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BMD and CGI go on Bivouac!

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

Photo Gallery: Laser Tag in the Rebbe’s Forest!

PRE- 9 days BBQ!

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.

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Grand Trip!!

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.

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New Videos! BMD Ice Skating and Bivouac!!

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!


Today seemed like a regular day in camp with all the schedules showing nothing out of the norm, so why did the staff seem so busy? The mystery was revealed after the 3rd activity was switched for a KIWI all-star game. Then the head counselors made an announcement about a missing Walkie-Talkie or something, the culprit was non-other than BOG WAR!

Sophisticated security cameras caught the "thief"

The theme for this year’s Bog War is “CHITAS WAR”

After splitting up the teams and meeting our Lt. generals taught us our awesome team chants, it was time for us to meet our generals. Starting off with General Levi (Pekar) telling us about the importance of Chumash. Next the general for the team of Tehilim – General Eli (Lowbenstein) – explained the importance and the power of Tehilim. Lastly but definitely not least the general from the team of Tanya – Beso a.k.a. Mendel (Blesofsky) explained the importance of Tanya.


The three generals. From left: Beso, Eli, and Levi

We started off with a smashing Mincha and continued with immense energy Supper and then headed to the shul for the best scavengers (skits) ever! After six crazy scavengers, the campers headed up to the hill for bed, excited for another day of BOG WAR!!!


(Contrary to popular belief, BOG actually stands for Brown, Red, and Gray, not Blue, Orange, and Green.)


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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

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Over the Hills and Through the Rebbe’s Forest….

Today the campers had their first day of exciting activities in the New Grounds! Just a short walk past the soccer field and through the Rebbe’s Forest, is where the New Grounds lie. The campers played all kinds of sports there, including baseball, volleyball, and soccer. In between all those fun games, campers sat in the shade and drank lots of water to keep themselves hydrated.

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Camp Escapes to Skate Estate!

Yawn, it’s just another Monday in CGI…. what? Buses? To where? Skate Estate? Awesome!!

What do they have there? Mini Golf? I LOVE Mini Golf!!

What else? Water slides and a pool? NO WAY!!

But then why do they call it Skate Estate? Oh, there’s roller-skating and roller-blading, too? Will the fun never end?

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Number One Division makes Challah

This Friday, campers from the NOD (Number One Division) gathered in the grand dining room for a special activity. Using dough made by our very own Rabbi Shloime Futerfas, the campers learned to braid and bake challah.

Everybody had a lot of fun and had fresh hot challos by the Friday night meal!

Grand BBQ in the Square

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!


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