Camp Gilgal Family

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

Category: Teen Camp West

Camp Gilgal West Teen Camp (June 17 – June 23)

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!


Elie M.
Bailey H.
Claire C.
Persaeus B.
Erica B.
Carrie M. 
Fiorella M.


Arthem S.
Steven M.
Jonathan P.
Isaiah L.
Nathan B.

In-cabin staff: 

ShBoom, KitKat, Pippin
Gadget, Shoga

Out-of-cabin staff: Streetlight, S’mores, Superduck


Time in Tabernacle

Elie M., Age 12

Tabernacle is a meeting place for worship. This year at teen camp we studied the book Acts and learned about how God wants us to live. Every year, we memorize a verse; this year we memorized Hebrews 10:23-25 and 11:11. It is about holding on to God’s promises to us and encouraging one another. During out first Tabernacle we talked about doubt and how it affects our faith. We split into two groups to discuss the topic. Our group decided that doubt can make your faith stronger when it makes you look in the Bible.

Our next Tabernacle was about how the disciples waited for the Holy Spirit to full them. Pippin said, “I liked when we split into groups so that I could connect with the campers.” We talked about the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. To hear more about Tabernacle, stayed tuned until next year.

A Beginner’s Guide to Camp Food

Claire C., Age 13

Food. Food is vital for life in camp, so it’s a bonus it if it tastes good. As campers swarmed the gates of Camp Gilgal, one thing was painfully obvious – we were hungry. As the children of Gilgal marched to the dining hall, they knew that the hot and fresh chicken and potatoes were to be devoured… and they were correct. The chicken was seasoned to perfection, and the potatoes changed the campers’ lives. As KitKat wisely said, “Life is not complete without POTATOES.”

Breakfast is known as the most important meal of the day and food like Calvin Crest eggs, hash browns, and turkey sausages proved that correct. As Elie states, “I like that it’s real food.” Breakfast is pretty good in lil’ old Calvin Crest.

Now let’s discuss lunch, the midday lunch to attempt to keep you alive. The first lunch was so wonderful. They served Philly cheesesteak sandwiches. Gadget in one word said that were “Good.” Lunch was 100% scrumptious.

Now last, but not least, there is dinner. Served to us was the best enchiladas, I personally have ever digested. To Pippin’s disappointment, there were no gluten, corn, or dairy free enchiladas for her. She said, “A tear was shed and not being able to eat them was worse than rejection.” Dinner was followed by dessert: the most exquisite coffee cake… perfection in two words. Food is pretty great.

The Adventures of Streetlight

Nathan B., Age 15

I interviewed Streetlight, our fearless leader, and she gave me some awesome answers. Campers say, “Streetlight loves camp and devotes lots of time to it!”

Streetlight has been a part of Camp Gilgal for twelve years. Her favorite color is orange because she loves the Giants. It was very hard for Streetlight to come up with her camp name until one day when the song “Don’t Stop Believing” came on and she knew that she was Streetlight.
Her favorite bands are Matthew and the Atlas, The Band, Will Regan, and United Pursuit. She is cool because she eats her vegetables. All her campers are her favorite, all you have to do is become one. Her favorite brand of clothing is Gap. The car she wants is a Honda Element and she wants a small house.

All this is interesting stuff, but the final thing I would like to talk about is how Streetlight makes me feel as a camper. Streetlight makes me feel safe. She loves camp, but she also wants to be safe. She makes me feel equal because she always listens to my opinion and doesn’t force hers on me. It was great time interviewing Streetlight. Thank you for another great year at camp!


Erica B., Age 14

One of my leaders this year was Sh-Boom, who I highly respect and look up to. Because of her character and experience, I decided to interview her for the benefit of both myself and other campers.

One of the questions that I asked was how long she has been coming to camp, to which she responded, “I started camp at eight years old.”

She attended all three camps: junior, teen, and adventure camp. Because of these facts, I asked her, “Which camp do you think you’ve experienced the most growth?” She replied, “When I was 14 (teen camp), I experienced not only personal growth, but growth in my community… I had more close friends.”

Since she has a lot of camp experience, I asked Sh-Boom, “What advice would you give a new teen camper?” She answered, “Don’t close yourself off. Be open to new opportunities, new experiences, and new people.”

I also asked, “Did teen camp affect your choices as a teen in a positive way? If so, how?” She responded, “I believe so… It gave me a deeper appreciation for worship, which is also my favorite part of camp. I think I can really feel God’s presence when I’m worshipping.

My final question for Sh-Boom about camp was, “Can you sum up your time at teen camp?” To which she replied, “I will use our Yiddish word of the day, Nachas, which means great joy.”

Not only did I interview her about camp, but also advice for my age group. I asked, “What did you do in your teen years that changed your life for the better?” She replied, “I rededicated my life here at teen when I was 14.”

After some thought, I also asked, “How would you described your teen camp experience?” She answered, “Pretty awesome. Actually… very molding.”

Finally, for the benefit of myself and other teenagers I asked her, “What Bible verse would you recommend for a teenager?” She responded with, “Lamentations 3:55 and 2 Timothy 3:16-17 because these are two verses that have personally helped me in hard times.” I can now hopefully use this information to help me with my own teenage experience.

The S’more S’mores Experience

Steven M., Age 14

I did an interview with S’mores. The first question I asked her was, “Do you see a glass of lemonade half empty or half full?” Her answer was, “Half full of joy!”

Next I asked, “How long have you been a part of Camp Gilgal?” “11 years and 12 seasons.”
“Is the grass greener on the other side?” S’mores answered, “Yes it is!”

Next I asked her, “What is it like being part of the camp staff?” She responded with, “It’s amazing. My favorite part is hanging out with campers!”

Her favorite night game is Wells Fargo and her favorite musical group is Mumford and Sons.

I then asked her who her camp best friends are and her answer was Pippin, Chip, Chewbacca, Google, and Yamaha.

“Describe camp in one sentence.” “A second home,” she answered.

“How is Biola?” She replied with, “It is a growing experience.”

“What is your favorite food?” “Mac and cheese.”

“What are your favorite things to do in your free time?” “Discover new music and spend quality time with friends.”

I then asked her, “What is your go to snack from a gas station?” Her answer was, “Jalapeno chips.”

I also asked her, “What are your favorite kicks?” She answered, “Birkenstocks.”

Her favorite things to do at camp are Gaga Ball, Wells Fargo, and hanging out with campers.

My final question was, “How is your relationship with the Lord, Jesus?” “It’s a growing experience, but I know there are things I still struggle with. It can be hard to put all your faith in God and surrender all to Him.”

My Zipline Experience

Jonathan P., Age 14

We did lots of activities at camp, but one of my favorites was the zipline. A zipline is a wire cord running a beginning point to its ending destination. You are put into a harness and then connected to a carabineer which is attached to the wire.

The day of the zipline, I was really worried and scared, but excited at the same time. Several people went before me, and all of them seemed pretty happy with how the zipline was, so I decided that I might as well do the zipline. They strapped me in, and I stepped onto the platform. The ride staff gave a thumb’s up to the staff member at the ending destination. I looked in front of me, and then I stepped off the edge of the platform.

At first, when I flew off the platform, it bumped me in my harness. I went zooming past the ground and trees. It started harsh, but it was fun. I went on it three more times. “It was a thrilling adventure and I want to do it in the future” said my camp leader, Shoga. All in all, the zipline was really fun and I’m going to do it again.

Yosemite Adventures

Fiorella M., Age 15

Yosemite is full wonders. At camp we got to see Vernal Fall. It all started when we got in the van with our bags filled with water, our Bibles, and money. We took a two-hour drive listening to Christian music and Disney. Then we were finally there. We made sure to go to the bathroom as many times as we could even if we didn’t have to because we knew that it was going to a long walk. At first, it wasn’t that bad; Pippin and I were walking at a slow pace. But we got a little left behind, so they made us go in front. It motivated me to walk a little faster.

We took many breaks because of how long the hike was. We walked for an hour uphill and were sweaty and tired. We finally came to the waterfall and let the mist soak us. The waterfall was beautiful; it looked as though it should have been in another country. We took a few pictures and walked back down all the slippery steps trying not to fall. In the end, we had pizza from Pizza Factory. We finally made it home and I had a sleep better than the other times because of the adventurous day.


Let ‘Em Rip!

Arthem S., Age 13

The giant swing was fun! My first time going up was scary because I thought I would get hurt. Before going up, we had to put on some safety gear so that we didn’t get hurt while flying down the swing. As I got on the swing, they started bringing me up to the height of my choice to drop from.

As I got to the point, I felt unsafe and scared because I thought the swing the had a chance of breaking. When I felt like dropping I had to say, “Let it rip!” and then I flew. As I was in the air, I felt winded. It was an amazing time. I regret not going up all the way, but it was still fun. If I had another chance like that, I would go for sure.

Learning About Gadget

Isaiah L., Age 15

One of the male staff at this year’s teen camp was Gadget. He has been attending Camp Gilgal since he was young. Gadget has been very involved in camp and Jews for Jesus. God has been an important role in his life. He says he loves Camp Gilgal and loves it because, “It’s a great place to grow spiritually as a camper and as camp staff.”

The first good memory of camp that Gadget has is how welcoming the staff were when he first arrived. Gadget loves the night game called Capture the Degel. “We have a sense of unity, and even if you get captured, it’s still fun,” he said. He likes how every role in the game is equally important to your team. Gadget likes to play on the defensive end of the team.

Some things he is interested in outside of camp are sports, woodworking, and hanging out with friends. He enjoys playing racquetball with his family. In woodworking, Gadget has made a few different products such as a coat rack and props for a play.
He told me that he has the best memories from adventure camp, because he learns a lot about God, and it is more serious about focusing on the Bible and the teachings of Jesus.

GaGa Ball

Persaeus B., Age 13

Gaga Ball is a game where you stand in an octagon. There’s a ball that is thrown in the middle from someone standing outside. On the first bounce you say, “Ga,” on the second bounce you say, “Ga,” and on the third bounce you say, “Ball,” and the game starts. The rules are that you have to hit the ball with a closed fist and send the ball to someone you want to get out. You have to aim at the person’s waist and below.

This was my first time playing, and I was genuinely confused in the beginning but I gradually got better. I even almost won a game!

It was really dusty and I could barely breath but I got through it. I asked some staff and campers about their experience while playing Gaga Ball and they all had different answers. Carrie said, “I had some back pain from bending over to hit the ball, but at least I two wins!” S’mores said, “I love Gaga Ball. It’s one of my favorite games to play at camp. It’s intense, but it’s competitive, and it’s fun!” Elie said, “The court was perfect but the ball was too bouncy.” Gadget said, “I think Gaga Ball is fun, and like to see all the people’s different strategies to achieve victory!” Gaga Ball is fun and definitely a game for everyone!

Late Night Snack

Carrie M., Age 14

We were all tired after the long, staggering hike. The staff had promised us pizza at the Pizza Factory. When we arrived, we were told that we could sit wherever we wanted. So, Percy and I sat at the metal round table. We were soon accompanied by Isaiah and Gadget.
Gadget is a cool mensch who tells stories of old memories and really bad dad jokes. For example, at the Pizza Factory he said, “I left a ‘piece-a’ my heart there.” The waitress served us BBQ pizza, garlic chicken pizza, and plain cheese pizza. All of us were so hungry that we finished off the pizza on the first round.

It was a fun and enjoyable evening which included laughing, sharing stories, and friendly bonding. Sharing pizza with your camp family is definitely a great way to finish a long day of schlepping. 

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