Written by Whitley Dubose Tuesday, 10 June 2014 16:42
Ten Scouts, ages 13 and 14, from the Tzofim Israeli Scout Delegation arrived June 20th in Cincinnati to visit the region, and Camp Friedlander for two weeks. The purpose of the event is to connect Israeli Scouts with American Boy Scouts in Cincinnati.
“These young men and women bring an International Scouting experience to our camp that is beneficial to all,” said Tom Dugger, Scout Executive and CEO of Dan Beard Council. “We once again welcome the "Tzofim, Israeli Scouts" to Camp Friedlander and we thank them for helping to build the bridge of The World Scout Movement.”
While at Camp Friedlander, the Tzofim Delegation takes part in traditional merit badge classes, COPE and ACE. They interact with Boy Scouts from Dan Beard Council and teach them about the differences and similarities between Scouting in America and Scouting in Israel. Each year, the Tzofim Scouts give back to the Cincinnati community through a service project. In 2012, the Israeli Scouts built a bridge in French Park in Amberley Village and in 2013; the Scouts revisited French Park to help with landscaping. The Scouts also make a traditional dinner for the friends they’ve met at Camp Friedlander as well as hold a forum for Scouts and their leaders to learn more about the Israeli Scouting program and culture.
“This is the first time out of the country for many of the Israeli Scouts, and the first time that many of the Cincinnati Scouts have even met an Israeli before,” said Alan Brown, Jewish representative of the Relationship Committee of Dan Beard Council. “It is a wonderful opportunity for two cultures to learn more about each other on an upfront and personal way."
This is the 12th year the Tzofim Israeli Scout Delegation has visited Cincinnati, and is made possible by donations made through the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati.
About the Dan Beard Council
The Dan Beard Council prepares more than 33,000 youth to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Scouting provides a program for young people that builds character, trains them in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and develops personal fitness. Please visit www.danbeard.org or contact Hannah Fiehrer at 513.577.1716 for additional information.
About the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati
The Jewish Federation of Cincinnati envisions an exceptional Cincinnati Jewish community and, through the community-wide strategic plan Cincinnati 2020, brings diverse groups together to build it. We raise money and use a volunteer-driven, transparent process to distribute it to the local, national and global programs that need it most. We connect our community agencies with the leaders and expertise they need to thrive. And we work to protect Jewish security by educating the community and advocating for Israel. We do all of this to help people in need, create an engaged community, assure our Jewish future and support the Jewish people in Cincinnati, in Israel and throughout the world. Learn more at jewishcincinnati.org.
Tzofim Israeli Scout Blog
Yesterday, Saturday, was a quiet day at camp. All of the other campers from that week were out of Camp Friedlander by 10 am so our children had a fairly casual day. The camp was kind enough to provide several staff and a van and took our children out to lunch and then bowling. I think that Gal and Orel were the top scorers of the day. The day finished off at camp with a pizza dinner.
Today was the first day of Week 3 camp with a whole new group of Scouts attending camp. They all went through the normal registration process while our children were able to relax, call home, play cards, read ghost stories, and hang out. We also had a visit from Yair Cohen, the community Shaliach and his family as well as Linda Kean, one of our P2G committee members and the Sleyo's (a host family for the last part of their Cincinnati stay) who just returned (the morning before) from Hawaii. Yair introduced the Tzofim to what the P2G committee is and how this particular program fits into the overall work of the committee. He discussed the impact of this program on the Cincinnati Jewish community as well as how it affects the overall community. I think I had mentioned before that, for many at summer camp, they have never met an Israeli before--they only read about Israel in the newspaper. This program allows us to connect Israeli to a larger audience of non-Jews as well as to the Jewish community in Cincinnati. Each of the Tzofim represent Israel to this community and it's important to keep the bigger picture in mind as they have fun at camp and in Cincinnati.
The two troops sharing our campsite are fairly small compared to last week. Each has around 8 or so boys compared to the 20ish for each of two troops the previous week. Should be a little quieter around the campsite.
Tomorrow starts merit badge classes for the week. Our children will be taking COPE which is a high ropes/low ropes, team building, leadership training experience. While it's a lot of fun, it also provides some excellent group skill lessons for them to learn. Those that took archery last week will take rifle this week and vice versa. The rest of the afternoon is free to give them some more opportunity to pursue things that may be of interest to them.
You can see some photos for the day at:
You can see all of the other photos at:
Where to begin? This was the last night of camp for the first week. We had a Shabbat dinner at camp with great food provided by our Partnership 2Gether committee and host families from Congregation Beth Adam with specific thanks to Marcie Strasser for coordinating the dinner (and preparing some incredible pasta dishes!!). The girls lit the Shabbat candles, Ilay did the Kiddush, and Ori did the Motzi. They all did a wonderful job and good food was had by all.
At dinner, we were joined by the Chaverim for Cincinnati, Hadas and Oren, and one of the camp counselors from Camp Livingston, Neta. It was great to see Hadas at camp--she was one of my Tzofim campers 6 years ago and was inspired by her experience here in Cincinnati back then to want to participate in the Chaverim program in Cincinnati. I couldn't be prouder of her and her accomplishments!
Tonight was our children's turn to perform the flag lowering ceremony for the entire camp. I feel that they did a spectacular job in front of the other Scouts and all of the visiting families of the other campers. It was finished off with Ilay giving the camp prayer in Hebrew in front of everyone. You have much to be proud of with your children!!
The evening was finished up by a campfire with skits, songs, and awards. A nice finish to a nice evening.
Tomorrow the entire camp leaves and the staff gets ready for the next week's campers. Our children will have a leisurely morning where they can actually sleep late and ease into the day. They will be going bowling and doing some projects at the camp and finish up with a pizza dinner. Sunday starts the next week of new campers.
To see tonight's photos, please use the following link:
To see previous photographs, please use the following links:
Everyone looks like they have started to settle into the rhythm of the camp. Trading Post for snacks, trading patches, hanging out, merit badge classes--all of it is starting to fit together.
When I left camp yesterday evening, it started to rain and ended up raining for a good part of the night but it cooled the temperature down today nicely. Beautiful day. I understand today's ACE experience was canoeing although I didn't get a chance to really hear much about it as everyone was in a constant state of going somewhere. There was a brief storm during dinner and then it cleared up into a nice end to the day.
Tomorrow is our campsite dinner with three other troops as I mentioned in yesterday's email. I think the count is still around 80 Scouts. We're doing the grocery shopping tomorrow morning. I'm fortunate to have a good friend, Rich Veleta, who loves camp cooking and all that it entails. He is a former assistant scoutmaster of Troop 112, one of the troops we're going to be eating with. It will be all of Troop 112's kitchen equipment and all of our know-how. More to say on that tomorrow.
Not a lot of photos taken but here are some to view:
You can see all of the other images at:
I actually don't have a lot to report, today was a normal "working day" of camp with all of the normal activities during the day and then the beginning of free time programming at night. It did rain at 17:15-17:30 and, other than creating some nice mud puddles, really didn't cool the day down much. This evening, everyone scattered to do things. I know that Ilay and Shalev went to the rifle range to see how to shoot black powder guns which, I think, are the old guns that you load down the muzzle--they're called muzzle-loaders. Liron P. went up to take her swim test since she wasn't able to do it on Sunday.
We entertained tonight visitors at the campsite between kids that wanted to come by and trade patches and adults who wanted to introduce themselves and learn more about scouting in Israel and about Israel. Lots of questions! It was nice to see such interest and such support of our program. One scoutmaster brought up the question of a group of American Scouts going to Israel Scout summer camp. This is something that we've talked about over the past five or so years and I'm hopeful that we can still put together sometime in the next couple of years. I know our Netanya Scouts are very open to the idea and I think it would be very exciting to do. We'll see how that develops.
We are also planning a dinner at Stuart campsite for Thursday evening followed by some kind of program. Gal and I have been talking about what that program might look like so we shall see how it develops. We share the campsite with two other troops who have around 20-25 Scouts each. The dinner is going to include them as well as Troop 112 from my part of town whom we shared dinner with last year. Somehow this has evolved into a dinner of Kosher hotdogs for 80 or so campers!!! How did this happen?!
I decided to give the kids a break tonight from me constantly photographing them so I don't have any new photos to share. Sorry about that. Photos from the previous nights can be seen at:
Today was the first day of merit badge classes. Typically, the first day is mostly instruction but, in ACE, they climbed the "ice wall" which is part of the climbing tower--challenging but fun. I don't know if Gal sent photos of that today but we will try to get something to show you about the climbing tower later.
It also was a day of patch trading--something that Ilay, Orel, and Shalev are particularly keen on but everyone seems to be doing trading and meeting a lot of the other scouts in doing so.
In the photos that I'm posting tonight, you will also see Gal's expert target rifle shooting--quite a marksman!!
You can see today's small collection of photos at:
Previous days' photos can be seen at:
Today has both been a quiet day and a very active day. It was a time to rest but it was also a time for all of the host families to take the Tzofim out shopping, me included. I'm happy to report that Gal was able to find his GoPro camera that he is looking forward to putting to use at camp. For those that don't know what a GoPro camera is, this is a camera that can be strapped to one's forehead, attached to an arm, etc. and used to video record action from a person's direct point of view. Fun. We got to try it out tonight (you'll see it a few times in today's photos).
We met at Jim Horwitz's house tonight for dinner, games, and great desserts! Thanks, Jim and Renee for putting this together. It was a very good time with some basketball, trampoline, pool, ping pong, cornhole and GREAT food!
Gal and I also met with the children to review what we were going to be doing tomorrow at camp: time to show up, what to wear, swim test, tour, etc. I think everyone is looking forward to getting to camp. A good night's sleep and then off to camp at noon tomorrow.
Because everyone was out with their respective host families, there weren't a lot of photos taken today but I have shared the link below:
I did have to move the site so, if you want to see yesterday's photos, here is the new link for those:
Today was the first day of camp. Paperwork, swim test, campsite inspection, and getting settled in. It was a hot day, 32 degrees C (91 degrees F) but a very pretty day.
Everyone did well in the swim tests. Liron P wasn't feeling totally up to it this morning but was doing better in the afternoon but deferred her swim test until tomorrow. The campsite at Stuart A was as beautiful as ever and there were a number of new tents, so that was nice.
They share the camp area with two other troops including Nathan Hatcher, one of the host families. Always nice to see a familiar face.
Dinner at the dining hall was a busy time--they have 680 campers not including staff so there are a lot of people to get through the lines. It always amazes me just how quickly that large a group can move through the food line, though.
After dinner, we took a tour of the camp and then the evening ended in a campfire.
Tomorrow is the first day of merit badge classes and hopefully everyone will get a good night's rest.
You can see today's photos at:
The other photos can be seen at: