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Monday, July 18th

Here is your "lion's share" of all the great activities our campers are enjoying...

What a weekend we had here at camp! For starters, we held our annual Aquacup swim competition on Friday against Camp Echo and Iroquois Springs. Jake Ginder, Brody Steinberger, and Ben Miller all took 1st place in their races for the boys. Lilliana Gannon took 1st place in her individual race as well! In the Boys 5th grade and under relay, we placed 1st, with a team comprised of Aidan and Ethan Friedlander, Jett Azizi, and Ethan Szabo. Great job! In the 10th Grade and Under Girls Relay, Lokanda again placed 1st! Jordan Krilov, Lilliana Gannon, Gabi Elchoness, and Ella Yomtov made up this stellar swim team. It was an overall great day of camaraderie and competition!

On Friday evening, our Upper Teen Boys led us all in our Shabbat service. They did a wonderful job and left us with their feelings about why being an Upper Teen Boy at Camp Lokanda is such a special experience. We also recognized campers who exemplified kindness for the past week. Campers who received the awards were as follows:

LCB: Asher Landa MCB: Jack Garavelli UCB: Josh Lesnick

LCG: Sydney Wasserman MCG: Laila Gruber UCG: Maddie Wolin

On Saturday, Middle Camp Girls were in for a treat with a visit from the Lokanda Express. After that, we were all off to a spirited, fun-filled day. MCB continued their Euro competition with back-to-back games in the Lion's Den rink. Great scoring and skill by Benji Weinberger and tremendous defense by Ben Hoskings! Nothing like watching spirited Euro matches! The intensity for MCB continued in the evening when the Subbie Boys and the Juniors faced off in their annual Soccer game. This time it was under the lights, after the sun was already setting. Standout offensive play by Subbie Francesco Manenti who scored a goal, along with Max Kramer, Gabe Hall, and Ethan Sackstein, who scored the game winning goal or GWG as we like to say in the sports reporting world! Despite an overall win by the Subbies, the final score of 4-3 means that the competition was fierce with goals from the Junior opposition by Brett Birnbaum, Reid Spindler, and Zach Kutin. It was such a fun night!

Speaking of fun, we had great evening activities all weekend. On Friday evening, our Subbie Boys and Girls played coed wiffle ball while Lower Teens had a minute-to-win-it style Battle of the Sexes. Subbie Girls had a special night on Saturday with their turn at Paint Night! LCB held their World Cup Soccer on Friday evening which is always a blast. Our Lower Teen Girls and Upper Teen Girls had movie night in the Mane Attraction theaters. One of the sweetest sights of the weekend was of course our Big Sis/Lil Sis and Big Brother/Little Brother night. LCG and their MCG sisters decorated t-shirts in the Social Hall. They had so much fun discussing their designs and creating matching shirts to wear and save for years to come!

What a sight it was on the fields and courts! It was Big Brother/Little Brother game night on Saturday, and there certainly were games galore. Our big brothers hoisted their LCB little brothers on their shoulders for fun rounds of 9-Square while nearby in Gaga, the courts really heated up with excitement. Landon Green won an early round as he faced off against Max Ende and Lucas Yedvarb. Somehow the three had managed to knock out all of the Upper Teen and CIT players. The next round featured Jaden, our Flag Football specialist, making it all the way to the end, without pulling any punches. Jaden versed Lucas Yedvarb and Max Ende, and at the last moment, Zatcoff pulled out a win. What a round! Graham Plask, who was shielded and cheered on by his fellow Little Brother Liam Edelstein and by CIT Dylan Apfel, who is both of the boys' beloved big brother, made it to the end of the final round, facing off against skilled athlete and CIT Dylan Bogen. Plask, in a stunning upset, knocked down Bogen, literally, and won the round. The crowd went wild! What a night of fun it was for our Upper Camp and Lower Camp Boys.

Yesterday, we hosted our first annual Lion's Cup hockey tournament featuring our oldest hockey players coached by past camper and hockey specialist, Matt Storch. Timberlake, Equinunk, Wah-Nee, Wayne, and Tyler Hill all came to vie for the Lion's Cup trophy, and the competition was incredibly fierce. The Lion's Den was alive with spirit and excitement starting in the late morning running all the way into the evening and was a literal sea of red. Campers came out in red shirts, tutus,and red painted torsos and faces to support our team. We came out strong, winning our first game against Timberlake with a score of 2-0 with goals by Zach Weinberger and Benji Rabinovich. Our second game, against Tyler Hill, went into overtime but ended in a loss of 3-2, with goals by Luke "the beast" Zucker and Benji Rabinovich. But we were clearly still alive. In the semi-finals against Equinunk, Max "Christmas" Levine scored two goals as did Zach Weinberger, Alex Klonsky scored one and so did Benji Rabinovich. We had such momentum as we broke for dinner and prepared for our final match against Wah-Nee later that evening.

With music blaring, a smoke machine adding to the drama of it all, and an announcer being sure to pump up the crowd and catch all of the play-by-play, our Lion's Den rivaled MSG in spirit and anticipation. After announcing the starting lineup and recognizing captains Luke Zucker and Benji Rabinovich, the team huddled together and prepared for a momentous match. After many shots on goal from both sides with no actual points on the board, Max Levine revved up the Den with the first goal of the game. Woo-hoo! The crowd erupted with excitement and the song "All I Want for Christmas" by Mariah Carey blared on the speakers in honor of Mr. Christmas himself. As a side note, I, as the mere reporter, have no real knowledge of how or why the players get their nicknames; I just call it like I see it. or in this case hear it. Goalie Eli Zucker saved shot after shot and literally and figuratively saved the day. Complacency is often shattered, and that is exactly what happened next. Wah-Nee made an entrance into the game, finally, putting up two consecutive points, bringing the score to 2-1, Wah-Nee. Our next goal came from Zach Weinberger who made us feel over the top with excitement tying the game with a score of 2-2. Our nerves were over the top as we were entering the third and final period. What a nail-biter. Fear not, though! Alex Klonsky, a Junior and the youngest player on the team, was the clutch asset we all needed, putting up two more goals to clinch our official win of 4-2. What an ending! Immediately all Lokanda campers rushed the rink as the classic, "We are the Champions" played on. There were hugs and high fives and smiles abound! Next, there was a moving trophy ceremony and many a tear was shed, especially by our fearless leader, Ronen, who looked at the boys with pride as he handed them the massive Lion's Cup trophy. Exceptional playing, not only by those that scored but by the ensemble performance of a truly talented cast of players, including Noah Schor and Noah Finkelstein aka"Fink"who both played aggressive defense and made great assists. The entire team skated off the rink and right onto the nearby Go-Kart track for a ceremonious lap. Finally, the team rolled down to the Mane Pool, removed their skates, and jumped right in for a celebratory splash!

Today it's NEON DAY and what could be more fitting for this post-weekend glow we are all feeling! We are cool and comfortable on this Monday morning, happy with our win but happier still for having come together as one victorious camp family yesterday. The competition on a few more fronts will continue over the next couple of weeks, but our win and momentum from The Lion's Cup will surely carry us far and set us up for even more success!

Here's to a Momentous and Bright, Neon-filled Monday!


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