March 4, 2024
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March 4, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Jewish Boy, Girl, and Cub Scouts from as close as New Jersey and as far as Virginia and Massachusetts attended this year’s regional Ki­nus, a Shabbat camping trip.

Around 275 attendees enjoyed the tradi­tional aspects of Shabbos along with sessions revolving around advancements through the scout ranks and traditional camping fun. Shab­bos featured Orthodox and Conservative min­yans along with sessions on crime prevention, railroading, family life, plant identification, fist-aid, and more in between meals.

“Kinus is the only chance the Jewish scouts get to be like the regular scouts,” Kymm Regan, a member of the Kinus com­mittee and mother of several scouts, said. Her family has been attending the annual Kinus since 1990.

After havdallah, there was a campfire with skits and songs followed by a crack­er barrel—scout speak for late night snack session. After a scout leader played taps, scouts headed back to their tents to get in sleep before another full day of merit-badge-related lessons.

Sunday and Monday mornings started with reveille played in each camp site and a flag-raising ceremony by the dining hall. There were merit-badge sessions on archi­tecture, photography, public speaking, citi­zenship in the nation, pioneering, and fam­ily life. Skill sessions on fire safety, knots, lashing, totin chip (pocket knife/saw/axe skills), and fire building were also held.

Sanford Drucks, a Kinus veteran of over 20 years, led fishing sessions down by the pond. Those without rods scavenged for well-sized sticks to tie line and hooks to. Jonathan Schachter, head of Fair Lawn’s Cub Scout Pack 613, said that just about everyone was able to catch something. Five boys ranging in age from first to fifth grade attended from Shachter’s pack.

Hiking was another option as Dan Chazin, leader of the Jewish troop in Teaneck—which had seven attendees at Kinus—led two hikes. “We climbed to a spectacular viewpoint called Indian Cliffs from which we could see the en­tire Split Rock Reservoir,” he said about one of the hikes.

“My own son, who is a 2nd grader now, as the hikes got longer over the weekend, he got more and more excited about them,” Shachter said.

Shachter noted the campfires as particu­lar high points for the scouts in his troop.

“From my perspective, it’s great. I used to go when I was a scout as well my­self. There’s nothing quite like it. You re­ally get to share all your experiences and meet scouts who are doing similar things and also people who are doing different things.”

As a scout, Schachter would learn new skits and songs at the campfires by watch­ing the performances of scouts from around the country and then bring those skits back to his troop. Schachter also en­joys knowing that there are so many Jew­ish scouts all over the country.

“Many are Shomer Shabbos troops, some are not. For some of the boys it’s one of their only Jewish experiences for the year and for some families it’s their only camping experience for the year and it’s just wonderful,” Chazin said.

Other weekend activities included a va­riety of sports like softball, soccer, ultimate Frisbee, and access to the rifle range for those 11 and older.

Kinus has been taking place annual­ly since 1986 and past years have included merit-badge work on plumbing, auto re­pair, cooking, cycling, metal work, radio, and more.

For more information on Kinus or the local Jewish troop, email Dan Chazin at [email protected]

By Aliza Chasan

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