Amidst the height of Avatar hype (the blue kind, not the element-bending kind), the bonim of this year decided to go all out. Blue body paint that could have covered an army was brought to camp hidden in bags, pockets and pillowcases, and none of the younger chanichim could see it coming.

The day of Bonim Take-Over called for mass-preparation, as there is always a lot to do to make sure this is the best Bonim Take-Over EVER. The tsiud brushes were deployed, and every visible inch of every Bonim chanich/a was covered in royal, obnoxious, rich blue paint. No patch of skin was left is natural colour, and with that, the Bonim were ready to descend.

avatar Real photo from actual BTO

As per standard procedure, they attacked at mizdar, chasing the madrichim off the campsite as the chanichim rejoiced in anticipation of 24 hours of new, exciting peulot run by the older kids. There’s always something tantalising about leaving the chanichim to their own devices, and although the camp parents and doctor remain, and the Bonim take on a mature role, the camp has a different air to it.

The evening kicked off in style, as Bonim ran peulot for their chanichim and tried their hand at the madrichim role they would be expected to take on in the next few years. Chanichim were happy and well-behaved, the the night wound to a close without a hiccup.

The next day, however, the Bonim realised the gravity of their paint situation, as the entire camp headed down to the river for a morning wash. Flooding from further up the Waikato turned the camp’s river into a raging torrent, safe for not even the mightiest Bonim. The current would pull away any chanich, never to be seen again – not exactly something the Bonim wanted to have to deal with.
Not the actual river

Thus, they resorted to alternative methods. Jerry-can washes at midnight became a recurring event, and Bonim staged water-fights with their chanichim in the hopes it would rid them of their affliction.

Blue paint remained along their hairlines, behind their ears, dying their arms hairs and imbedding itself into their DNA. Their skin was tinged a faint, sickly blue, and all of Bonim took on the appearance of cold, albeit lively, enthusiastic zombies.

Every afternoon and every evening brought a new group of Bonim down at the river, attempting to innovate new ways to scrub; there was no telling how long they would be destined to be blue for as they faced the raging river.

As far as we know, no Bonim suffered long term or internal consequences of being painted blue. Overall, it was a successful Bonim Take-Over, which challenged future generations to push the boundaries of their creativity and commit fully to the cause.

Because each generation strives for bigger and better, it’s hard to keep Bonim Take-Over fresh and surprising – especially when it’s an expected, albeit much-anticipated event every single machane. It takes an extra special effort in order to really find that surprising edge, from a few super-creative minds.

An earlier Bonim Take-Over saw Gandalf and Frodo descend, as the Bonim attacked during the mizdar takeover. The madrichim were chased off the camp, and the younger chanichim rejoiced in anticipation of 24 hours of being led by the cool kids.

However, much to their dismay, the madrichim returned several minutes later. With many apologies the chanichim were told that there would be no Bonim takeover this year, as time constraints and a full tochnit meant they had a lot to get through. Dinner was served with a side of disappointment and a generous helping of feeling pretty darn lied to, and the night was destined to continue as per usual.

According to usual routine, the torenut schedule was read out with fanfare. Despite the disappointment, the dish-washing excitement in the chader ochel was indescribable, until suddenly, the madrich reading the names began foaming at the mouth. He convulsed as blood started pouring out of his mouth, and chaos erupted throughout the camp. In every corner of the chader ochel, madrichim began dropping to the ground with blood pouring from their mouths, and chanichim ran screaming for help as their fearless leaders fell victim to a horrible, invisible plague

They didn’t get far. Groups of Bonim clad in Hazmat suits and masks flooded in, and the madrichim that weren’t crawling out of the chader ochel were dragged off by their ankles. The masked bonim announced their new reign for the next 24 hours amidst the screams of chaos.

Real photo from actual BTO

It took a while to restore order in the wake of the trauma. Although the youngest Nitzanim had been pre-warned about the imminent attack, there was no doubt that many of the chanichim were shaken. Once everyone had been reassured, the evening and following day continued without a hiccup. As traumatising as it was, no can can deny that this Bonim Take-Over was a curve-ball that no one saw coming.

We can all agree Bonim Take-Over is a much anticipated event at each machane. Each year the Bonim get the chance to go bigger and better, and try their hand at being the responsible adults in charge of up to a hundred younger humans. It’s up to the new and fresh minds each year to make sure they come up with something bigger, better and more fantastic…

But too bad it’s cancelled this year though.

No Bonim Take-Over 2017.