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Enjoy the following essay by a past participant of Derech Hateva's Israel Trail Teen Adventure (ITTA):
By Naama Grossbaum, ITTA '06

In Derech HaTeva I had a great experience. I gained a whole lot from it, including survival skills, how to use a stove, how to find a good camping spot, how to pack efficiently and how to use a compass. All of these skills will help me to continue to explore Israel on my own.

Derech HaTeva changed me and the way I think. It helped me come to the realization that things that I thought I couldn't live without, including the luxuries of technology, are really [connected] to my laziness and that I can live without most of it. I understand now that my laziness might be part of the reason for some global problems such the greenhouse effect, radiation etc.

Now I understand that my actions can increase or decrease the spreading of some of these horrible issues, many of which the majority of people don't know about or just don't care about.

I learned about the ideal and my current connection with nature and the holy land, Israel. I learned about the history of my people - right there where I stood and walked - over a thousand years ago. I learned about my values and my responsibilities to my nation (Am Yisrael), my country (Eretz Yisroel) and myself. I can make the world a better place, not by changing the world but by changing myself. By being a better person and a better Jew. One important thing that I learned is that I can make a difference. Every individual affects other people and the rest of the world. By self improvement I can help the whole world improve (the ripple effect).

I hope to take all the lessons I learned with me for the rest of my life and internalize them and have a positive affect on those around me.

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