Israeli Schlep

Schlep is Yiddish for ‘lug stuff around’ and while that might not sound like a lot of actually IS! In 'Schlep', groups of campers -- perhaps divided by cabin -- are asked to bring to the activity a pillowcase full of random stuff from their cabins. The random stuff then becomes iconic items in Israel as the competition heats up and the cultural funducation ensues!

Program Duration: 

Physical Space: 

Number of Campers: 

Age of Campers: 

Core Learnings: 

Israeli iconic symbols (menorah, shield, star of david, olive branch, etc.)
Israel's geographic diversity (Eliat, Jerusalem, the Negev, Ein Gedi, kibbutzim, the beach, etc.)
Foods native to Israel (falafel & pita, oranges)


Stage 1: Explaining the Game of Schlep!

  • Campers should be divided into equal groups and seated around the space in a circle equidistant from the center. (Make sure they are equidistant otherwise one team will have an advantage!)
  • The leader should stand in the center of the circle with a microphone or loud voice. Once everyone is seated in their groups with their pillowcases full of stuff, the leader should explain the game. 
  • The name of the game is “Israeli Schlep” and here’s the way it works:
    • The leader will call out a word that represents something found in Israel or something that represents Israel. Each group then has two minutes to create a representation of that word using people of the group and at least one object from the bag, and schlep it to the leader (or judges table if there is one). Points will be awarded based on speed and creativity. 
  • The leader will then do a test round for no points. The leader should not just say a word from the list included below. Rather, the leader should describe how it fits in Israeli life.  For instance:
    • Ein Gedi is a beautiful park in Israel that contains a waterfall. Schlep over a ‘waterfall’. 
    • The national emblem of Israel is actually a Menorah. Bring me a ‘menorah.’ 
  • This way, the campers will learn something about Israel (there’s a waterfall? in the desert?) and will have fun at the same time!  
  • The leader should stress that it's not just about putting objects together but using the people in the group to create a picture.

Stage 2: Playing!


  • You will need this list to facilitate the program (please add to it and add to this template). Feel free to add your own, especially in consultation with the Israelis on your staff:
  • In Israel, many people eat FALAFEL AND PITA SANDWICHES. Schlep over a FALAFEL AND PITA SANDWICH.
  • The national symbol of Israel is a MENORAH. Schlep over a MENORAH.
  • The symbol on the Israeli flag is the STAR OF DAVID. Schlep over the STAR OF DAVID.
  • Israel is home to olive trees, lots of them. Schlep over an OLIVE BRANCH
  • Israel has lots of shoreline where people go to the beach. Schlep over some SAND.
  • The sun is bright in Israel, especially since the buildings in Jerusalem are all made of white Jerusalem stone. Schlep over some SUNGLASSES.
  • THE WESTERN WALL is the last remaining exterior wall of the Temple in Jerusalem. Schlep over THE WESTERN WALL
  • Want to get around in the Negev (the Israeli desert?). Ride a CAMEL. Schlep over a CAMEL.
  • Another symbol of Israeli strength is the SHIELD. Schlep over a SHIELD.
  • In the Negev, there are a people called Bedouins. They live in really neat tents. Schlep over a BEDOUIN TENT.
  • In Israel, there is a park called Ein Gedi which has a WATERFALL. Schlep over a WATERFALL.
  • In Eilat you can get lots of things...including a SUNBURN! Schlep over a SUNBURN.
  • In Israel, some people live on a communal farm called a KIBBUTZ. Schlep over a KIBBUTZ.
  • Motorola developed the cell phone in Israel, and voicemail was invented in Israel too! Schlep over a CELLPHONE.
  • Israel is home to many fruits and vegetables. One fruit that grows in Israel is the ORANGE. Schlep over an ORANGE.