Habonim Dror North America

Machaneh Miriam

In Machanot on October 21, 2009 at 9:16 pm

By Workshop 59 Miriam Kvutsa

Machaneh Miriam, like all the other Habonim Dror machanot in North America, prides itself on providing a welcoming, close-knit community to all its chanichim. In addition to the regular summer-camp activities such as swimming, sports, and arts and crafts, Miriam’s educational program teaches chanichim from a young age how to think critically of and improve our communities. We also teach our chanichim a sense of responsibility and ownership for our machaneh community by having them participate in work groups every day. What sets Miriam apart, however, is the unique advantage that comes by virtue of our location on beautiful Gabriola Island. One of the southern Gulf Islands, Gabriola has all of British Columbia at its feet, and we take advantage of this by providing a serious tiyul program for our chanichim. During the summer, chanichim have the opportunity to backpack along the continentally renowned Juan de Fuca trail, or camp in Strathcona Provincial Park. The island also offers its own unique culture, including an Alpaca farm and a location known as “The Commons,” a communal green-space. Machaneh, located just across the street from the Pacific Ocean, also offers kayaking and ample time spent at the chof. Also unique to Machaneh Miriam is our water shortage, which provides not only a hands-on lesson in conservation but also helps strengthen community through breaking down barriers regarding superficiality.

A regular day at Machaneh Miriam begins at 8:00 am with a wake-up call from the Ram Kol. After morning flag-raising and breakfast, the chanichim split into their workgroups, which range from cleaning the bathrooms to painting murals around Machaneh. After this, chanichim have Ivrit, where they learn Hebrew and Israeli culture. This is followed by Shirah (singing) and lunch. At the conclusion of lunch, chanichim have free time and then Peula Schichva. This is followed by chugim, which range from Live Action Role Playing, to Chug Brecha, to Messima Impossible. After this, all of machaneh participates in evening flag-raising, followed by dinner and Tochnit Erev. Special themed days are interspersed with regular days, giving chanichim a well-rounded summer.

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