ShnUpdate - Savyon 09.08.18

This past week was nothing short of fun! With our final week of chavaiyah done and dusted, I can honestly say it was one of the most valuable hadracha (leadership) experiences of Shnat.

Of course every part of Shnat has its limitations. Leading on an Israeli summer camp meant that our hebrew speaking skills were put to the test. We were certainly pushed far out of our comfort zones and really gained perspective on learning how to communicate in effective ways without having the english language on our side. I found this to be particularly challenging, as I am very vocal and not being able to do that with the chanachim (kids) was a struggle.

Needless to say however, the perks of chavaiyah certainly outweighed its challenges. With several fluent english speakers on camp, we were able to get the messages across the kids that we were so keen to give out. Plus in the process we even strengthened our bond and connection between our fellow madrachim. Forming these kind of connections with Israeli’s our age was an amazing experience, and its always a wonderful thing to have friends to visit that aren't a part of our small kvutzah (group).

The kids on camp seemed like what was endless enthusiasm, spirit and love. They came to programs with smiles on their faces and would not let a day go by without dancing to ‘Every time We Touch’ by Cascada. A highlight of camp for me would definitely be Colour Wars, in which half of camp was divided into the red team, and the other the blue. Using tactics of ruach, games and serious decorating skills, each team competed for the ‘golden trident’. Seeing how seriously everyone takes this event on camp was a huge culture shock compared to what we are used to in Netzer Australia, but it could not have been a better experience and even though the team I was on did not win, I was having so much fun that I felt like I had. In many ways, I did win!

Now that camp has come to a close, the kvutzah and I are going our separate ways as we enter our chofesh (holiday) period. After investing all of our energy and ruach (spirit) into chavaiyah, I think we all deserve a well deserved break. So goodbye for now! Happy holidays everyone, and if you need me, I’ll most likely be relaxing, and getting excited for our next stage in Hafia!

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Masa Gap Year programs offer college-bound high school graduates a year of valuable life experience before college, with Israel providing the perfect environment for them to explore their interests, identity, and future steps. Through a combination of academic coursework, volunteering, traveling, and an immersive experience in Israeli society, Fellows return home with the life skills to make the most out of their college experience. Learn more about Masa here.

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© 2016 Orit Sagi, Netzer Olami, Photography by Danit Ariel & Roy Elman