On Friday afternoon, a group set out from Camp Gan Israel in Parksville, NY, to the very first site of the first overnight Chabad boys camp.
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Nestled on a small road near rural Ellenville, NY, lies a few acres of land. At a glance, this parcel of land hardly seems unique, but to Lubavitchers, it most certainly is.
This is the site of the very first Machane Gan Yisroel, in 5716. These are the grounds that the Rebbe himself took time off his busy schedule to visit, days before camp began.
To mark the 60th anniversary of the historic visit, camp directors Rabbi Avraham Shemtov and Rabbi Yossi Futerfas, along with a group of campers and staff, visited the grounds.
Together, they sat and washed their hands to eat bread like the Rebbe has. They then heard memories of that visit and the vision the Rebbe set forth for what would become an international summer educational network.