Sophomore Journey: Appreciating the Incredible World

Shayna Dollinger, Class of 2018
Waking up, we could not believe that it was only day 2 of our incredible journey.
Waking up, we could not believe that it was only day 2 of our incredible journey.

We began the day by packing our lunches and enjoying a nice breakfast in the hotel. Then it was time for Tefillah.

We split off into three different groups; each group ready to try a new, non-siddur based tefillah. My group enjoyed wonderful solo time next to the river, listening to the birds and really being mindful of our surroundings. I loved having this time in the morning to center myself and truly appreciate the unbelievable sights and sounds that surrounded us.

After Tefillah we all boarded the bus and headed out to the trails to venture out on our hikes. We split up into hiking groups based on slow or fast preferences. The slow hikers (including me) got off the bus first and began with some bonding games on the field before beginning to hike. Ms. Delugach led us in an activity that included elephants, pointing, bangs, counting to ten, and more.

Energized and ready, we began the hike. The views were absolutely stunning. As we hiked up the steep switchbacks and scaled the mountains, we could not help but look out, pause, and appreciate the incredible world that we live in. One of our stops even included a beautiful rendition of T'filat Haderech.

When we finally got to the top, we all found some space, sat down, and enjoyed our lunch. We had a nice amount of free time at the top of the mountain. Some of us took photos or journaled, others hiked more, and all of us truly appreciated the incredible views that made the hike well worth it.

After gathering for a group picture, we started our descent down the mountain. The hike back down went by much faster than the way up. Sophia even taught us all a song. It was beautiful to see all of us singing and encouraging each other.
Back on the bus, both groups shared their experiences. It seemed that the mutual experiences were hard hikes that were well worth it in the end. When we got back to the hotel, we all enjoyed some well deserved free time. A lot of us walked across the street to the ice cream shop. It was so much fun to sit with our friends, eat ice cream, and look at the mountains. After free time we ate a delicious dinner of spaghetti and meat balls.

After dinner, we gathered in our tribe groups and reflected on the events of the day. It was a really great time to share and relate to people in smaller groups than we were used to. Finally, our amazing class rashot led us in group games, where we bonded, laughed, and just had fun as a class.

I can't wait for what tomorrow has in store!
Jewish Community High School of the Bay
1835 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94115
Phone: 415.345.9777
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The Jewish Community High School of the Bay (JCHS) is a unique college preparatory high school committed to integrating deep learning, universal wisdom, and Jewish values. We empower each student to embrace her or his Jewish identity, generate empathy and compassion, delight in lifelong education, and improve the world.