“Our three boys just got back from Florida Shluchim Camp. To say it was amazing will be an understatement. The care before the camp, the experience during camp – our boys come back energized and inspired. The Gaon Yaakov of being a Shliach, a Dugma Chaya, was ingrained in them in a strong way. Our daughter is there now and having a blast. Thank you to The Shluchim Office and the entire staff for putting this together!”
Just one comment from a happy parent, Rabbi Dovid Teichtel of Champaign, IL, whose children just returned from the Young Shluchim Winter Camp in Lake Worth, Florida.
Flights poured in from across the country and excited boys of all ages hurried through the airport terminal to retrieve their baggage. Every child has his own individual story to tell about his hometown and school, but they all carried one common title and dedication: each one is a Shliach of the Rebbe.
And it is to this life-mission that they affirm their devotion throughout the ten days of the Young Shluchim Winter Camp by The Shluchim Office, held on the beautiful grounds of its Florida campsite. It is a wonderful opportunity for each young Shliach to spend quality time playing, farbrenging and getting to know his fellow Shluchim. Every day is used out to its fullest as the boys treasure this rare luxury in their life.
Getting things started on the first day of camp, the boys got right into the Chanukah spirit with a Chocolate Menorah factory with Rabbi Shmuly Gutnik. Each camper had the opportunity to make their own Menorah and other beautiful shapes from chocolate.
The very next day, camp marked Yud Tes Kislev with a special program and Farbrengen with Rabbi Aron Rabin, followed by Rabbi Yossi Gordon.
Excitement filled the air on Tuesday, as the boys boarded buses for the first time to a surprise destination. In the true spirit of the camp’s unique locale, the campers had a blast touring the everglades in air-boats. A grand BBQ and Farbrengen topped off the day at Chabad of Weston with Rabbi Yisroel Spalter.
And when the campers thought the excitement couldn’t get any more, Shlichus War began. Throughout the day on Wednesday, the campers and staff brought out two different aspects of Shlichus through learning, skits, songs, plays, and capped by a beautiful Grand Sing.
An action-packed Thursday followed, with sports, swimming, an elaborate on-grounds ropes course and zip-line, a water slide, game of capture the flag, the announcing of Shlichus War winners, and bonfire.
As the sun set on Friday, and Shabbos was ushered in, a special feeling settled upon the camp. It wasn’t just any Shabbos; it was Shabbos Mevorchim Teves and the Shabbos ushering in Chanukah! And what better way was there to spend such a Shabbos than being surrounded by fellow Shluchim?
To make it even more special, Rabbi Yossi Denburg, Shliach in Boca Raton, FL, joined camp for Shabbos and shared many interesting stories and words of inspiration throughout his amazing Farbrengens.
Motzai Shabbos, a special surprise was in store.
As the first night of Chanukah was ushered in, the campers peeked out the shul windows to see stretch limos and party buses arriving. It didn’t take long until they heard about the Grand Menorah Parade!
Going along with Pirsumei Nisa with a parade in style, the entire camp traveled to a nearby park to do Mivtzoim, giving out Menorahs and spreading the light and message of Chanukah to each Jew they met. In the course of 45 minutes, the campers gave out over 100 Menorahs in Mizner Park in Boca Raton! “It was hard to find someone there who wasn’t Jewish,” exclaimed one camper.
On a high from such a successful Mivtzoim, the campers returned to camp to a delicious pizza Melava Malka, followed by a sweet special activity: decorating their own doughnuts.
The grand trip, which followed the next day, was certainly a highlight. First a lavish breakfast was served and then onto the buses for the first stop: jet boating! Two boats were waiting to take the kids on a thrilling high speed water-adventure. A delicious pizza lunch followed at Chabad of Downtown Miami with words from Rabbi Eli Lipskar. The day continued with laser tag, roller skating, and a magnificent ropes course challenge, and concluded with a delicious BBQ at Chabad of Boca Raton!
Monday marked the last day of camp, as the campers all wrote Panim to the Rebbe, packed their things, and prepared to partake in the Grand Banquet.
A delicious Chinese dinner awaited them, prepared masterfully by the camp chef Rabbi Nissen Pewzner, and the program included a video of the Rebbe, Nigunim, awards, a slideshow with a flashback of the past 10 days, an address by a fellow Young Shliach, a Roll Call and dancing.
As a surprise, each camper was also given a 8×10 printed photo of the camp picture, along with Chanukah Gelt by the camp director.
Though the banquet marked the official end of camp, the lessons, camaraderie and chayus will certainly remain with the kids throughout the year and well beyond.
A big thank you is due to all the Shluchim who gave of their time and effort to ensure the young Shluchim had a most memorable experience: Rabbi Moshe Denburg, Boca Raton, FL, Rabbi Yossi Denburg, Boca Raton, FL, Rabbi Chaim Lipsker (Downtown – Brickel), Rabbi Moshe Pinson, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Raichik, West Boynton, FL, Rabbi Bentzion Shemtov, Rabbi Yisroel Spalter, Weston, FL, and Rabbi Shmuli Gutnick. The campgrounds are directed by Rabbi Yossi Biston.
The success of the Tzeirei Hashluchim Winter Camp is thanks to our dedicated Director Rabbi Berel Bendet, along with the head staff, Mendel Ceitlin, Mendel Hertz and Mendel Perlstein and all the devoted staff, whose dedication, passion and Chassidisher chayus made this year’s winter camp the biggest success we’ve seen to date. Their tireless efforts to inspire this generation’s Young Shluchim is felt by every child who joined the camp, and all those they will further inspire upon returning home.
The Young Shluchim Camp is a department of Chinuch Yaldei Hashluchim, a division of The Shluchim Office. Rabbi Don Yoel Levy, of OK Kosher Certification, is the main sponsor of this worthy cause.