So the word gibush loosely means “icebreaker”, which ultimately reflects the goal of our beginning of the year 8th grade retreat.

But this group, the Davis class of 2016 (holy shnikies 2016?), needs no ax or pick, nor thoroughly developed icebreaking activities.  They are a galvanized bunch as we confirmed over those 48 hours this week.

Being a chatty crew is both a gift and a curse.  But the gift of it far outweighs the curse.  They are tightknit, friendly, comfortable and fun.  They also know how to be serious in small groups, and how to show archetypal ruach as a whole.

While the whole group dynamic reveals their spirit, fun, and energy, the small group dynamic reveals that this is a group stocked with leadership, wisdom, and passion for Judaism, scholarship, and Davis.

While some were in the lake splashing, on the ropes swinging, or flat out competing in the Gaga pit, others were expressing creativity, discussing tefilla, and brainstorming CLIMB projects.  

The chochma and kavod displayed in the tefilla and CLIMB discussions were of such powerful quality, that the adults in the room talked about capturing the moment in a bottle for later use.  The kids were fabulous. 

When asked to either purposefully or randomly select a passage from the prayer book to discuss, the depth and courage that our 2016ers showed reflected the combination of their personal maturity and the foundational values we teach, practice and celebrate every day at Davis.  When discussing their 8th grade CLIMB project topics, once again, the passion for knowledge, creative verve, and values driven process exemplified what this group, the Davis class of 2016 is all about. 

The highlight for me, beyond the above mentioned moments was the campfire singing and dancing.  58 friends, led by Rabbi Micah and his guitar, accompanied by their teachers, danced, sang, hugged, high fived, fist pumped and laughed around the fire with such blind immersion into the moment that they were not aware of the iconic experience they were creating. Fortunately, I was able to capture a brief one minute video to share with them later.  Again, this is a tight knit group whose energy is infectious. 

When I arrived home after the retreat I found myself both exhausted and invigorated.  This group-their energy, their fun, their curiosity, their wisdom, their love of their kehilla- has our excitement for the year at a high level.


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