A 10 day wintercamp for European Tzeirei Hashluchos took place in Gothenburg, Sweden this week, ending yesterday. Despite deep snow, daughters of shluchim arrived from all over Europe for an unforgettable experience.
The campers’ excitement was focused on farbrengens, winning pictures of the Rebbe for davening with kavana and learning classes, nigunim and learning tanya baal peh. The oldest bunk had a daily in depth shiur in Likutei Sichos.
“It was beautiful to see the chayus the campers had in ruchnius,” said one of the Head Counselors.
The heated pool, cozy fireside, beautiful landscape of snow covered forest and close proximity to exciting attractions and winter sports make the campsite in Gothenburg an ideal location. Iceskating, skiing, and sledding were just some of the activities enjoyed by the campers. (Larger premises are available in the summer to accommodate even more campers in the future.)
“This is what we were missing when we were kids, growing up here on shlichus in Europe,” said one of the counselors. “It is not usually practical or possible to send kids all the way to to the US for camp, and this is such an important part of their chinuch.”
European Tzeirei Hashluchos Gan Yisroel in Sweden is a dream come true for European shluchim. None of the kids are foreigners, no matter their shlichus location, or the language they speak. Here they all come together as the Rebbe’s kinderlach.
Campers and counselors attended the wintercamp from Almere and De Hague (Holland), Berlin, Dresden and Hannover (Germany), Oslo (Norway), Copenhagen (Denmark), Stockholm and Gothenburg (Sweden), Athens (Greece), Oxford and Leeds (England), Vienna (Austria) and Brunoy (France). Counselors from New York were also in the camp.
“Everything in camp was the best!” said Chanie Teichtel from Berlin, Germany. “Especially color war! Skiing was also amazing, also ice skating, actually all the activities….everything was so much fun. It was really nice to make new friends. To be in camp and meet a lot of other girls like me who are my age is really fun. I learned a lot, much more than I expected to! Every day we wrote down what we learned, and we learned halochos every day and the meaning of things according to chassidus from the Rebbe’s sichos. And I’ve added new things to my davening!”
“Camp made me feel closer to the Rebbe, because we learned stuff and watched videos, and everything was to do with the Rebbe and Shlichus. And that makes me feel closer to him. And I think we should have this camp every summer and winter, no, like every day,” says Rochel Danow, 11, from Leeds, England.
“We really realize what a big zchus we have to be Shluchim,” says Chanchie Namdar from Sweden. “Especially in camp, where we’re always talking about it and having farbrengens.”
“I really hope I can come back in the summer,” says Sorele Stiefel from Almere, Holland, who attended the camp for the first time.
Gan Yisroel Tzeirei Hashluchos Sweden was started in the summer of 5769 as a joint venture of Merkos L’inyonei Chinuch with Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, and Chabad of Sweden, directed by Rabbi Alexander and Leah Namdar. This was the very first wintercamp.
Rabbi Alexander Namdar adds: “The Rebbe told us in a private yechidus in 5751 (verbatim translated from Yiddish): ‘Chassidus says that a yid should be freilach, freilach begashmius! Nu, be freilach and we will hear good news.’
In the Rebbe’s words, camp is ‘like Simchas Torah.’ We want every child to leave camp freilach begashmius, strengthened in their hiskashrus and ready to return to their places of shlichus around Europe with new koach.”
The staff, most of whom grew up on shlichus themselves, are all aware of the courage of these young shluchos, many of whom have no friends their own age in their place of shlichus, and feel the tremendous zchus of being entrusted with these precious kinderlach of the Rebbe.
“The varmkeit and chayus was amazing and we are tremendously grateful to our staff. Looking at the head counselors, counselors and the campers, we can only conclude that the Rebbe’s Army is growing in an unprecedented manner, Baruch Hashem, with an upcoming generation of dedicated shluchos,” says Leah Namdar, who directed the camp together with her husband.
In honor of Chof Daled Teves, the camp of nineteen children BH, between ages 7-13 learned 615 lines of Tanya Baal peh in just five days!
The camp is run in both English and Hebrew simultaneously, with songs, stories and announcements in both languages. Counselors at this camp are bilingual.
Registration for the 3 week summer camp will be opening shortly beezras Hashem, for girls ages 8-14.
Fore more info email to [email protected]