Camp Time, Our Time

  • In just a little more than 24 hours we’ve unpacked, settled in, gone kayaking for the first time, gotten our mixed table assignments, had our first BBQ as bunks, made 2500 gummy bears (we don’t mess around) from scratch in our Master Chef elective, gone swimming, written a letter home, made a friendship bracelet, met our new bunnies and ducks, gotten our swim classes, had fudgesicles for snack, experienced our first day of regular programming, made a new friend…deep breath…exhale…Shabbat shalom.

    The concept of “camp time” is exciting, confusing, and magical. A day feels like a week and a week passes in the blink of an eye. To think that just 24 hours ago we were standing in the pouring rain, staff shirts soaked through, and smiles permanently plastered on our faces from the anticipation, to now, as we get dressed in our blue and whites to welcome Shabbat for the first time this summer surrounded by friends who already feel like family. This is the epitome of camp time.

    In just one day high fives have turned to hugs and looks of questions and curiosity have turned to confidence and comfort. I’m always blown away by the speed at which Boys’ side learns, and adapts, the game of Step Ball, how a new morning routine immediately becomes tradition and how campers who have only ever been away from home for just a night or two become camp “lifers”. The transition is quick, mostly seamless, and seeing it all happen is one of the best parts of my job.

    Every week I ask members of our staff and campers what their highlights were so that I can share them with our parent community. Sometimes my question is met with a “the cereal my mom doesn’t usually let me have!” and other times, my jaw drops as a 11 year-old camper reflects on how lucky they are to wake up with a view of the lake out their window. The stories are always different, in their depth and their details, but when they’re strung together, they weave a story of our time at camp and for that, I am grateful.

    The first smiles you see when you arrive at camp, and the first people I asked about their highlights, was our Office Staff. Mari immediately responded by saying her highlight is her daily reminder of the perfection of camp each morning when she walks from her camp house to the office. For our shira staff, they were blown away by the obvious talent of Devin, as she slowly warmed up in her elective and ended class by playing Aerosmith for the whole group. For Rikud staff, it was their group of Tsofim boys who worked up SUCH an intense sweat while dancing, they had no choice but to jump into the lake after. For a first-year counselor it was discovering the creativity and hilarity of young campers when Bailey introduced her to her pet edamame that she adopted from the salad bar at lunch. For our counselors in the Olot chug, it was watching the returning campers take the initiative to buddy up with new campers and show them how to do clean up. For me, it was a group of four Olim boys, who insisted on helping me MC and announce last night’s evening activity and an afternoon canoe trip with Max and Kevin. It already feels like we’ve been doing this for months and yet there’s nothing I want more than to hit the pause button and maybe even rewind but for now, I’ll just take it all in and appreciate the time I get to share with this amazing staff and incredible group of campers.

    Shabbat shalom!

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