Our Machon trip is off to a great start! On Sunday, Machon campers had a fun-filled morning at the Kalahari Water Park in the Wisconsin Dells–going up and down water slides, wading down the lazy river, and enjoying the outdoor and indoor pools. They then headed to Primrose Valley Farm, an organic farm in Belleville that focuses on sustainable farming practices. The campers were amazed to hear the story of the Bakers (the Chicago family that owns the farm) who moved to Wisconsin to pursue their dream of working the land. As they spoke about the central role of Jewish identity and heritage in their family life, they talked about the role that tikkun olam, repairing the world, plays in their mission: showing respect to the land and its resources, and ensuring the health and survival of their children and future generations.
At their next stop, our wonderful Madison hosts, Jill Korey and Beth Bresnick, served a delicious dinner followed by an ice cream sundae bar. To end the wonderful day, campers watched Pitch Perfect, followed by a night of singing around the bonfire. Today is another packed day, and we can’t wait to hear more about the amazing things Machon is seeing and experiencing in Wisconsin!
The fun on the farm continued on Monday morning when Machon learned about the work done at Primrose Valley Farm. They worked in the fields, harvesting zucchini that will be donated to the local food pantry. At Primrose Valley Farm, a Jewish farm that follows the practice of Shmita, Machon campers really gained an understanding of what it means to work on a farm that observes the sabbatical year.
After a morning on the farm, Machon traveled to the University of Wisconsin-Madison and toured the campus. At Hillel they learned about Jewish life at UW-Madison and the role Hillel currently plays in the lives of Ramah staff members, and will soon play in their own lives. As the afternoon continued, Machon had some free time to explore Madison’s State Street before heading to JCC Camp Shalom. This will be Machon’s homebase for their next part of the trip.
On Monday night Machon went to Vitense Golfland, where they enjoyed playing mini golf, hitting balls in the driving range, and playing jump ball as the setting sun filled the sky with vibrant colors.