Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Retreat at OSRUI: Good for the Soul

Human bingo
Last weekend Lakeside and Or Shalom went on their annual Fall retreat to OSRUI with 5th and 6th graders.  (Or Shalom also had an adult retreat there at the same time).  We had 32 students, 5 Madrichim and 2 Educators and we had a wonderful time.  We started Friday night with a delicious Shabbat dinner, followed by T'filot and then a fun game of Human bingo (you would be surprised by the number of students who had been to Israel and/or could do the splits) and finished with a game of Gaga.

Felt B'samim for Havdavlah
Israeli Flag in icing and marshmallows

Gaga or Ga-ga (lit. "touch-touch") is a variant of dodgeball. The game combines dodging, striking, running and jumping with the object of hitting opponents with a ball below the knee while avoiding being hit. The game can be played by groups of individual players, teams and in one-on-one matches. The game may sometimes be referred to as "Israeli dodge-ball".
Funny Songs

Shabbat morning we had a fun Torah study and continued to learn about Israel's geography with giant maps, icing, candy and an Israel Jew-pardy game.

   There was more Gaga in the afternoon and even though it rained and we had to scuttle a few outdoor activities we had a fun weekend.

Giant Map of Israel
What I really enjoy about the weekend is talking with my students and just hanging out.  I enjoy reading young adult books and we always have time on Retreat to talk about what books everyone is reading and what movies are the hottest.  There is no substitute for eating, playing, and praying together for 48 hours to be able to get to know your students as well as  the Madrichim, counselors as well. Retreat is an opportunity to encourage our High school students both of whom are applying to be Madrichim at OSRUI this summer and give them a chance to lead all types of programs including Israeli dance, a mixer, arts and crafts, Gaga and even read Torah.   I believe it is powerful for our students to see an older boy read Torah, an older girl play games, and both Israeli dance; these are the best role models possible.  

I left early on Sunday morning to come back for Religious School.  When I left the buildings were surrounded by fog and  camp had an other worldly look.  I like to think that OSRUI is in the clouds somewhere and coming back to earth is never easy.
Soreff  Center in fog on November 3