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Tel Yehudah Stories

Miriam Hamermesh

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For Special Interest Week I went on the Yachad backpacking trip. We spent 4 days and 3 nights hiking in Harriman State Park, carrying everything we needed on our backs. I didn’t really know anyone on my trip before we left. That changed very quickly. Before camp I had a lot of trouble deciding what trip to sign up for, but every single person I spoke to about backpacking told me amazing stories. When I got to camp I was looking forward to the trip most of all.

On Sunday morning we woke up, made lunch, got on the bus and drove to the State Park. The first day was an easy one, only 3 or so miles. The next day was longer and had some steep hills. The third day was by far the most difficult – we had 3 large hills and it was the longest distance. But after that it was easy. Some things were better than others. For example, going up the hills was difficult, but once we made it to the top it was the most rewarding feeling ever. I didn’t shower for 4 days but in a way I feel like the stench only added to the experience. We ate a lot of rice and many instant ‘just-add-water’ foods. All of this led to a bonding experience that was unforgettable.

Backpacking was something I had never done before, and it is so gratifying to know that it is something I accomplished. I made so many memories and lots of inside jokes within the group. I know that if anyone ever asks me which Special Interest Week trip they should go on, I will say backpacking without a doubt.

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