Camp Gan Israel

Gan Yisroel Year RoundGan Yisroel Year Round

Secrets from the head staff:
Hiring the head staff, Part 1

It was Chai Elul 5777, the most amazing successful summer of 5777 has just concluded and the Tayere staff were beginning to learn in Yeshivah.

All of the sudden, three staff members received an anonymous phone call. They received it at the same time and the message on the other line were the exact same words.

“5781. Get ready for an amazing summer, you have been chosen.”

That was it! The entire phone call!

Who received that phone call you ask?

That needs a whole new story, but don’t worry, we have time.

Our story takes us back to 5763, Levi Shemtov was then a young boy living in West Bloomfield Michigan, it was a simple time for Levi, for starters he was known simply as Levi, with no additions and he was not yet introduced to what would become his life source for many years to come.

That summer his parents sent him to Gan Yisroel for the first time. Levi was a natural camper, always by meals and davenings. He paid attention by learning class and was pretty decent at sports (at watching his friends play that is).

One day the head counselor of camp walked into the A-frame (the A-frame is an iconic structure of the old campgrounds in Kalkaska, MI (Oh how it pains my heart to need to specify this to someone who spent a summer in Gan Yisroel…)) and he saw Levi staring at the ceiling. He asked Levi if everything is alright. Levi screamed back at him “1,248!” The head counselor was clearly confused so Levi explained: “Thats how many planks of wood are in the A-frame, 1,248!”

The head counselor quickly called Rabbi Moshe Shemtov, the chief director of Gan Yisroel, and told him “Mark your calendar! the summer of 5781 will be epic!”

That summer the directorship of Gan Yisroel paid very close attention to Levi, he noticed the smart and creative way Levi dug the ditch to the lake, he wasn’t like other campers, he was clearly on a higher level!

Another thing they noticed is the way Levi managed to sleep so comfortably on mushy carpets, it was clear that this is what Gan Yisroel was looking for. This was noticed inside an arcade on the grand trip where they found Levi snuggled behind a gam machine…)

On the last day of camp as Levi was packing he felt an urge to say goodbye to Gan Yisroel in a real way. Levi walked outside of his trailer (Yes! they used to sleep in trailers, can you imagine!), looked at the lake, and cried. Levi felt a feeling of Gan Yisroel light up inside of him and he knew that Gan Yisroel will be with him all year-round!

Now, what does this have to do with the 3 phone calls? 

For that, you will have to stay tuned to next week’s Secrets from the head staff where we will explore this story more in-depth.

Until Next time! (Tuesday of course!)