Above: Max Hirschhorn, 11, ofWest Bloomfield, right, andjoey Jus.zak, 10, of
Birmingham read the Birkat HaMazon after breakfast.
Left: Allen Olender helps Joey Juszac
Achim in Southfield (which merged with Adat Shalom
Synagogue),`leaving for camping excursions after
"We'd usually drive up to the campsite after motzi
Shabbos and we'd pitch the tents in the dark," he said.
"We were really surprised this time because it was light
out when we pitched the tents."
The activities the boys participated in during the
campout helped move them toward qualification for a
number of badges, including badges for fire starting,
kosher camping, and the Order of the Arrow, the
National Honor Society for Boy Scouting.
They also participated in fire-building and knot-
tying workshops, then built their own fires in groups
Sunday morning. They roasted their hot dogs over
their own fires. Gregory is near Ann Arbor.
Stiennon said one of his favorite parts of the cam-
pout was getting to meet his fellow Scouts for the first
time and seeing how many "regulars" it looked like
there would be.
Troop 364 and Cub Pack 364 had a large turnout at
their kickOff recruiting meeting Nov. 17 at the syna-
gogue, said Louis Sugerman, Scoutmaster for both
groups, which number 12 Boy Scouts and 30 Cub
Scouts, including 10 Webelos.
"I think it's great for the Jewish community, a great
opportunity, and evidently there was a need," he said,
referencing the group's speedy growth. "I think it's also
great for Scouting because it brings more kids into the
"I grew up in Scouting and I had great Scout lead-
ers," he said. "I have always said to myself that I would
like to be a Scout leader
and here was the chance to do it."
Paul Magy, incoming president of Adat Shalom
Synagogue, said Scouting is valuable because of the
character and skills development as well as the leader-
ship training. Blending the secular and spiritual envi-
ronments while teaching leadership, he said, could
affect how young people view synagogue and inspire
more young people to become involved in other
aspects of synagogue life.
"When we talk about making synagogues your
`Jewish home away from home,' Jewish Scouting really
does that," he said. "It brings kids to the synagogue for
fun and creates positive experiences for them at the
The diversity of Scouts teaches the boys valuable les-
sons, he said, as does the experience of Shabbat obser-
vance that might not necessarily be part of all of their
"Sometimes Halachah [Jewish Law] is perceived as
being in the way of fun, but Jewish Scouting is proof
that it's not, that you can be observant and respectful
of all our traditions and still have fun," Magy said.
"Because of that, you can have kids from Akiva and
Hillel and public schools come here — the whole spec-
trum of observance, and that's a beautiful thing."
West Bloomfield's Congregation Beth Ahm has had
a Boy Scout troop for four years. Scouts from Troop
1579, along with Scoutmaster Robert Levine, also took
part in the weekend carnpout. The two troops are well
matched to work together, Levine said.
"[The Adat Shalom troop] tends to have a lot of
younger Scouts, new Scouts," he said. "They need the
leadership and experience of older Scouts. Our troop
has leadership and experience and no one to lead
because we don't have a lot of younger Scouts this year."
Levine, whose two sons, Avi, 15 and Aaron, 17,
attended the campout, said he was pleased to see the
program growing in the area and would like to see
every congregation a have Scout troop as part of how
they serve their youth.
As for the campout, 10-year-old Moshe Haddad of
West Bloomfield said he thought it was a big success.
Sitting in their cabin, Haddad and a group of new-
found friends expressed their hope for another cam-
pout in the near future. Then they left the cabin to
play in the snow.
"I wish it were every Shabbos, well, every other
Shabbos, so then I wouldn't get tired of it," he said.
"Because it's fun." ❑
A Scout Shabbat will be held at 6 p.m. March
12 at Adat Shalom Synagogue in Farmington
Hills. Jewish Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts,
their families, friends and prospective Scouts
are welcome to attend. The program consists
of a Kabbalat Shabbat, dinner and an award
ceremony for those who've earned their
emblems. To RSVP for the dinner or to learn
more about joining or forming a Jewish Scout
troop, contact Allen Olender at (248) 682-
4824 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org