Color War 5770

Wow! What an amazing color war / hiskashrus war.
Both teams had so much amazing talent and chayos from beginning to end.
The two teams, kabolas ol and kav sheloi, each sought to bring out their theme through their plays, songs and in everything they did.
The team of kabolas ol stressed the importance of doing what you’re told, even though sometimes you don’t understand, while the team of kav sheloh emphasized the idea of also having your own chayos in what you do, each person with his specific talents.
The first presentation of both teams was the teams’ theme songs, made by the staff of each team.
Throughout the first day of hiskashrus war many staff and campers worked tirelessly for hours, preparing the plays for that night.
All the work was well rewarded with two amazing plays, each expressing the toichen (theme) of its team.

The next morning woke to an early start with mishnayos Baal Peh, and as everyone knows “Mishnayos Baal Peh wins the war.”
Knowing this, each camper tried his best to finish the quota, and many even did the double quota to earn extra points for his team.
Then, right after breakfast and again after lunch the place rolled with laughter at the hilarious scavengers and halacha skits presented by each team (alright, maybe not rolling, but they were pretty funny). Meanwhile, and throughout the rest of the day, while races were taking place by the pool and the soccer field, campers and counselors were once again busy making backdrops, building props, and preparing costumes, for the grand sing at the end of the day.
Nightfall came as two drastically different groups of 150 campers each entered the shul and filed onto the bleachers.
On one side of the shul was a band of wild Indians with massive teepees and spears and even boats, while on the other side of the room, 150 campers stood dressed in taleisim in a full fledged shul, complete with a bimma, aron kodesh, memorial plaques, and yes, even an ezras nashim balcony.
All of the props and backdrops of both teams were built/set-up that very day.
Later in the night, after presentation of Alma matter songs and again theme songs for each team, there was grammin, and comedy songs, to the enjoyment and laughter of all the campers and staff present.
The night ended off with a smashing maariv and then off to a late lights-out for all of the tired campers.

What a Grand Sing, what a day, what a color war!
Click Here for some amazing pictures!


This year, for the very first time in CGI history, CGI Parksville piloted the brand new Tzivos Hashem system to keep campers motivated by them being able to manage their achievements.
Every camper gets a personalized ID card, with his color photo, and his very own bar-code.
Every time they achieve a certain task, through davening, bentching, learning, learning Tanya Baal Peh, learning Chitas daily, coming to mikvah, learning chassidus in the morning, chayus throughout the day, etc. they acquire an Achievement Card (with a bar-code) which they’re able to scan in the Kiosk (where the campers can view their progress or add/spend points, then browse their options to spend or scan in more points); thus enabling them to manage their achievements. This encourages and motivates them to achieve and accomplish even more and more.
Boruch Hashem, we’ve witnessed a dramatic change in the Chassidishe behavior of all the campers. Chassidus Club, for example, had an attendance of 160+ campers! Mikvah on a regular weekday, 100+! Tanya Baal-Peh 6:30 am, 120+! Chitas Club 170+! Not to mention the amount of chayus added during davening and improved behavior during learning classes.
It is hoped that this new system will be used by all camps – worldwide, in the years to come to keep campers aware and up-to-date with their achievements and performance and enliven the camp experience.
This program would not have been possible without the generous sponsorship from Rabbi Dovid & Malkie Smetana. Many thanks to Rabbi Shaya Smetana for the endless time and effort invested in the developing and managing of the program in every step of the way. We would like to thank Head Counselor Naftolie Minkowitz, for his enormous work in adapting it for a camp setting.

Grand Trip!

The breakout:
Night activity. Brothers Night. Head Counselor Moishe Shemtov and CEO of the Fresh Air Factory, Meir Shemtov. They did not match, so we got their mother on the line. And so, she broke it out… COLOR WAR!
The whole camp was split up into two. Captains were announced and after being a little disagreement between them, they broke it out; GRAND TRIP!

All the campers got up bright and early. 119 of them made their way to cocoa club to learn Tanya baal peh while sipping a delicious hot cup of cocoa. Right after shacharis, there was breakfast, learning classes, activities and lunch. After mincha we all loaded the charter busses to the Lake Compounds amusement park!

Lake Compounds:
It was a beautiful and exciting park rented out specially for jewish camps. With amazing roller coasters and water slides, Lake Compounds was the perfect place for Gan Israel’s GRAND TRIP!

Arriving at 3 am, caused a delay in Thursdays reveille. So Thursday is one of those days were we’re having fun by just walking around, enjoying each other’s company. Night activity was a special one, though. It was none other than… Talent night! Everyone gazed in surprise as campers showed their exceptional talents.

Friday, Shabbos, Sunday 26-27-28 Menachem Av

Friday, we started the usual. Cocoa Club, Reveille, Clean-up, Snacks, Lineup and shacharis. [Every day, one bunk gets the privilege to go out to the forest and daven with a tape of the Rebbe. They also get to have breakfast. This, we call it “The Baal Shem-Tov Experience”.] Afterwards, learning classes made their way towards the hands-on-experience where they watched and were able to make themselves 8 of the 39 melachos. (B”H it wasn’t shabbos!). Following that, the learning classes had the Ginchyfrinks competition. The day continued as usual. Shabbos day a Birthday Farbrengen was held commemorating Rabbi Shemtov’s birthday. Rabbi Wolberg and Rabbi Shemtov farbrenged until mincha. Motzay Shabbos, the soccer field was full. Full with excited campers and staff members as well as Coaches and Referees. Everyone waiting impatiently for the Grand All Star Game to commence! The grand Football game took place by the soccer field, at around 10:00pm. and continued until late. It was an amazing and very exciting game for all, players and spectators alike.
Sunday we had a late reveille (but obviously Cocoa Club took place, regardless). Shacharis, Breakfast and Visiting Day! After visiting day, we had mincha, supper, night activity and maariv. Stay tuned for an awesome week yet to come!

Thursday, 25 Menachem Av

Thursday we had a late start, but that didn’t mean we wouldn’t be having a spectacular day. Winners of Bunk War were announced. After that, a few Kvutzos (learning groups) were privileged to be the first to try “Beso’s Farm Experience”, a workshop involving a step by step process through 11 of the 39 melachos. These 11 melachos are the 11 involved in the making of the lechem hapanim (the special bread used on the shulchan in the mishkan). Each camper watched a video for the melachos of plowing and planting, then saw a play about the melacha of harvesting. After that each camper received a head of a stalk of wheat and got to perform the melachos of threshing, winnowing, and even grinding their own kernels of wheat. Then they went on to the next room to knead dough where it was then taken to the oven to be baked. Pictures coming soon. Later on the day, the youngest division went on a overnight in The Rebbe’s Forest!

Tuesday – Wednesday, 23-24 Menachem Av

Wow what a busy two days. Tuesday we woke up to find the camp being “run” by children. All the P.A. announcements were done by a camper, while campers in white shirts with radios roamed around the camp, even telling staff what to do. From morning till lunch the campers ran the show. Then at lunch the news was broken out that 4th and 5th grade divisions would be going on a grand beevowack (overnight). After everything was loaded into garbage bags and onto the truck, the busses set off towards the campsite filled with excited campers ready to grill, roast, and have some fun. Arriving at the campsite after amazing staff-camper games, the campers split up into groups of two bunks per campsite, unpacked, built tents, and set right to work gathering wood to build a fire. Meanwhile the staff began to start up the grills. Finally, nightfall came and it was time to start up the fires. All of the staff and campers sat together around the fires singing, hearing stories, and some even dancing. As the hours went by it finally came time to roll up in sleeping bags, hear just one last story, and drift off peacefully to sleep. In the morning we woke up, davened, ate, and got ready to go back to camp. The busses went off to return to camp, arriving a short while later right as the oldest division began bunk war. The oldest division bunks were split up into three teams representing the three ideas of Ani ledodi. – Teshuvah, Tefillah and Tzedakah. Each team was led by campers from the bunks in the oldest division, while some of the counselors became the judges. All day there was plays, chants, songs, and a most beautiful grand sing. After such a busy day it feels nice to say, Good night Machaneh Gan Yisroel.

Monday, 22 Menachem Av

We’re changing Head Counselors. We’re changing Learning Directors. Canteen Managers, head waiters and MBP directors. Huh? Well, it’s a busy day in Gan Izzy because Topsy Turvy Day™ will soon take place! All day the campers roamed the square gathering signatures from campers and staff alike to reach a total of 25 signature from campers and 25 from staff. Meanwhile the competition began for the most original sign to catch everyone’s attention. The walls and windows became plastered with things like “vote Y.K. for ice cream that has a nice twist”, or “vote B.S.H. as head waiter for good quick service”. Throughout the day Broadcasts were heard on the P.A. advertising things like sports directors, learning directors and a whole slew of other such things. Then came the speeches. An opportunity for the campers who managed to get 50 signatures to present themselves before the whole camp and explain why they should be voted in for their position. Finally the votes were cast to see who would run the camp on Tuesday.
Stay tuned!

Sunday, 21 Menachem Av

Sunday was a fairly plain day (except that there was no cocoa club :(), or at least as plain as it could get in Gan Israel. The campers got up ate snacks and went into the shul for davening. Following a chayosdike davening was a delicious breakfast and learning classes as usual with the new color-point system. They then ran all the way down to their exciting activities then all the way back for a superb lunch. Then all the way out to the second and third activities for yet more fun and exercise, all the way back to learning classes then back to the main building for a sumptuous dinner of… as of yet unidentified. Next they ran across the square for a fun night activity and maariv, and finally all the way up to the bunkhouses. Which reminds me of Snapple fact™ #826: in the average lifetime, a person will walk the equivalent of five times around the equator. In the average day in CGI Parksville, it’s around the same.

Shabbos, CHOF AV, Yarchei Kallah!

WOW! What an awesome Shabbos!
Indescribable amount of chayus by davening, singing by the meals, and most important our very special guests we had for Shabbos!
Yes, Yarchei Kallah is here and we’re very excited campers and staff alike.
Shabbos afternoon, all the learning classes were divided into 3 and had farbrengen with the Rabbonim and Mashpiim in honor of Chof Av.
The oldest group ‘farbrenged’ with Rabbi Shapiro, from Miami.
The youngest group had a farbrengen with Rabbi Wilhelm from Minnesota.
Rabbi Hertz from Chicago farbrenged for the middle division.
Following the farbrengens, campers rushed to the camp square and the shul where they learned Mishnayos and Tanya Baal Peh.
Whats next? Seder Niggunim! Every division learned a new niggun (this week: Yechidus Niggun) over and over, until we were finally able to sing it ourselves.
Following mincha, Shalos Seudos (not to mention a hilarious SHMARYONKIE ;D ) we davened maariv in the lunch room because the shul was getting ready to host the grand Yarchei Kallah Melave Malka!
Shabbos Competition winners were then announced.
WOW! What an awesome Shabbos, indeed!

Thursday, 18 Av – Trip to the Rebbe

Thursday was one of the most serious and important days of the summer, a day for every camper and staff to strengthen his hiskashrus to the Rebbe and gather inspiration for the entire rest of the year.
Each camper got up early and was instructed to go straight to the mikva, in preparation for the yechidus between Rebbe and Chassid that happens when we step into the ohel.
After davening the campers went to their learning classes to write their panim as their learning teachers guided them and taught them the significance of writing a pidyon nefesh to the Rebbe.
Then, following a quick breakfast, the campers loaded on to the busses to visit the Rebbe in honor of chof av.
Throughout the trip there was a special video presentation featuring a series of inspirational videos of the Rebbe with prefacing messages from our dear N.A.D.
Upon arriving at the ohel a rally was held in one of the tents where pesukim were said, and everyone finished their preparations to go in to the Rebbe.
The campers then went into the ohel to read their panim and say some tehillim.
It was truly inspiring to watch as lines and lines of campers poured in and out of the ohel each with a pan in hand ready to greet our Rebbe.
In those few minutes inside the ohel each and every one of the tayere kinder together with the staff connected with the nosi hador in their own and unique way.
Following the visit to the ohel, the camp drove off to 770 for another rally and mincha.
One cannot describe the awesome scene of 500 campers and staff, dressed in Gan Israel t-shirts, saying the twelve pesukim and davening mincha in the traditional ‘lebediker’ Gan Israel way. The entire front of 770 was packed wall to wall with campers and staff singing and chanting with chayos, as many from 770 came to watch.
We hope and pray that the chayus from today’s visit to the Rebbe should carry us through the entire summer and ultimately lead us to the coming of Moshiach. May it be right now!

Tuesday, 17 Menachem Av

Tuesday let’s see… hmm… they got up bright and early for cocoa club, learned a line or two of perek 32 Tanya (Leilui Nishmas HaTomim Nosson Deitsch) to earn a steaming fresh hot delicious cup of cocoa (mmm yummy cocoa), then ate cookies (mmm yummy cookies), lined up, davened, ate breakfast and then heard speeches from the learning directors, who then split them up into their classes. The kids ran off to their designated spots to start a whole new month of learning all about the 39 Melachos and a deeper look into davening with the “vaani tefilasi” booklets.
Next came activities, for each camper to begin practicing sports and showing what they can do before the great league draft.
Lunch was crispy falafel with chewy Israeli salad and smooth techina. Dinner was spaghetti sauce and cheese with steaming hot potato knishes.
Following dinner the kids went to the shul for a grand game hosted by the night activity director!!
Good night Gan Israel.

Monday, 14 Menachem Av

Monday, last day of the first trip first day of the second trip: a day full of goodbyes and hellos. Goodbyes to old campers leaving after first month and hellos to new campers coming for the second month. All the campers got up and went to their last line up of the first month. Then off to make the last shacharis of the first month a shacharis to remember.
After breakfast the campers went to their last learning class (for some) to learn one last time with their learning teachers. Right around the time learning classes ended the busses arrived to drop off new campers and pick up the old campers going back home.
After the busses pulled out to a background of staff waving goodbye the new campers were called into the shul for the “welcome to Gan Israel” speeches by head counselors C.R., N.M., M.W., and M.S..
Once unpacked the campers ate their first delicious snack of crispy cookies and ice cold milk then new and old went back to the shul for their first Mincha in camp.
7:30 came around and it was time to introduced night activity and the amazing song by N.A.D.M.B. AKA “Beso”. With an exciting breakout by I.C.M.D.P.G. a new month of fun, exciting night activity was introduced.

Sunday 14 Menachem Av

Sunday, being the last full day in camp for those leaving was a day that completed everything we’d done throughout the first month.
In the morning the two finalist teams of each division faced off in the Ginchyfrinks championship testing them on select material from the past month.
In the evening the campers went to the dining room for dinner to find it beautifully decorated with streamers of many colors for the grand banquet where all the winners would be announced.
It started off with delicious spaghetti and meatballs and yet more singing followed by the announcements of the winning teams, the teams that made it through the playoffs and won the championship.
Next was the announcement of the M.V.P.s, the most valuable player of each team.
Then the head counselor announced the best camper from each bunk. Then finally the learning director went up to the podium to announce the talmid hashavua, the most improved or overall best talmid in each kvutza.
After all that, by maariv, the CEO of the Fresh Air Factory (formerly called Mishnayos Baal Peh), handed out full sets of mishnayos to all those campers that came every single day to Cocoa Club and learned the daily Hayom Yom + a mishna.

Shabbos, 13 Menachem Av

Shabbos was a memorable one in Gan Yisroel right from the start.
During the Friday night meal sodas were given out by the dozens by loving counselors and learning teachers to make this last Shabbos a Shabbos to remember.
Emotions ran high as many “goodbye Gan Yisroel” songs were sung for those leaving on Monday.
Shabbos day started off with an amazing davening.
during the meal campers and counselors joined arms as more songs were sung and after a farbrengen with the learning teachers all the campers dispersed to the shul, lobby, or wherever was best for them to pack in as much MBP (Mishnayos Baal Peh) as possible in the last Shabbos of camp.
Many campers outdid their performance of the entire summer.

Thurdsday, 11 Menachem Av

Thursday began with the usual.
The campers got up, had line up, davened, ate breakfast, and went to learning classes.
But as the day began to unfold it became clear that this would be no ordinary day in Gan Israel.
Sunday, being the last full day in camp for those leaving was a day that completed everything we’d done throughout the first month.
In the morning the two finalist teams of each division faced off in the Ginchyfrinks championship testing them on select material from the past month.
In the evening the campers went to the dining room for dinner to find it beautifully decorated with streamers of many colors for the grand banquet where all the winners would be announced.
It started off with delicious spaghetti and meatballs and yet more singing followed by the announcements of the winning teams, the tea
During the first learning class the campers had a workshop on the machos of dosh and borer, in which each camper got to make their own orange juice and then sift it.
During the second and third learning classes the kvutzos faced off in GIN-CHY-FRINKS (Gan Israel New York Challenge Your Friends Knowledge (S)), the exciting game show challenge that tests the knowledge they learned throughout this past week in learning classes. All three activities had playoff games and some campers left with smiles and cheers while others left disappointed.
The fun continued from there with announcements of bee-vo-waks (overnights) for the oldest division and the NOD (Number One Division) and a grand barbeque for the middle division.
The middle division ate hotdogs, sang goodbye songs for those leaving, and played games.
Meanwhile in the Rebbe’s forest and at the campsite the NOD and oldest division, respectively, had their own barbeque, sang songs, then tired and happy, slept under the stars or the canvas roofs of their tents. Oh Wait! … And most importantly they roasted delicious marshmallows…
Camp Gan Israel 5770 campers across the country daven with extra Kavana Leilui Nishmas Nosson Deitsch OBM

This year, campers in Gan Israel Overnight Camps all over the country are learning about the history and order of the daily Tefillos.

The beautiful color “Va’ani Tifeelusee” booklet designed by Spotlight Design goes through the first half of davening – from Modeh Ani till Kaddish following Yishtabach. Every Tefilla is accompanied by a relevant part from Gemora pertaining to that part of Davening. There are also the Halochos, Minhagim and history of how that Tefilla was compiled and why it is in that place in davening. A short chassidic thought and story are included as well.

At the end of each Tefilla there are review questions.

The project was researched by a team of bochurim from 770, in their spare time, in memory of their friend Nosson Deitsch OBM.

The second booklet will go through the rest of the Teffilos till Oleinu.