Blog  Megablog 1: Michelle Citrin, Tzofim Friendship Caravan, and Olympics 2012!

Megablog 1: Michelle Citrin, Tzofim Friendship Caravan, and Olympics 2012!

By Hilary Winer, Athletics and Programming Team Leader

Wow! What an incredible few days we have had here at Crane Lake!  In fact, because sometimes at camp events happen all at once, we’ll occasionally be updating you with Megablogs!  In this Megablog: Artist-in-Residence Michelle Citrin’s visit, the Tzofim Friendship Caravan’s appearance, and the 2012 CLC Olympics!  Here’s your update!

Michelle Citrin, well-known independent musician, has achieved fame and international recognition through her YouTube videos and local music performances. Thursday afternoon, we introduced Michelle Citrin to our campers by playing her music video “I Gotta Love You Rosh Hashana” at lunch, and Nitzanim and Bonim had the opportunity to sign up in advance to participate in a songwriting workshop with Michelle.  Michelle arrived on Sunday, and during her stay she led a self-esteem program with Chaverim girls, and met with other units on camp.  Sunday night she performed for all of camp! The songwriting workshop participants were able to perform their creations as well.  It was a fun and exciting night for all of camp.

On Monday, campers went about their usual activities on camp, unaware of what was being planned around them for that very evening.  Monday’s evening program was the Tzofim (Israeli Scout) Friendship Caravan, which consists of 10 Israelis entering their senior year of high school, who share about their lives in Israel through song, dance, and story.  Caravan delegations perform in 35 states in front of an audience of 100,000 people annually, and we were thrilled to welcome them back to Crane Lake!

At the end of the Caravan’s presentation, Debby and Greg were interrupted by the sounds of the Olympic theme song. The curtains of the Beit Am were opened and I was standing at the entrance to the Beit Am, holding an Olympic torch and flanked on both sides by our Olympic officials (senior staff members) holding flags and dressed in the colors representing various countries of the world. It was the start for Olympics 2012!  Senior staff parted to make way for our Assistant Coaches (the Machonakim), who entered the Beit Am dressed in their respective colors and formally introduced the Olympic games. But to everyone’s surprise, this was just the begin of the opening ceremonies! We then led the camp community of about 600 people down to the lower soccer field. It was now time for camp to divide into 4 colors. As each member of our community was called by name, one by one onto the soccer field, they were initiated into the role of an Olympic athletic by receiving their own Olympic torch. Our Head Coaches were announced, Olympic oaths were read, and our Olympic games officially began with the lighting of an even larger torch!

All of camp dressed in their assigned color – red, blue, yellow, or green – on Tuesday morning.  After breakfast and t’filah, the remainder of the day was dedicated to Olympic games.  Each camper participated in games against members of the other teams in their same unit in an array of events, including international track and field games, swim meet, boating regatta, and a variety of team sports.  During our outdoors, all-camp lunch, the teams were challenged to eat in silence, and at the end we raised colored flags on the flagpole, symbolizing the current placings. The difference between first and last place was only 10 points!

After lunch we competed in a final round of activities, and then it was time for the Olympic Torch Relay!  Teams split into smaller groups, which ran around camp searching for clues, which led to further clues.  After all 10 clues had been collected, teams unscrambled the letters on the back, which spelled out and symbolized the words “Lakeview East and West.” The torches were hidden inside sweatshirts on the clothesline outside Lakeview!  After all teams had retrieved their torches, we re-ordered the flags, and now the spread was only 8 points! It was still very much anyone’s game.

Following an all-camp dinner (and time to generously apply bug spray) we went to the soccer field for the big final event – Tug o’ War.  After a series of Tug heats and final rounds, including a half time show of senior staff men vs. senior staff women round (which the women won, I might add), it was time to announce the winners for Olympics 2012!  The Red Team took home first place, by only 3 points!  We presented them with a new trophy, especially for CLC’s First Session Games. We hope that this new tradition will be used in future years so that themes and winners will go down in history year after year.

It’s clearly been an exciting few days here at camp!  Today we’re all beating the heat with water games, an all-camp movie, and other more mellow activities.  Stay tuned for more news from the last few days of session one!

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