Year 12 Camp
The Year 12 students experienced an overnight Shabbat ‘camp’ in the Blue Mountains last weekend. This camp, which was to be our final together as a cohort, had a focus on connection to ourselves and others through the creation of a true Shabbat atmosphere. We expected it to be a standard camp affair, but it far exceeded our expectations and became a truly memorable part of our Year 12 journey.
We reached Katoomba after lunch on Friday and immediately changed into smart/casual attire for our last true Shabbat experience as a Year Group. Singing Shabbat songs, reciting the prayers, it was all standard Shabbat schedule. However, performing it as a Year Group, together, made it unique to us. As a group we came together to discuss the weeks that led up to this camp, and what we expected to come after, what we were excited for and what we were scared about.
The Shabbat dinner was a real highlight. The food was the best we have ever tasted at a camp. The garlic bread caused genuine riots, and we all looked forward to the next meal. After dinner we were in high spirits and we spent our time in song – partly for our own enjoyment, and partly to keep interrupting Mr Bloom from singing Brittney Spears’ Toxic. Later in the evening we revisited our time on Ayekah by enjoying some of the party games we first played back in Year 10. It was fun because we were enjoying time with our friends, but it also served as a reminder for us of how far we have come and how much we have grown as a year group.
The night was filled with a lot of fun, dancing, smuggled food, and an intense game of hide-and-seek. The people who actually attempted a good night’s rest went on a morning walk with Mr Ezekiel and company to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Katoomba, near the Three Sisters. We spent Saturday focusing on connecting with each other. We had various workshops and Peulah which aimed to make us reflect on ourselves, and where we were going – both as individuals, and as a year group. We also thoroughly enjoyed free time spent together playing cards and sports outside.
We rounded out this camp with a Havdalah service and ruach – bringing us all back to Emanuel and our community.
We would like to extensively thank Mr Bell for organising this camp, and all of the staff who made it such an enjoyable and memorable experience – Mr Bloom, Mr Ezekiel, Ms Bishop, Ms Laumberg, and the Jewish Life alumni staff Asher Klein and Maya Buhrich. Without you we wouldn’t have had such an amazing final camp experience.
By Tori Shapiro and Jesse Keyser