Yehudia Nature Reserve, Nachal Zevitan

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By: Ronnie Sugerman

Today in Sdei Chemed the entire camp woke up at 6:30 (an hour before our usual wake up time) in order to make it to our scheduled hikes on time. Tour A (first year campers) would be hiking Nachal Zevitan and Tour B (returning campers) would be hiking the Black Canyon. As a first year in Sdei Chemed I can only tell you about our awesome hike, but I have already talked to those who went on Tour B and they told me it was nothing short of amazing.

After we davened, ate breakfast, and packed our lunches for the hikes each Tour went their separate ways and the hikes (and fun) started. Our hike was led by Rabbi D, a veteran hiker, and our head counselor, Binyomin, manned the rear. We started up a rocky path that was accompanied by an amazing view. We had to jump across rocks in order to avoid falling into murky ponds, travel across tricky terrain, and even had to climb down a ladder (which of course got tagged with a Sdei Chemed sticker) until we reached our first full body of water.

Before us was a pool of fresh water at least 20 feet deep that was surrounded by mountains at least 20 feet high up as well. After all of us removed our camelbaks we got ready to jump in. Being a bit apprehensive at first, I was not quite sure whether I would go straight into the water or take the intimidating plunge from the rocks. But after seeing a bunch of the campers and counselors jump in fearlessly and declare how awesome the feeling was, I decided I would try too.

As I climbed my way up, I was a bit nervous, but with the entire camps’ encouragement, I mustered up the courage and jumped. After being airborne for a few seconds my body hit the water and plunged downwards. Once my head reached above the water, I was immediately welcomed by claps and cheers. The feeling I had was indescribable. Not only was the jump itself an awesome rush, the freezing water felt incredibly refreshing, but the encouragement I got from the camp felt amazing as well.

Clearly I was not the only one who felt this way. Everyone who came on the hike had taken the jump. Most more than once. Even the camp staff had jumped (except for David of course). With a feeling of camaraderie in the air, everyone was having an awesome time. But eventually we had to move on.

After hiking for another few minutes, we reached a second body of water, but this time it had a waterfall. Everyone jumped into the water and just swam around and had a good time. Some even were brave enough to jump off an even higher rock into the water. But either way, everyone just had a blast. Whether we were diving, swimming, or just enjoying each other’s company, there was a tangible feeling of fun and warmth in the atmosphere, which could only be achieved in Sdei Chemed.

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