by Daniella Elyashar, Rosh Machon
Last week Machon (10th graders) and four campers in Tikvah took an amazing road trip across the state of Wisconsin!
After a fun visit to JCC Camp Chi on Sunday we spent an incredible afternoon at the Kalahari Water Park where the kids went on crazy slides and rides! For the first two nights we slept at Beth Israel Center in Madison. We were so lucky to be kindly and warmly hosted by Ramah families and to eat some delicious home cooked meals.
We spent the next two days walking around and getting to know Madison pretty well! We took an official campus tour, learned about Jewish life on campus from the staff at Hillel and enjoyed the views of Lake Mendota from the student union. As we know, Madison is not just a college town. We also explored the impressive Capitol building and shopped on State Street, which reminded me of the ben Yehuda midrachov! (the pedestrian mall in Jerusalem)
We then traveled to Milwaukee and played intense mini-golf and were graciously hosted by Ner Tamid Synagogue.
On Wednesday we visited the Hunger Task Force where we learned about the effects of hunger and poverty in America. After an engaging simulation, we had the opportunity to physically bring more food into the world by picking watermelons that were donated to shelters in Milwaukee.
We then saw some beautiful art work at the Rahr Museum in Manitowoc, including an amazing collection of Marc Chagall paintings. The campers were excited to see such gorgeous Jewish art in an unexpected place. Our thanks to Ramah alumna Chaviva Jacobson, who brought the Chagall exhibit to our attention!
We spent our last night at Congregation Cnesses Israel in Green Bay. We spent a breathtaking summer night enjoying the Bay Beach amusement park. The kids went on rides and the one they loved the most was the Zippin Pippin, known as Elvis Presley’s favourite ride! Their excitement wasn’t about the Elvis connection, but rather about seeing the name of their play in bright lights!
On Thursday we toured the Green Bay Packers’ Lambeau Field. While most of our campers are not Packer fans, they really enjoyed touring the amazing facilities and learning about the history of football.
Machon 2017 is known for its energy, which they brought to every activity we went to, to every place we stayed and to every community that hosted us. They were present, engaged and were in great spirits throughout the whole trip. It was so amazing to see them strengthen new and longtime friendships with each other.
Although we had a great time away, we are excited to be back at camp and we’re set for a fabulous last few days of camp!