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.
Once collection was finished, as darkness set upon the forest, massive bonfires were built. Once these were ready, it was time for a well deserved barbeque and Maariv, after which the fires were lit.
Suddenly, every campsite was illuminated by these expertly crafted bonfires. The campers stared from a safe distance in excitement as they saw their hard work coming to fruition. The crackling fire and hissing logs provided an elegant symphony for the night accompanied by the comforting warmth of the fire.
As the night wore on, and the huge bases of the fire were carefully knocked over, all the campers settled down in their camping chairs and sleeping bags to sing niggunim and enjoy a variety of stories from the different staff members. From their counselors and learning teachers to the roaming staff members going from site to site, tales were told steadily through the night.
With the rising sun, the campers awoke emerging from their sleeping bags and breathing deeply of the crisp mountain air. Slowly, the rest of the people at the campsite stirred, the morning grogginess quickly dissipating with the bright dawn sun. We then enjoyed a delicious breakfast, the scrambled eggs, various cereals and apple juice seeming almost out of place in this rural forest setting. And yet, once we approached the scrumptious meal presented us, it was not difficult to dig in and enjoy.
Too soon, it was time to return to camp. The trip had been inspiring, eventful, and fulfilling and left us all eagerly awaiting our next outing in Macheneh Gan Yisroel.