Magshimim and Bogrim: Outdoor Mural Kishroniyah with Artist Statement

Tova Speter, Instructor for the Outdoor Mural Kishroniyah, writes: “The mural was designed by the campers with my guidance and direction. I led them through a series of brainstorming exercises to help them form a cohesive design.”

Artist Statement written by the chanichim (campers):

For our mural Kishroniyah we have been working on a mural based around the theme of our
summer: Hakarat Hatov (gratitude). Machon and Nivonim started it and we, in Bogrim and Magshimim
finished it. Our mural is about gratitude and all the camp moments and experiences for which
we are most grateful. We wanted to pick some of the prominent things that are important to us
and show them in classic camp scenes emanating from our center.

In the center circle is a bunk, one of the core places where relationships blossom at camp, with
the sun rising behind it to show the beginnings of our kayitzim and lifelong friendships. Coming
out of the bunk are meaningful prayers that we say when we start and end each day at
Ramah. Also coming from the bunk are footprints that gradually get larger to show our growth as
people at camp. They travel in a circle to show how we grow up here to come back on staff and
give back our experiences. Coming full circle, paying it forward, and sharing our experiences
with others are among the things we think of when we think of Hakarat Hatov at camp.
The next circle is a havdallah candle wrapping around the circumference. The candle is a
central part of our communal camp experience symbolizing unity as an Edah and as a whole
Machaneh as we gather every Saturday to ring in the new week. We included 9 benches….
The next circle shows a ring of Medurot – the campfires around which we gather as an Edah to
celebrate each other and everyone’s talents. It also forms the shape of a Jewish star and is
surrounded by songs that we love to sing.

The next layer of our mural depicts people crossing arms and holding hands in a circle. This
represents our nightly singing of Rad Hayom that we sing every night before we head to bed.
The next circle shows a scene from the grove at sunset- one of the most widely known and
beloved places at camp. We gather there every week for Shabbat and during these times the
camp comes together as one.

The final circle on the outer part of the mural is something we often see at camp at night – the
beautiful stars and the moon that we all love to stargaze at. We look up at the man on the moon
(and see that he is our friend) and are reminded of Birkat Hamazon, another time where we
share our Gratitude at camp.

When we think about Hakarat Hatov, we think about camp experience with awe of it’s true
beauty and magic. And just as this mural is full of circles so too do we as campers come full
circle and give back our experiences to the next generation- L’dor Vador.

One other thing we wanted to share is that this mural is an honor of Rachael Dahlben, a
Ramahnik who unfortunately passed away last August. Her friends raised money to help
support this project and throughout the mural we included symbols in her memory. At the core
circle it shows bunk number 17 not only because of the year 2017 but also because bunk 17
was one of Rachael’s bunks when she was a camper here. We also carved her name in a tree
in the mural and included red music notes because we learned that she loved music and her
favorite color was red.

We have a lot of gratitude when we think of our friendships here at Ramah.