Last night after mincha instead of being dismissed to the dining room as usual the campers were dismissed to 6 designated locations around the camp grounds for special division BBQs.
By Yehuda “No ‘H’” Fenton
This has been an incredible 24 hours here at BMD! Beginning right after breakfast, we rushed off to the buses for an amazing trip. Ahead of us lay skating, bonfires and a bivouac. Just further proof of how unmitigatedly awesome BMD is.
After an exciting bus ride, we arrived at an incredible ice-skating rink. We had just enough time to stop for lunch and then we hit the ice. Gliding along on professional figure skating skates, the bochurim careened around corners at breakneck speeds, skidding to a halt with perfect hockey stops. They skated to chassidishe music, some of the campers playing with a hockey puck, others merely weaving around the other skaters. It was a wonderful beginning to the bivouac.
We then headed over to the camp grounds. After Mincha, BMD was split into two camps and the collection of wood began. Traversing the forest, the campers returned with twigs, brush, and branches and piles of wood quickly accumulated. After the obligatory tree was brought to the campsite, construction of the bonfire began. Teams of staff worked tirelessly until both campsites had massive pyres built.
Before the fires could be lit, the bochurim were led to an exquisite barbeque, with hotdogs and chicken cutlets. After the meal was done, we all headed back to the campsite to daven maariv. Once we davened it was time to light the bonfires.
Although we can’t confirm whether or not the fires were lit with a single match or not, we can guarantee that within minutes two enormous conflagrations lit the night sky. With the roaring fires ablaze (and all the campers at a safe distance) everyone sat back to roast marshmallows, sing niggunim, and listen to stories of the Baal Shem Tov late into the night.
The next morning we awoke to mikva in a nearby river, an inspiring shachris under the open sky, and a lavish breakfast to rejuvenate from the trip. After breakfast, it was time to head back, ready for more phenomenal times at BMD.
As the shul filled with campers and staff alike there was an excitement in the air…….the campers were told someone had taken material from the arts and crafts… but that turned into a BOG WAR breakout. After all the teams were split up it was time for the generals… Chesky, Shmuly and Beso led the camp in the twelve psukim. When they were about to begin their pep talk, all the staff jumped out from behind the curtain and off the stage for a…….BIVOUAC (OVERNIGHT)!!!!
All the campers and counselors headed to their bunks to prepare their tents, flashlights, sleeping bags, bug spray and marshmallows, then returned to the shul for Mincha.
Once we arrived at the beautiful Never Sink Camping Grounds, the campers started to stretch out and play in the open area.
After we started to unpack and set up our tents, collect wood, and just hang out! Thank you to our dear survival director Yossi Serebryansky for showing us how to make a proper Teepee for our GIANT and SAFE bonfires!
With our counselors toiling over the grills to make us delicious supper we sang and ate and had the best bivouac ever!
Photos by Leivik
By Yehuda “No ‘H’” Fenton
It’s been a truly fantastic week for BMD. We had an inspiring learning class from R’ Baras, a crazy Judgement Night, and an amazing time at Skate Estate. But that’s not all.
BMD finally got to experience their first trip through the Rebbe’s forest and into the new grounds. To the backdrop of a magnificent landscape the Bochurim played baseball, football, and volleyball. With plenty of space, beautiful scenery, and fully developed sports fields, the campers have given this wonderful addition to camp a big thumbs up.
That, however, is far from all. As the games wound down, the campers all headed to the gazebo for refreshingly ice-cold drinks to quench their thirst after a solid hour of game-play. Then, they all sat down to a fully-loaded barbeque. Freshly grilled hot dogs and steaming burgers were brought out. Afterwards, crispy French fries were served as a delicious finish to supper.
As clean up began, a game of camper vs staff baseball game started. Instantly, all the campers were in the field, ready to field the staffs batting lineup. It was an easy 3 outs, staff only getting one man on base. When the campers got a chance at bat they swiftly took control of the game, ending off 3-0.
With that final game, the evening ended. Everyone was very tired, but all can say, staff and camper alike, that it was a delightful experience.
On Thursday, campers watched with glee as the waiters hauled the dining room tables in to the square. As the Extra-Curricular-Activity-Directors fired up the grills, campers took their seats and licked their lips in anticipation for the first BBQ night of Gan Yisrael 5772!
We started off the night with an amazing line-up and Mincha after which we headed off to the Grand BBQ.
What better way to start the summer than with a huge BBQ with all the trimmings!
The atmosphere was uplifting with the campers and staff singing various niggunim and songs together.
Everybody had a great time, and we can’t wait to do it again!