Nivonim initiated into leadership training tradition at Quabbin reservoir

On Wednesday morning our rising 11th graders embarked on the traditional Nivonim rite of passage initiating them into the leadership training program at Ramah New England.

Two Nivonimers after receiving their leadership clipboards

Completing a 3-mile hike through luscious pine forests just outside camp, the 77 hanichim (campers) of Nivonim sat on the hilltop outside the Observation Tower overlooking the Quabbin Reservoir as their devoted madrichim (counselors) presented each of them with the traditional Nivonim clipboard in a ceremony that has for decades marked the transition from recipients of the Ramah experience into budding camp leaders who help create the Ramah experience.

In a speech to the edah (division), the madrichim offered their blessings that these clipboards — not only a tool but a symbol of leadership and responsibility — would “guide and inspire, support and uplift” Nivonimers in their learning, and implored them to: “treat these symbols with the same care and respect that you will show to the hanichim who look up to you as role models.”

Nivonim makes their through the Quabbin trails.

Pairing this clipboard ceremony with a hike in a nearby forest has become a tradition in Nivonim for the last decade. This year’s hike, which culminated with a pristine vista overlooking the primary reservoir of the West Mass region, poetically reflects the qualities of leadership the tzevet (staff) hoped to instill in this year’s Nivonim; just as they looked out onto a wellspring of drinking water, so too might they enter their summer of leadership training with broad vision, integrity, and a passion for nourishing community.

As the madrichim concluded their ceremony: “let’s make this year unforgettable.”


Nivonim makes their way through the Quabbin trails.


Nivonim makes their way through the Quabbin trails.


Categories: Nivonim