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“Days we’ll remember all our lives”

After a challenging 18 months of constantly evolving Covid restrictions and updates, we are delighted that this week the first of RSY-Netzer completed the first of their summer residential programmes.

Anyone who has been on an RSY-Netzer residential event knows they are a wonderful opportunity to spend time with other young people to enjoy a range of activities, time to relax and of course to make friends for life.

This year the youth team pulled out all the stops to enable the first of 4 camps to get underway on schedule whilst ensuring that all the Covid testing protocols and guidance were strictly followed.

2,000 acres of stunning countryside in North Yorkshire was the base for the first of the camps Machane HaDerech. A total of 83 sixteen year olds arrived under the direction of 17 Leaders.

Usually these sixteen year olds would be embarking on Israel Tour, yet international travel restrictions meant this could not take place. Fortunately our RSY-Netzer team were able to create an event that developed their leadership and relationship to Judaism and Israel, whilst letting the teenagers meet and bond from all over the UK.

3-bubbles were established to give everyone maximum protection and the glorious sunshine was a wonderful extra as the planned events got underway.

Last Monday however, after the scheduled second set of lateral flow tests, one of the bubbles revealed two positive results. The 2 teenagers immediately self-isolated in separate rooms and on the advice of ‘Track and Trace’ further PCR tests were carried out on those sharing their dorm. All were clear and the two teenagers in question returned home.

After further lateral flow tests the following day there was one more positive and two inconclusive results in the Aleph bubble. ‘Track and Trace’ advised that the bubble be closed and so parents were asked to collect their children who then self-isolated at their homes.

This was a real disappointment for everyone but health and safety was and remains paramount. The good news was that the remaining bubbles were given the all clear to stay.

Katie Freedman, one of the 19 year old Camp Leaders, said: “It’s such a shame. Every precaution and all testing protocols were carried out before Camp, and during the time we’ve been here. It’s sad but we managed to have a lovely few days together and we’ll all keep in touch.” 

Katie Hilton, whose camp was cut short, focused on the bright side: “In a weird way it’s brought us closer together. We got to know each other really quickly. And now we’ve now been through this we’ll stay good friends I’m sure.” 

The remaining camps will continue as planned throughout the summer with all relevant safety tests and protocols once again being strictly observed.

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