Gilgal Gazette Monday

The Decathalon

Jacob A., Age 15

Tribe of Dan

The Decathalon is either one of the funnest activities to do, or one of the worst. In this event we do ten individual games, competing in teams to win. The games consist of eating things, drinking things, all as fast as you can. These events are made up of various physical and mental challenges, which can be bizarre and mind-boggling.

This year, the new events we had to do was that we had to eat saltine crackers and then whistle a tune, a very challenging event. We also had to stand on a tarp and had to flip the tarp, while all standing on it, which our team was not able to do.

The reason it’s one of the worst is due to the fact of having to run, compete, eat donuts as fast as you can, chug soda as fast as you can all after going full from dinner. The people not competing in it will laugh, you’ll be laughing too, though.

The Decathalon is announced, usually as a surprise, right after dinner. After a full meal, we begin the competition. This becomes part of the fun, to see just how much a person can eat and drink. One counselor drank 8 sodas in a matter of minutes. I love this special event and it is one of the biggest highlights of camp, and a very fond memory of camp.

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Parsha Post: Metzora

This week’s parsha continues taking us through Leviticus and this week brings us to Leviticus 14-15:33. The Leviticus portion is another sure miss for a Bar Mitvah as it discusses purity for leprosy, home infestation, and discharges of many kinds. The Haftarah portion is one of my favorite stories and it comes from 2 Kings 7:3-20. This is an amazing story of how a bunch of desperate, hungry Israelite lepers decide to venture forward into the camp of the Aramean army, knowing that death is certain regardless of their actions. God uses these men as a way of bringing help and even deliverance to the whole Israelite camp. The Israelite camp that they have been exiled from because of their unclean state. God had caused the Aramean army to hear the sound of charging horses and chariots and so the enemy had fled–but the Israelites would never have known if it weren’t for these lepers finding good news and sharing their good fortune. They didn’t know what their reception would be when they visited the King, but they knew that they had to share the salvation they had found. They knew that they could not keep it to themselves. 2 Kings 7:9 “Then they said to each other, “What we’re doing is not right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let’s go at once and report this to the royal palace.””

This sentiment of the lepers reminds me of Peter and John in Acts 4:19-20 when they are brought before the religious court for causing trouble and healing a man lame from birth. Like the lepers, Peter and John knew they could not be silent, regardless of the consequences. “But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges!As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” What Peter and John had heard and seen was an even greater salvation than the temporary provision of food that the lepers encountered. What Peter and John had experienced was Yeshua (Jesus) coming to make the deaf hear, the blind see, the lame walk, lepers clean, and even the dead raised to life.

We too have stories to tell. We shouldn’t be able to stop talking about what we have seen and heard and experienced Yeshua do in our own lives. Let’s share it with our siblings, parents, extended relatives, and neighbors.

Shabbat Shalom Camp Gilgal,
RedSox

Dear First Time Camper:

We’re starting a new series over here in blogland. It is called “Dear First Time Camper.” Over the next couple of weeks you’ll be hearing from veteran Camp Gilgal Staff about some of their favorite things about camp and even some packing tips. You’ll also be introduced to some of the staff that will be part of Camp Gilgal East 2015!!! First up: Beardo! Beardo was first a Teen and Adventure Camper on the West Coast, but now he lives in New York City and is married to RedSox so you’ll get to meet him if you are at Camp Gilgal East Junior, Teen, or Adventure Camp 2015. If you’re interested in Camp Gilgal (or you know someone who is) make sure to check out campgilgal.com! And now…Beardo:

 

Dear First Time Camper,
Welcome to our Camp Gilgal Family! We like to say “Once a Camp Gilgal Family Member, always a Camp Gilgal Family Member!” We’re so excited that you’re one of us now! We can’t wait to meet you!
Get ready, you’re going to have so much fun! You probably are curious about what camp is going to be like. Well, imagine this: you get to spend all day with kids like you doing things kids love to do! And best of all, you’ll get to know Yeshua (Jesus) better whether we’re playing games, singing songs, or learning about the Bible…it’s all about Yeshua!
Here are some things you’ll do: you’ll bunk in a cabin with other campers (so bring a sleeping bag & pillow, also a toothbrush and things you need to shower), we’ll be outside (so bring clothes to play outside, comfortable shoes, and a sweatshirt for when it is cold at night). You’ll do activities, learn some Hebrew (my favorite!) and read the Bible in community (so don’t forget your Bible!) There will be so many things to do that you won’t even remember why you needed phones, iPods, video games, or anything like that!
We hope that you’re getting excited! Camp is going to be so much fun! We can’t to meet you in person!
See ya soon,
Beardo

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Gilgal Gazette Monday

Project Runway

Misha K., Age 15

Tribe of Dan

A very fun part of Camp Gilgal is an awesome game called “Project Runway” in which we would pick models to dress up in toilet paper! Each tribe was given two rolls of toilet paper and we needed to use all of it without using any other materials to dress the models. The point was to dress the models in formal wear with accessories and we were given about twenty minutes to come up with ideas and make the costumes.

The best part was when the models strut their stuff. The music would go on and they would show off for the judges. The models were judged for the durability of their costumes, the creativity and their walk. In the end, there was a lot of laughter, fun and of course, fashion! This was a great addition to Teen Camp!

Parsha Post: Tazria

Tazria is this week’s parsha and it comes from Leviticus 12:1-13:59 and 2 Kings 4:42-5:19. This week’s parsha must be on the list of least popular bar mitzvah dates. Both the Torah and the Haftarah portions deal with skin diseases. Awesome, because blemishes are every pre-teen’s favorite topic of conversation!

Without going into too much detail for the more squeamish among us, the Leviticus portion is really amazing because the purity laws differentiate between the types of skin marks that are merely superficial imperfections and those that signal deeper contagion. God gives instructions for the priests to set up tests to distinguish between marks that were disease and marks that are disease. Moreover, it gives instructions for the people and for the priests to be able to regain ritual purity after a bout with one of these ailments. Exterior hygiene is important, but it is the inner condition of a person’s heart that will render them permanently clean or unclean.

This week’s Haftarah is from the prophetic career of Elisha in 2 Kings. Naaman is a military commander who becomes afflicted with leprosy. No one he knows can give him a cure or a referral for someone who might know more. At the suggestion of his wife’s unnamed Israelite servant girl, he travels to inquire after the prophet Elisha. Elisha doesn’t give this very important man very much attention, he just sends him to bathe in the Jordan River. The Jordan wasn’t a very dignified river and was sort of muddy and small. Naaman, even in his humiliated, leprous state, thought he was too good for Elisha’s cure. Naaman’s pride in the face of Elisha’s prescription almost gets in the way of him being healed. Thankfully, he is confronted by some of by his servants and companions who challenge him to follow Elisha’s instructions. They know that if Elisha had asked Naaman to do something complicated he would do it, but that because it is simple Naaman immediately has dismissed it.

How often are we guilty of the same thing? We are confronted with a problem and instead of turning to God and trusting him to meet our needs or provide for us we fret and worry. How often do we know that Yeshua has paid the penalty for our sins with his death on the cross, but still we act like we have the power or ability to win God’s favor for ourselves. This week, let us seek God’s help not just to be people who act right and look right, but to be people who pursue God and who ask him to lead us in his ways.

Shabbat Shalom Camp Gilgal,
RedSox

Gilgal Gazette Monday

Chill Time

Eden A., Age 13

Tribe of Zebulun

I love chill time because you can hang out with people from any cabin and keep building friendships. Unlike FOB, chill time is an activity where campers are allowed to relax, play games and hang out with friends. As I said earlier, we will sometimes play games, such as Nukem, soccer and mafia. During this time campers can hang out with other campers from different tribes. Because the small bathroom has few showers, lots of campers use that time to take showers. It’s also a great time for a quick nap. I usually look forward to this part of the day.

Campers and counselors are able to bond because of these experiences. Chill time is a great way to relax and bring people closer together. We are able to get to now one another on a more personal level. We talk about friends, movies, family, clothes, etc. Chill time is like a nice break from the other wild activities.

The Empty Cabin

Josiah G., Age 14

Tribe of Levi

Nobody likes cabin clean up. Nobody. You have to put everything away perfectly straight with nothing sticking out or out of place. Even if just your shoes are crooked, or only your sleeping bag tag is sticking out, you will still lose points, because these things are A-skew or rumply-rumply-rumply!

So on the last day of cabin clean up, the Tribe of Levi, decided to hide everything we had in the cabin (suitcases, sleeping bags, and pillows) in the attic. When they announced the cabin clean scores, they had no choice but to give us a perfect score! So, if you ever have a really messy cabin, try thinking outside the box. We did. And it paid off.

Parsha post: Shemini

The parsha this week covers Exodus 9-11 and 2 Samuel 6:1-7:17. Both passages concern themselves with proper obedience and consecration of people and things as they pertain to proper worship of God. In Exodus 10, the sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu bring strange/alien/improper fire before The Lord. Their actions look from the outside like proper worship of God, but they are bringing offerings in a manner that seems fit to them, it is not what God has directed or chosen. Their punishment might seem severe: they are immediately struck dead, and we might be horrified. But, we must understand that as leaders they must be held to a higher standard and the offense of not sanctifying God before the people is serious.

This story is paired with the story of Uzzah in 2 Samuel who reaches out to steady the ark of the covenant as it is traveling. He touches the ark with his bare hands and he is immediately struck down. Here King David reacts in fear of the Ark, but the problem is not the Ark, it is that the Ark was not being treated properly and so was in need of steadying.

Also in 2 Samuel is David’s desire to build a permanent home for God’s presence. This is not a wrong desire and David’s instincts like Uzzah’s are good and right, but proper worship of God is in accordance with his wishes, timing, and command…not our own. Right worship of God is obedient to him and is for his glory.

In the Leviticus portion, the story about Aaron’s sons is paired with dietary restrictions regarding animals that may or may not be eaten and other specifications. Over and over, the text tells us that God is giving these guidelines and restrictions because he is holy and as his people, we are to acknowledge him as holy and pursue holiness. We are people made in God’s image and in worshiping him we should be seeking to allow him to transform us more and more into that image. This happens on his terms. We honor God not by doing what the world says makes us better or more successful people, but by seeking him and doing what he says.

This reminds me of the Transfiguration in Matthew 17. Yeshua (Jesus) takes Peter, James, and John with him to a high mountain and they are able to see a picture of his glory and they also see Moses and Elijah. Peter’s reaction to this scene is to offer to build tabernacles for Yeshua, Moses, and Elijah so that they could be worshiped. Again, good instincts, but wrong execution. Yeshua alone is worthy of worship. That is why the voice of God from Heaven silences Peter and says in verse 5, “this is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” As people who know and follow Yeshua, we must listen to him and do what he says. This charge is for us too. Let’s look for opportunities to serve, honor, and worship God with our quickness to hear his voice and respond to him this week.

Shabbat Shalom Camp Gilgal,
RedSox

Gilgal Gazette Monday

Capture the Degel

Hannah P., Age 13

Tribe of Asher

This year at camp we played “Capture the Degel.” It’s a game where two teams go on two different sides, and hide separate degels (or flags). Players try  to capture their opponents’ degel. Once they find it, they bring it to their own side. If you cross the line and go in the opponents’ territory, they can tag you and take you to jail. To get your teammate out of jail, you have to tag them. There were many instances where people got caught trying to get their teammate out of jail. You’ve got to have speed and strategy. It’s super fun!

My team was especially good. We had a lot of good runners, Rebecca, Daniel, Jacob and Naomi. We also had great defenders, including Nature Valley, Sierra, Strider and Abigail. These were amazing teammates who would love to play with again.

Capture the Degel is a fun-filled game, with much laughter and fun. I would strongly encourage it anyone. It’s a very fun, hilarious game with many laughs and it’s a good way to exercise. I had so much fun and definitely want to play it again.