Camp Sports
Week 3 at Camp Sports

Last weekend we had another great shabbos! It was filled with ruach, shtick, learning and some amazing singing. Dr. David and Vivian Luchins joined us for Shabbos.  Mrs. Luchins is the National NCSY Summer Programs Chairperson and shared with the NCSYers how important camp is to NCSY.  Dr. Luchins has many roles, but this Shabbos he came to share some Torah and political thoughts with us..  Dr. Luchins spoke to us about the current political environment.  He is a seasoned politician who served for many years as Senior Assistant to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan amongst many other positions.  Both Dr. and Mrs. Luchins are very active in the Ben Zakkai Honor Society that provides scholarships for camp.  We are very grateful for all of their help.  We also had Jeremy Lavitt, a long time alumnus, join us. He gave an a amazing class about comparative religion, that left the NCSYers asking many questions, which is one of our many goals..  


The great Shabbos lead into a really incredible night. Saturday night was full of energy!  We finished our unit about Modeh Ani and morning laws with a video competition.  The groups put together short videos, about Modeh Ani, that were entertaining, educational, and a lot of fun. The winning videos will be posted online. Since we spoke about the morning, we had a unique dinner of “barbecued” pancakes and eggs on a huge BBQ griddle! The highlight of the evening was a surprise visit from Ilan Swartz-Brownstein, a former Portland NCSYer and current NCSY Advisor.  He had just made it past  first cut on America’s Got Talent as a beatboxer and he was wearing his yarmulka and tzitzis on national TV(He unfortunately did not make it through the next round).  He performed for us and told the NCSYers his story about how he learned to beatbox.  He lived on the “wrong side” of Portland and when he decided to keep Shabbos, he had to walk 9 miles with his sister to shul.  When he ran out of things to talk about on his walks, he learned how to beatbox!  The best part of the story was how much pride he took in how he’s grown.  He never hesitated about wearing his yarmulka on TV, and expressed this in such a meaningful way to our NCSYers! The Beatboxing was great…..the speech was better.


On Sunday we had some great learning and got back to our sports leagues.  We had a pool party for some lucky prize winners and also had some games in our new MBA basketball league.  The “M” stands for mishna.  Each group of 3-4 players learn mishna for fifteen minutes and then play.  You can only play if you learn first!   Following Maariv, Rabbi Green called an important camp-wide meeting on Sunday night about the leagues.  I explained  that since my team had the worst record, we would be redrafting all of the teams and starting leagues all over again.  The boys got very upset, but it was really color war break out!!


The next two days were awesome! We had color war with tons of exciting games.  The learning on Monday helped prepare everyone for the learning competitions on Tuesday.  In the afternoons we had sports games and track and field competitions until it rained.  On Monday night we had races in the pool, that included  getting the watermelon from the deep end, tug of war, and find all of the pennies.  On Tuesday we had our awesome learning competition using a football game as the base to compete in the Torah questions.  In the afternoon we had a huge dodgeball game, apache race, and culminated the day with a grand sing, skit, and divrei Torah.  The nicest part was when the boys didn’t even want to hear the scores! They started singing acheinu and other songs with tons of ruach.  Thank you to Rabbi Zucker and Jeremy Epstein for putting everything together and to Aharon Meir Rubel and Robbie Steinerman, our color war generals.


Wednesday was back to regular schedule with learning groups in the morning. But in the afternoon we did not go back to leagues, we instead went to the sweetest place on earth…Hersheypark!  It was an awesome trip with beautiful weather, great rides and a lot of fun. The camaraderie on the trips and in camps has been really amazing this summer


On Thursday we had great learning and finally got back to leagues. The night ended with the end of the week video, that will be posted soon, mishmar learning and raffles with some great prizes.

Today we will get ready for Shabbos, by learning, playing sports and going to Walmart or Baltimore’s Kosher supermarket. That will help everyone get food for Shabbos and to prepare for the fast day on Sunday.


Have a Great Shabbos

Rabbi Green

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