So last weekend Sammy G (Youth Community Co-Ordinator) and I headed to YHA National Forest to run youth activities during the Nottingham Progressive Jewish Congregation’s (NPJC) Shabbaton.
The journey up wasn’t the best, our train lacked air conditioning on one of the hottest days of the year but we were picked up but a friendly face from the community and got a to the hostel where we were shown to our seriously nice room. I mean having an en suite when normally in LJY-Netzer you sleep where ever you can including sofas and wooden floors was very nice feeling.
The first night as well as a great Kabblat Shabbat Service run by Rabbi Tanya Sakhnovich we met all the Chanachim for the first time and split them into the younger kids and the older ones. Sam took the older groups and did some GTKY games as well as giving them an egg as part of the eggpocolypse, while I gave out temporary tattoos that you apply to your hands so it looks like they can talk. It’s a pretty high-tech process.
Then while the chanachim stayed up much later, it was time for bed for me and Sam.
On the Saturday after a great shacarit, we ran Wide Game game based on the parasha, with Israelites, Moabites and Ammomites being turned into Wizards, Giants and Elves – informal education at its very best.
In the afternoon there was team building activities run by the staff of the hostel, this included minesweeper, as well as a game where guttering was used to transport a pool ball from one side to another and imagination was pushed to its limits with a car park being turned into a crocodile infested swamp and carpet into stepping stones with chanachim being tasked to get across.
That evening the kids put on a show with the older group doing a wicked cool rap and the younger ones doing a star wars skit which involves Twin Princesses Leah, g-dyoda, Darth Haman, Darth Goliath and various other genius characters all made up by the Chanachim.
That night there was a banging disco, where parents and children boggied the night with some lovely non-alcoholic cocktails.
The last day, as well as a good tidy up the younger years became official LJY-Netzer spies in relation to the spies Moses tried to send into Israel, our spies were more successful and the older year group had a discussion and a sikkum and prizes for Eggpocolpse.
It was a great weekend, where parents and children alike seemed to have a great time.
I would just like to end this by thanking Rabbi Tanya and the community for being so welcoming and say I’m looking forward to seeing them again and seeing some of the kids on various LJY-Netzer events.