Hiking the National Trail of Israel with our Mishlachat!
Yom Yisrael Day – July 2022
As we are reflecting on highlights from first session, we sat down with our Rosh Mishlachat, Lior, who spearheaded our camp-wide Yom Yisrael! The theme this year was ‘The National Trail of Israel’ – a hiking path that crosses the entire country. Its northern end is located in Dan, near the Lebanese border in the far north and extends to Eilat , southernmost tip of Israel on the Red Sea. Our campers enjoyed various rotations that highlighted cities that are actual stops on the trail in Israel.
Please enjoy this interview with Lior and learn more about her vision.
What is Yom Yisrael?
Yom Yisrael was a highlight of the session! It was this year’s first camp wide theme day and was enjoyed by all. It was the goal of the Mishlachat – our Israeli delegation of staff – to infuse Israeli culture into camp. This day allowed for us to focus on infusing all areas of camp with Israeli flair. The Mishlachat loved bringing their home, their culture, and their memories to George in a fun, immersive, and educational way
Why did you want to feature the National Trail of Israel in this year’s program?
I wanted to create a program that connected the campers and staff to the food, culture, and environment of Israel. It was important to me for our community to gain a better understanding of Israel beyond camels and Falafel. For a long time, I’ve wanted to hike the trail because I believe it would be a special and meaningful experience that would allow for me to connect to the land of Israel. Therefore, I wanted to bring the trail experience to Camp George. It showcases the entire country from top to bottom. This is also another way to bring a unique perspective that isn’t common if you visit Israel as a tourist.”
Highlights from each activity:
The goal for each activity was to connect the Camp George values with Israeli values to allow for the community of campers and staff to deeper their own connection to Israel.
The campers experienced a classic beach party with some Israeli games ,music, watermelon – a favourite beach snack, and face painting. Campers learned about modern Tel Aviv. It is considered to be the most liberal city in Israel. Just like at Camp George, many people feel the freedom to be who they truly are and celebrate diversity.
Eilat & The Dead Sea:
The campers enjoyed learning about the variety of sealife and plants living underwater in The Red Sea. They learned that Eilat has some of the best scuba-diving in the world. They also covered themselves in mud just like at The Dead Sea and got a chance to float in Maple Lake.
Since Jerusalem is the home of three major religions- Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, campers learned about the value of religious tolerance . This refers to the ability to appreciate spiritual values, beliefs and practices which are different from our own. Campers experienced the Western Wall. Campers got to wake up their taste buds to the tase of the middle east by making three different flavors of hummus (Beet, Chickpea, Turmeric).
The North of Israel
At this stop on the trail, campers were educated about the Israeli Druze that live mainly in the northern regions of the Galilee, Carmel, and the Golan Heights. We discussed that it could snow in these areas of Israel – our North American campers were shocked! They learned how to connect with nature in our own forest and made homemade pita over a fire.
What did you take away from planning your first camp-wide program?
It was beautiful to see everyone engaged and excited to try new things and experiences that are typical in my daily life. It opens both the eyes of the Mishlachat and the camp community to the importance of blending our cultures, alongside different Jewish traditions, and connect and learn together.