When spending Shabbos afternoon with friends involves seven hours on…
Fifty yaldei hashluchim enjoyed a week-long mini-camp at a hotel in the High Tatra Mountains thanks to MyShliach at Merkos Suite 302. Hosted—along with their parents who enjoyed a retreat of their own—by Slovakia shluchim Rabbi Zev and Bina Stiefel, children from seven neighboring countries forged friendships and recharged their batteries while hiking, swimming, farbrenging and enjoying terrific trips.
“My favorite part of camp was waking up early and having hot cocoa at Cocoa Club while we learned about and heard Chassidishe stories,” shares Chana Lent from Nottingham, England.
“There are no words that can truly describe the experience and atmosphere,” enthuses Rabbi Zev Stiefel. “On Shabbos morning, people could be seen saying Shabbos Mevorchim Tehillim in every corner of the hotel. Counselors and parents encouraged the children to say as much Tehillim as possible—in total, hundreds of hours were said.” All participants were rewarded with an ATV trip.
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Nogradi, shliach to Budapest, Hungary, reflects on the positive effects of the retreat and camp on its participants. “Although the families who attended live in different countries, each with their own particular circumstances, there was so much that we had in common as shluchim in Europe. Both children and adults were able to quickly connect and make new friends. I hope the participants will stay in touch and perhaps even have a chance to meet again next year.”
“We want to thank MyShliach of Merkos Suite 302, not just for the financial support, but for helping us plan the actual camp,” says Rabbi Stiefel. “Drawing on their experience in planning and coordinating mini-camps and shabbatons for yaldei hashluchim around the world, they ensured that we used this opportunity to its fullest and gave the children an incredible experience.”
“We’ve invested in these shabbatons and mini-camps because we see the need for yaldei hashluchim who live far away from like-minded friends to get together,” explains Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky, executive director of Merkos Suite 302. After having brought fourteen regional shabbatons to yaldei hashluchim around the globe, this mini-camp, along with similar camps that Merkos helped fund in Dresden, Germany hosted by Rabbi Shneur and Chana Havlin; Gothenburg, Sweden hosted by Rabbi and Mrs. Alexander Namdar; and Ukraine hosted by Rabbi Moshe and Shoshana Weber rejuvenated and invigorated hundreds of the Rebbe’s young soldiers.
Young and old alike, the shluchim and their children returned home refreshed and ready to fulfill their shlichus responsibilities. Rabbi Shaya Boas, shliach to Vienna, Austria, summed it up succinctly: “The Tatra Mountains Shluchim Retreat was not just a time for rest, it was a critical recharge for the yaldei hashluchim and shluchos. I really hope this initiative continues on a broader scale for the benefit of isolated families of shluchim.”