Winter Machaneh Acharai 2015 – “After Me”

Written By: Marc Nathanson (Rosh Winter Machaneh & National Rosh Chinuch 2015)

On the first day of camp, I was walking past the Cheder Ochel and a feeling came over me, all the Channies were all gathered together, despite the difference of backgrounds and looking at these young individuals, it was not even apparent that many had met for the first time. That is what Netzer is all about, a sense of family and belonging. That’s the special thing about Netzer, it’s this amazing sense of unity.

Comments from “I wish it was longer” to “a week well spent” are just a couple of phrases describing a resounding success. Our goal was set out before Winter Camp, all the way back on Mazkirut Seminar in May, was to educate and build our future leadership in a fun and exciting environment, this goal was more than realized on Machaneh Acharai these past holidays in July.

Netzers Winter Camp was aptly named “After Me” as a symbol of passing the torch of Netzer Leadership, from one generation to another, to ensure that our legacy of amazing camps, friendships that last forever and a sense of community far beyond any that can be explained, will continue long after we have graduated the movement.

“I am not worried about the future of Netzer South Africa because the individuals that I saw on winter camp, they are driven and motivated to take the movement to all new levels” – Yakov Zinger, Shaliach, Cape Town.

These words were echoed tenfold by many of the Mazkirut body who ran our Machaneh this year.

Winter camp was held in Hekpoort, Magalisberg at Camp Nelu. Our camp was split into age groups, consisting of channichim between Grade 8 to 12 from all over South Africa, including our branches in Kwa-Zulu Natal, Gauteng and the Western Cape.

This year was the first to involve the Shemesh age group, of channichim Grade 8 and 9. This year, we could not even imagine leaving our amazing Shemeshniks out, as they are our core group of future Madrichim. They made a huge contribution to the vibe of Machaneh and will only help strengthen and grow the movement with their fresh ideas and whole hearted spirit. While we love our young Shemeshnicks, we could not go without saying how fabulous our Keshetnicks are. They are our Madrichim during the year in each branch of Netzer South Africa and make us more, and more proud after every event they run. While they may only be in Grades 10 to 12, they are far beyond their years in passion and maturity.

Machaneh Acharai consisted of a series of educational peulot and fun filled activities for both age groups of future Madrichim. The educational peulot where made up of Netzers Ideology, spanning the 14 Platforms, the 5 Pillars of Netzer South Africa and  the importance of the yearly chinuch plan and the different Roles of Madrichim at Summer Macahneh. This is a whole lot of kefucation to cram into 6 days of undeniably crazy Netzer time! Other activities included Hadracha training, like, speaking confidently in front of others, ways to deal with channichim issues, how to be a leader, creative thinking, spontaneous Hadracha, Dugma I’shit (Leading by Example) and a wide variety of team building exercises.

Other than the amazing activities run by the Mazkirut, Camp Nelu ran an activity known as ‘Night Orientation’. This consisted of going out into the bush and performing a series of team building exercises. Our future leaders were put to the test to see if their training had payed of. They quickly had to learn the effectiveness of positive communication, working together as a unit and making sure that each one has an understanding of the other – skills that no Madrich can survive without.

A classic day on Winter Camp consisted of sessions of Soccer and Nail Painting and would not be complete without our trademark game: Machana’im (A game played in a square court, made of rope or string, with the objective of working within a team of players to get the opposition ‘out’ by throwing a ball below the knees of the opponent) – yet another skill that no Netzer MAdrich can survive without! Machaneh Acharai was a fun-filled experience for all involved, it was educational and it made bonds that will last forever and will make Netzer South Africa that much stronger.

As we conclude, it is only right to mention the team of individuals who made Machaneh Acharai the success it is, because without them it would not have been a possibility.

Firstly, the Channies (although now they are our official super group of Madrichim), whom without, we would not have had this success to speak about, they made all the planning, organizing and efforts worth it all. Secondly, the Mazkirut members; Kendyll Jacobson, Kathryn Henning, Ma’or Margo, Amy Groer, Jody Segal, Daniel Norris, Yakov Zinger for helping to plan and run the amazing Machaneh. To the Camp Nelu staff, Gigi and others for making the experience one that we will not forget and for keeping us warm in the cold winter nights with Ruach  and all those who worked behind the scenes to make Winter Camp a reality.

Last, but definitely not least, all the amazing donors and sponsors who make Netzer able to host such wonderful events and activities, both throughout the year and for our large events like Winter and Summer Machanot.

Here’s to an amazing 2015!

Nilmad V’na’Aseh! We Will Learn and We will Do!