Gilgal Gazette Monday

Camping

Juliana C., Age 13

Tribe of Zebulun

The camping trip was so fun. I would love to go camping again. It was warm in the daytime but got very cold in the night. When we first got there, we set up our tents and put 4-6 people in each tent. We all set up our sleeping bags. Then, we went swimming and the pool felt great. The bugs were very annoying and made me mad. The weather was gorgeous and great for volleyball. After we ate dinner, we some campfire stuff and headed to our tents. We put on so many layers because it was so cold. We bundled up and told bedtime stories (as in funny stories). We went to bed.

In the morning we were all freezing and wanted to stay in bed. When we finally got up, we ate an excellent breakfast. The camping was an amazing experience.

Photography

Joseph S., Age 13

Tribe of Naphtali

Photography is an activity that I only do at camp and I really like it. Photography is great because it allows the beauty created by God in nature to be captured. Photography was so much fun because I got to do so many things. I took pictures of things. I took pictures of an eye and plants. The plants were really tall and magnificent. These were the biggest plans I’ve ever seen.

These plants had magnificent leaves and the stem was strong and sturdy. The plants were sturdy. The rain makes the trees and plants grow very tall and strong. There was a lot of beautiful scenery along the way. The water in the pond was delicately moving or the plants majestically moving in the wind. It was a very beautiful sight to see that all surrounding you at once.

For these reasons, I found photography so much fun. No matter what you say, you can’t say that activity wasn’t fun. I have a saying, “Nature has a beauty that can’t be controlled and it’s true.” So that’s why I found photography so much fun.

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Parsha Post: Vayikra

We’ve entered Leviticus! This Parsha takes us from Leviticus 1:1-5:26 and the Haftarah is from Isaiah 43:21-44:23.

Last week we looked at the completion of the Tabernacle and God’s presence dwelling in the midst of the children of Israel as a cloud resting on the Tabernacle. Moses is unable to enter the Tabernacle because of the power of the glory of the Lord. Leviticus begins with section 1 of how to deal with this problem. The problem is that God is holy and people are not, not even Moses is holy enough to be in the presence of God. Leviticus begins by talking about offerings for worship and sacrifices for atonement for some intentional and unintentional sins. As we talk about the parsha this week we are going to focus on the Haftarah portion from Isaiah 43:21-44:23 rather than the Torah portion. Leviticus is a hard book to sit down and read, even in small chunks, and the Isaiah portion talks about the core issues that come up in Leviticus.

Isaiah 43:21-22 says, “I fashioned this people for myself that they might declare my praise. But you did not call to me, O Jacob, for you grew weary of me O Israel.” So, in Isaiah we have God speaking to Isaiah and to the people of Israel. The situation between God and Israel is not good because the same sacrifices that are being set up in Leviticus, God is describing as being abandoned and neglected in Isaiah. God gave Israel a system and opportunities to have their sin temporarily covered so that they could have a relationship with him and Israel has bailed on the sacrifices and at times taken up worship to other gods. But, God is not like us. In response to the people’s failure to honor him he doesn’t bail on them. Instead, he reconfirms that it was Israel he had chosen in the first place.

There are so many words of promise in this section. When Israel sins and forgets God, God responds by saying he will forget Israel’s sin, but he will not forget Israel. God’s commitment to his people is everlasting. In Leviticus the people are given a sacrificial system that provides temporary covering for their sins so that God can continue to dwell in the midst of the camp of Israel. In Isaiah God is looking at the people and their rebellion and promising a day when he will pour out his spirit on their offspring and when all people would turn to him and call him their God. We have a redeemer:Yeshua–God in the flesh came and made his dwelling among us. When we put our trust in him, it is not our sin that God remembers, but the sacrifice of Yeshua (Jesus) who gave himself up for us, once and for all to satisfy the requirements of the law forever.

I would encourage you to read the whole Isaiah section and leave your favorite verses or reflections in the comments, because I was really encouraged by this reminded of God’s commitment and love to his people even when we blow it. Be blessed as you remember that God formed a people for himself that they might return praise to him. He formed us in the womb, called us out, chose us, dwelt among us, and redeemed us.

Shabbat Shalom, Camp Gilgal.
RedSox

Gilgal Gazette Monday

Tribe Time

Isaiah H., age 12

Tribe of Naphtali

Tribe time is the best. Somedays we will play Nukem or card games, and Bible studies. My favorite is Nukem because you just throw a ball and catch over the net. You can play barefoot because it’s on grass. Everyone plays it so it can get intense. When you play with your tribe you feel very good because you are bonding as a tribe.

My tribe is Naphtali and when someone forgets our name we strike a deer pose. Our tribe devotions have been from Mark and it is so great to have more time to discuss together.

Nukem

Greg V., Age 15

Tribe of Dan

One time, at Nukem I was playing a game with counselors vs. campers. The campers were being beaten and only four campers were left including me. And as soon as one of the counselors threw the ball I caught it, but then lost grip of the ball but then caught it again! And then it happened again and again! Until I slipped and painfully did the splits. Everybody laughed and I laughed also. So if any of you want to have any Nukem games with me, I’d love to play and make hilarious memories with you.

Parsha Post: Pekudei

This parsha covers Exodus 38:21-40:38 (completion of the Tabernacle) and the Haftarah section is 1 Kings 7:51-8:21 (Solomon dedicating the Temple).

This part of the Torah is really focused on the details for the building of the tabernacle. It is really easy to get bogged down in the details and to flip pages ahead to parts of the text that seem more interesting. But, there are really important things to pick up from the details that God wanted Moses to write down so that they would be preserved for us. The key to the importance of the verses that explain the preparations for the tabernacle or the tent of meeting is that it was a place for God’s presence to dwell so that he could be in the midst of the people. God was giving Moses the instructions to make a place so that God’s very presence could hang out in the midst of the camp of Israel. That is an amazing thing. God wanted to be in the middle of his people.

The people listened to what they needed to do in order to have the Tabernacle completed and they obeyed. More than just Moses overseeing the work and blessing the people, we know that the people did what God asked of them because God responded. This is how the book of Exodus ends: “Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. In all the travels of the Israelites, whenever the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle, they would set out; but if the cloud did not lift, they did not set out—until the day it lifted. So the cloud of the Lord was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the Israelites during all their travels.”

And so the book of Exodus ends very differently than it began. At the beginning of the book the Israelites are in bondage, under a Pharaoh who does not remember Joseph and they are crying out to the Lord. At the end of Exodus, God has raised up Moses and Aaron who have led the children of Israel out of slavery, through the Red Sea, and they are in the wilderness with God dwelling in their midst. God’s presence has descended on the tabernacle in the form of a cloud and when it is time for the Israelite camp to move, the cloud of God’s presence moves and they follow it. The people of Israel are in a much better situation at the end of Exodus, but they are not to the promised land yet. That journey takes them the rest of the Torah and into the book of Joshua, but they’ve come a long way and God is dwelling in their midst and leading them visibly. It is tradition at the completion of a reading of a book of the Torah to say “Chazak, Chazak, Venischazeik!” which means “Be strong, be strong, and may we be strengthened!” This week may we be strengthened not only by the reading of God’s word, but by the reminder that God came to dwell among us, not only in a cloud that rested on the tent of meeting–but in the person of Yeshua (Jesus) who came to dwell among us on the earth as a man, live a perfect life, and die for our salvation so that we might be in relationship and fellowship with him forever.

Shabbat Shalom Camp Gilgal!
RedSox

Gilgal Gazette Monday

Soccer

Kaylie L., Age: 15

Tribe of Judah

This year one of the activities was soccer. We played several games and each game was extremely close. I played goalie for one of the games, which I don’t usually play and made some pretty amazing saves. Making these saves made me feel really happy that I was capable of doing things in soccer that wasn’t just playing in the field.

Each camper got really into the games and we all ended up having a great time. In the whole group that played soccer there were some skilled soccer and some not as skilled players. The staff also got really into the games. Playing, refereeing and playing as fans we had Swank, Watson, Goliath and Baby Carrots. Goliath was definitely the MVP for the staff. He was the strongest and most enthusiastic out of all of the staff. All of the campers had an awesome time and we all got super into the games. Playing in the fields brought our camp together in that we all worked on teamwork together while having fun.

The teamwork that was developed was really awesome because we learned that we only had to know each other for a day and we could work together well. Playing soccer at Camp Gilgal was so much fun.

Gilgal Gazette Monday

Whitewater Rafting

Mariya A.; Age 13

Tribe of Zebulun

I’ve never been whitewater rafting ever before, but this year was my best experience of it. At first, I was really nervous and shaking. According to all the instructions given from my raft’s guide, it seemed like I was definitely going to fall in the water from the boat. Our guide led us through the whole trip on water.

Maybe I am wrong, but I think that our guide was the best. There was this one moment where this other group’s boat got stuck on a rock and with Alex’s (that’s our guide) brave attitude he got out of the boat and went through the woods and got the other group out of their trouble. Besides, my group was the lead group for the day, and all the other groups followed us.

The fact that I can’t swim was really frightening to me. I really didn’t want to fall out of the boat because then I would be in really big trouble, which seems even scarier. The best thing was that my group’s guide was able to keep every person in my group safe. When we were halfway over the trip, Alex made sure everyone in my group had comfortable seating and let us relax. Therefore, he did the rest of the paddling all by himself. I am not sure if it is true, but Alex told us that it was his first time doing this kind of thing, which was actually making everyone so look forward to our water trip. I had the best experience of whitewater rafting ever. Not only did I have a bunch of fun, but I had a growth in my courage and felt more brave.