Machnaut Survival Day

by Omer Tauber, Rosh Machnaut (Camping)

About 10 days ago the Machon campers who chose the outdoor challenge elective had a very unique experience – Survival Day! Early in the morning these entering 10th graders were told to be ready in 10 minutes for a survival adventure. They all met at the agam (waterfront) and were given clues to find supplies around camp, and were tasked with creating a group name and cheers. After they found their supplies, they came back to the agam and had to build a raft of logs, ropes, and a wood pallet. They pushed off and then swam with their raft out to the island, taking turns riding on the raft for a bit of a break. They all successfully made it to the island – a distance of ¾ of a mile! They enjoyed a delicious lunch and then built shelters for their overnight stay on the island. The next challenge was to make fire without matches! They used a magnifying glass, fire stone and the sun, and they did it! They used their fires to cook a dinner of sweet potatoes, rice and pita bread with cheese. Lucky for them, the tzevet machnaut (outdoor ed staff) brought the ingredients for a special s’mores dessert. After the island was cleaned up, everyone went to sleep in the shelters they had built. In the morning they participated in special tefillot, a time for prayer and reflecting on the natural beauty of the setting. After a delicious breakfast of shakshuka, the Machon’ers returned to camp – they had survived Survival Day!  They said it was an awesome experience that tested their endurance, creativity and most of all, their teamwork!