks. It was the perfect spot to sit and chill with everyone. The tree knoll is just the perfect shady, cool, peaceful area. The tree knoll is the best spot on camp and is enjoyed by all.


Y’didiah B., Age 15
Tribe of Benjamin

Beardo was my tribe leader this year and is the husband of the director of Camp Gilgal, RedSox.

His favorite colour is red. Beardo was born in Chicago and raised in Michigan. At the age of 13 he moved to Southern California and after college he moved to NYC. He now lives in Brooklyn with RedSox. He went to Hebrew school for half a year. His favorite part of the day during camp is when we are all about to go to bed and we joke and laugh whilst relaxing.

The first time he shaved was when he was in 5th or 6th grade (which is really surprising). When he was younger he grew more hair on his chin than on his lip. Beardo’s first year as a camper was in 2004 and his first time as staff was in 2013. His favorite verse is John 10:10, because Yeshua says “I’ve come that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

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