What happens in Eilat, Stays with us Forever!

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With only a week of Camp Sdei Chemed left in Israel, we got ready for our last major trip of the summer, traveling down South to Eilat for three whole days!
By: Ronnie Sugerman
Early Sunday morning we left our campus and started the lengthy trek down. After about an hour and a half of driving, we stopped at The Mountain of Sedom for one of the most underrated hikes. Har Sedom is a very big and vast mountain that looks like it is made out of sand, but is actually made out of pure salt. The jagged mountain made for a strenuous, yet thriling hike. For starters, the terrain made it easy for us to have a good time: whenever we walked a thick puff of powder would form, giving us the means for some good old-fashioned fun (after all, pranks are clearly allowed in Sdei Chemed). It was also really cool that we were able to carve words and pictures in the mountain’s walls without even breaking a sweat, not to mention the fact that we could disintegrate the mountain’s rocks with our bare hands. After posing for lots of pictures, in which we used the beautiful view as our backdrop, we headed down the dozens of steps back to the bus. Although for some reason Har Sedom is not a popular hike, it was a great hike and an awesome way to start our trip.
We then headed straight for camel rides. Camel rides are classic and are always a lot of fun, but the place that we went to had an extra aspect that added to the whole experience. Like usual, there were two people per camel, but the cool part was that every camel was attached to the other by a string, so once we started to move, a single-file line of twenty camels formed. As we were led through the desert path, it was so cool to see all the camels walking one by one in what looked like a never-ending chain. Seeing the camels’ shadows lined up next to each other was also a remarkable sight and made for great photos. After about fifteeen minutes, we all climbed off our camels’ backs and headed to the place where we would be staying for the night, where we had a delicious barbecue and went to bed early in preperation for our early wake up the next morning.
Once dressed, davened, and fed that very next morning, we loaded onto the bus to finish the remaining hour and a half drive we had left until we would eventually reach Eilat. When we finally arrived, we headed straight for The Eilat Aquarium. The Eilat Aquarium is not only educational, but also very fascinating. There we saw almost all of Eilat’s aquatic life: many different types of rare fish, seahorses, jellyfish, giant turtles, sting rays, and sharks (just to name a few). For anyone who wants to witness Eilat’s water life in it’s natural habitat, there is also the option to go below sea level in an underground observatory. For those who want to stay above ground, there are beautiful lookout spots where you can see over all of Eilat and even see Israel’s border. On top of all this, there are an abundance of cool gift shops to go to.
With so much to do, time flew and soon enough the entire camp headed to the aquarium’s auditorium to catch the 4-D movie playing there. In the movie, we heard the personal story of a Gal, the son of a marine biologist, who gave a detailed recollection of all of his and his dad’s journies above and below ground. We watched all this while being shaken by the auditorium’s special chairs, so that we felt like we were actually traveling on a boat or swimming underwater (with the help of a few Sdei Chemed campers who took the simulation a step further by spraying the crowd with water supplied from their handy camel-baks). After the conclusion of the movie, we headed to the pier for our very own boat ride.
When we got to the pier we boarded Captain Phillip, a boat with three floors, a hot tub, two bathrooms, a mini-bar, and several couches. We immediatly blasted music and sang and danced along. After sailing and relaxing for a while, the boat’s anchor was lowered and then the fun really started. The inflatable slide and trampoline that were attatched to the side of the boat got blown up and rafts were released into the water. Right away, an intense game of King of the Hill broke out on the trampoline. People were jumping from one raft to another, trying to make their way to the upside-down trampoline, where once close enough would ultimately take that final leap as they aimed for the trampoline. The twist: the trampoline was being defended the lucky few campers who got there first, who would push off anyone attempting to join them on the trampoline.
After such a tiring game, lots of guys just calmly swam in the crystal clear water simply enjoying themselves. Some brave campers even took the 30 foot jump off the boat’s top floor straight into the water below (including Mordy Hershcowitz, who did the jump countless times). After about an hour in the water, everyone got back onto the boat, where we once again listened to music and had some quality chill time, until the boat eventally docked and we all bid farewell to Captain Phillip.
We then had an hour to walk around on the boardwalk, until we were picked up in a new bus, now driven by the famous Kobe, who took us to the mansion where we would be staying for the night. After davening mincha and eating dinner we took complete advantage of the mansion and all that it offered: a swimming pool, jacuzzi, pool table, and air-hockey table. After a night of non-stop fun (we blew the fuse at least a dozen times) we went to bed so that we would have enough energy for our last day in Eilat.
The next morning, we headed to our own private beach for snorkeling and water sports. Everyone was able to go for one round of tubing, and if they wanted could pay extra for scuba diving, parasailing, wake-boarding, and jet skiing. Every single activity done that day was amazing. Looking at the coral reefs while snorkeling was beautiful and lots of fun. Holding on for your dear life in tubing was not only challenging but also thrilling. Scuba diving was mesmerising. Parasailing was relaxing yet exciting. The entire camp also got treated to Big Apple Pizza. It was truly a spectacular day. The three day Eilat trip definetly became a highlight of the summer, which just goes to show that in Sdei Chemed there is always room for more fun, even if you think there is no way anything can top camp’s latest trip.
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  • Shira

    It lookes like it was amazing and the trips were fabulous! Congradulations for another successful, safe year!
    Shira