By Chabad House Compass Express This past weekend, 250 teens…
CTeen Xtreme, CTeen’s original extreme sports and travel camp, recently concluded its fourth annual trip, serving up another month of exciting adventures and specialized sports for over 100 teens from around the world.
This year’s trip, offered a taste of some of the West Coast’s most famous destinations, including Colorado National Monument, Zion National Park, and Las Vegas. This year’s camp once again offered teens the opportunity to get out of their comfort zones—in a physical and spiritual sense.
Camp kicked off into high gear for both sessions in Denver, Colorado—with the assistance of Rabbi Yisroel Engel—where teens were treated to white water rafting. The extreme sports continued in the days that followed, with mountain biking, rappelling, grand hikes, and more. In addition to the sports and adventures, teens were also given a chance to give back along the way by volunteering at organizations such as Utah State food bank and Clean the World.
For many of the teens—including seven of whom traveled in from Santiago, Chile to participate—CTeen Xtreme was their first taste of just what Judaism has to offer.
As one of the participants from Chile, Daniel Diez Solowiejczyk, shared: “Judaism isn’t a religion; it’s a lifestyle. I never imagined that we’d all be so united. We’ve become like a family. This trip taught me that you can do anything you put your mind to.”
“Before this trip, I never imagined that I’d find joy in being Jewish,” SharedRyan Pearlman, from Washingtonville, NY. “
Valentine Zinchenko, from Los Angeles, CA shared that his favorite moment—aside from camping in the desert—was farbrengening on Shabbat until the early hours of morning.
For many of the campers, it was the connections made with other participants, as well as with the counselors and staff that made their summer.
The boys’ trip was led by Rabbi Moshe Gourarie of Chabad Toms River, New Jersey, while the girls’ division was led by Mrs. Manya Lazaroff of Chabad at Texas A&M University.
“Manya was the absolute best!” shared camper Emily Glazer from Cincinnati, Ohio. My favorite part of each day was our morning lesson with her. The ideas and discussions we shared will stay with me forever.”
“We had an awesome time with Rabbi Gourarie,” shared Jace Rikelman, from Mission Viejo, California. “He’s one of the coolest Rabbi’s I’ve ever met!”
Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky, vice chairman of CTeen shared: “The incredible growth and strength that the teens gained this summer will surely impact their year to come, both in CTeen and out. We cannot wait to see what the teens do with the power they gained at CTeen Xtreme.”
Rabbi Nachman Rivkin, Camp director shared: “The remarkable effects of this trip are thanks to the dedicated staff members, who connected very well and invested so much into each teen.”
CTeen is very grateful to Rabbi Mendel Mintz of Chabad Aspen, CO as well as Rabbi Yisroel Schanowitz and Rabbi Chaim Ozer Metal of Chabad Summerlin for hosting the Girls Camp Shabbosim and to Rabbi Shea Harligof Chabad Southern Nevada and Rabbi Mendel Spalter of Yeshiva Or Elchonon Chabad for hosting the Boys Camp Shabbosim.