Israeli Summer Camp at One of the Hottest Places on Earth

by Brian on July 25, 2012

in A Parent in Israel,Only in Israel

Our 14-year-old son is heading off to summer camp this week. This will be his fifth year at “Kayitz b’Kibbutz,” a Bnei Akiva style overnight camp set at Kibbutz Shluchot in the Jordan Valley, just south of Beit Shean. The camp caters to both native born Israelis and visitors from overseas (the main language spoken during the two week program is English). From an economic point of view, it can actually be cheaper to send your child to camp in Israel, including flights, than the cost of camp overseas.

Our son loves the camp, but he has one complaint: it’s hot. How hot? Very hot, with temperatures hovering in the high 30s Celsius around 100 degrees Fahrenheit on most days). Understandably, the kids spend a lot of time in the water.

Two years ago, camp took place during a particularly extreme heat wave. Our son reported that the temperature topped out at 50 degrees Celsius (that would be more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit). When he first told us, I didn’t believe him – 40 degrees, maybe, but this must be an exaggeration.

Apparently I was wrong. Foreign Policy magazine is reporting that Kibbutz Tirat Tzvi, a hop, skip and a jump from Shluchot, is the ninth hottest place on earth, which posted a temperature of 53 degrees Celsius (128 degrees Fahrenheit) in 1942.

What’s number one? The Lut Desert in eastern Iran, which recorded a whopping 71 degrees Celsius (159 degrees Fahrenheit) in 2005. Other winners include locations in Mali, Libya, Tunisia, Australia and China

Growing up in California, I always assumed Death Valley took the top spot, but it only ranked number five at 46 degrees Celsius (115 degrees Fahrenheit, although the heat index makes it feel like 125).

Why Kibbutz Shluchot would want to host a camp in the height of the summer is a question better left to the camp’s founders (two English-speakers who happen to live on the kibbutz). But the kids seem to love it – they keep coming back for more. I wonder if Iran has a similar camp in Lut?

You can see pictures of all the hot spots here.

It was hot in the summer originally on yesterday’s hot Israelity.

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