Fall Shabbaton 2019-20: An Unforgettable Experience

This article was written by Moshe Khoshbakhsh (’22), a Staff Writer for The Valley Torah Scroll.

It was finally the day! The Valley Torah High School Fall Shabbaton was announced and excitement burst through the entire school, with students everywhere anticipating how fun it would be! Though November 1st was the sign up deadline, hordes of students had eagerly registered long before. 

On Thursday, November 7th, students brought all of their suitcases and bags to school ready to embark on an amazing weekend. The classes that day were structured based on our Friday schedule, so students could daven mincha and leave as early as 2 pm. Two beautiful, white coach busses were waiting outside, and they quickly filled up with students and their belongings. The bus rides, detailed, were filled with fun, with people chatting and blasting music that set the tempo for the weekend. As soon as the busses arrived to Canyon Creek, students became acquainted with the campgrounds and their bunks.

After settling in, the kids went to the beautiful sports courts and played for about an hour and a half. A delicious barbecue dinner was then served, cooked by our very own seniors. Later that night, there were a few games of laser tag and Rabbi Grama’s classic gaga game. As usual, team-ups such as duos, squads, and free-for-all were all used for the fast paced elimination games. We were then treated to a hilarious Comedy Sports show and a heartwarming Kumzits in the amphitheater next to a warm fire. 

The next morning, students woke up and davened a beautiful shacharis that lit up the whole canyon. A delicious breakfast of cereal, bagels, fruits, and pastries was then served. There were four different activities each class participated in throughout the day: Free Sport, Archery, Go Karting, and Hiking. Students were able to get a well-rounded experience — with all of their friends, of course– in all of the activities, in addition to exploring Hashem’s majestic creations that would not typically be seen in our day- to-day lives.

For the remaining hours, the students got to relax and get ready for Shabbat. There was then an uplifting mincha davening and delicious Shabbat dinner. Following the dinner, students participated in a wholly uplifting kumzitz and oneg. On Shabbat morning, students began their day with Shacharit and learning, followed by Torah reading and Mussaf. A delectable catered lunch was served and students got to relax until the high-intensity numbers game, led, as always, by Rabbi Stulberger. This game is a Valley Torah tradition and could not be skipped. Following the numbers game, we once again gathered for Mincha, Seudat Shlishit, and singing before completing Shabbos with an uplifting Maariv and a beautiful havdalah led by Rabbi Storch. 

Following havdalah, the students all went back to their bunks to pack up and load the buses. The buses took us to Occidental College for a pizza dinner and a game featuring the Yeshiva University team, and our very own legendary Ryan Turell. With that exciting activity, the annual Valley Torah High School fall Shabbaton concluded. 

The annual Shabbaton is an environment in which every student can cherish the time he spends with his peers, teachers, and Rabbeim. Overall, the Shabbaton this year, like all years before, was a life-changing weekend no student will ever forget. 

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