Have you ever wondered what to do in those Chas V’Sholem moments? What happens if you see someone have a seizure? The person next to you on the subway goes into cardiac arrest? For most of us, these ideas are so terrifying that we don’t dare contemplate them. But not for our head lifeguard, Levi Pekar. For his incredibly varied list of jobs, these formidable questions can be every day concerns.
That is why he has agreed to give a fascinating and informative first-aid course to the entire BMD. Culling from an encyclopedic source of knowledge, the Head lifeguard is providing the campers of BMD with a wide scope of safety and health tips. From bug bites and minor scratches, to how to save someone who has suffered a spinal injury, the course trains the bochurim to react well in emergency situations.
After an illuminating preface in which he described the importance of knowing when to react and when not to, he continued by outlining proper procedure in emergency situations. This description included everything from the initial evaluation of the victim to the the actual procedure for minimizing damage and actually saving lives.The opening class stayed engaging throughout, with colorful tidbits thrown in concerning everyday health and detailed descriptions of the causes of the various illnesses described.
He ended off leaving us all thirsting for more, throwing in tantalizing tidbits of the upcoming courses in the series. The lifeguard informed us that we will be continuing into the minutiae of specific emergency situations and the proper response in each one of these cases. We all look forward to the continuation of this series, and eagerly await the chance to feel more proficient and secure in the world around us.
They say that the second months trips are even better than the first. This adage is never truer than when talking about the second months bivouac. Although the first month was phenomenal this bivouac we had was really something special.
After learning classes and activities, the campers headed to the busses for a short ride to Neversink campgrounds, beginning an amazing bivouac. As soon as we got there, the staff and campers headed to their campsites and immediately began collecting wood. We worked tirelessly, dragging everything from massive trees carried by 8 staff members and campers, to handfuls of needles gathered from the forest floor.Thanks to the considerable effort of the campers and staff, these stockpiles of wood painstakingly gathered during the daylight hours provided a continuous source of fuel as the night wore on. Click here for more
By Yehuda “No ‘H’” Fenton
As the first marvelous half of the summer wound down, many of us assumed that the last few days would be quiet. Luckily, we’re in BMD! After an amazing grand trip, the bochurim were all astonished to discover White-Water rafting lay in their future.
Thursday morning began with shachris and than a mad rush to go. Grabbing a bathing suit and a change of clothing, the campers headed to a hurried breakfast and then straight to the busses.
A short while later, we arrived at the scenic Delaware river. After an elegant lunch on the picturesque river bank, we headed to the rafts. Once all of the bochurim boarded their watercrafts, we embarked on our journey. The fleet of rafts floated gently down the river, slowly increasing speed as we reached the rapids.
The tense moments were wonderfully contrasted with the serene calm of the glorious summer day. The symphony of quacking ducks, the pungent odor of the river, and a breathtaking blue sky all accompanied the bochurim’s gliding journey through the river. We finally ended the trip six miles later, trudging through the mud to reach shore, and walked to the vans to head back.
In short, the final trip for BMD was a phenomenal ending to a spectacular first month. We applaud all of the members of BMD for making this first month possible, and look with excited speculation to the next month in camp! (Thank you Shimon Gorkin; for your help and contributions.)
By Yehuda “No ‘H’” Fenton
Every summer at Gan Israel has certain highlights. From Bog war to the bivouac, certain thing typify a summer at Gan Israel as amazing.
The grand trip was no exception. Heading to the unbelievable Great Escape in Lake George, NY, campers enjoyed a variety of carnival attractions. For the first half of the trip, there were bodacious water slides, from a massive 50 foot, 80 degree slide to an exhilarating, two-person, ride through a closed tunnel in a raft. Then we broke for supper and headed back out for thrilling, heart stopping rides. With exotic names like Boomerang and Comet, the rides held true to their titles with death-defying turns and hair-raising drops.
Although the weather made us head back a little early, that was no problem, given that the hours we spent there were unquestionably wonderful. Definitely, a satisfying end to a remarkable first half of camp.
In a stunning display of speedy video editing prowess, our very own Directory of Videography, Mendy Soffer, has pumped out not one but two amazing new videos! One a video of BMD’s exiting ice skating trip, and the other a compilation of CGI’s & BMD’s bivouacs!! Enjoy!
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.
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!