Opportunities for Ramah Campers to Lead, Shine, and Accomplish!
At Camp Ramah, we give every hanich/ah (camper) an opportunity to lead, shine, accomplish and be a part of something.
Our hanichim/hanichot (campers) experience a sense of leadership when they choreograph a dance in a play or mentor younger campers. They shine so brightly when they get up to read from the Torah or sing solos in a play. The opportunities to feel a sense of accomplishment abound, whether it is climbing the Alpine Tower, passing a swimming test or hitting a bull’s eye in archery. We strive to make every hanich/ah (camper) feel like they are a part of something larger than themselves. What better way than by participating in Havdalah, Kabbalat Shabbat dancing in front of the entire camp, Zimkudiah (song and dance festival) or Yom Foam.
As we count the days until kayitz 2017, let’s look back at some wonderful moments from kayitz 2016: stories that show how our campers lead, shine, accomplish and are a part of something.
Abby C. and Aviva B. have accomplished great things in just a short time in Omanut (arts & crafts)! Camp Ramah in New England is blessed to have a large Omanut department staffed by a group of exceptional artists and educators. This depth allows our hanichim to choose chuggim (electives) in specific visual arts mediums – such as Nagarut (woodworking), Clay (hand building and on the wheel), Silk Painting, Digital Photography, Video, Origami, Cartooning and Mosaics. Abby has made spectacular animals out of clay. “I love to express myself through art. I often make animals because I like to relate to the world outside.” This summer she learned several new techniques, including using a paper ball to begin her project so that the elephant body wouldn’t be too heavy. Aviva just started learning to paint on silk. She drew an ambitious design and then traced the design with gutta, a resist that serves as a barrier for the paint that is used. When she first applied the paint, she worried that the colors were running, but ultimately “they came together in a beautiful way. I’m very proud of how it turned out.”
When Abby W. of Shoafim (rising 7th graders) started camp in late July, she was still swimming in the shallow A-water section of our Agam (lake). Over the last couple of weeks, she perfected her back stroke and breast stroke but remained nervous about taking the test for the deeper C-water. With the enthusiastic encouragement of her friends – and especially with the support of Elle F., who arranged for Abby to take the swim test – Abby made an extraordinarily big leap forward with her swimming! She now swims in C-water, along with her friends! (Abby on left, Elle on right in photo.) When Abby passed the C-water test, her friends started screaming with excitement. Abby reports being “happy, excited, and proud” of her accomplishment. “There’s a lot more swimming in C-water,” says Abby.
Aliza R. read Torah before edat HaMachon (rising 10th graders) to mark the anniversary of her Bat Mitzvah, which was held in Israel in 2013. When asked about the the experience of reading in front of her entire edah, Aliza said: “I was so proud of myself. After I finished reading, everyone sang “Siman Tov u Mazel Tov” to me. It made me feel really special. I’m inspired to learn to read other parts of the Torah so that I can read at my synagogue, Congregation B’nai Israel.”
Charlie F. is a hanich in Solelim (rising 6th graders) who shines! According to Elad Dorenbust, his Rosh Edah, Charlie “is in love with camp! He loves so many things about camp – being with his friends, enjoying the beautiful scenery of camp and participating in his chuggim.” Charlie agrees. He loves to meet up with his friends for fun activities like the Agam water toys or for a relaxing Shabbat walk. He loves his chuggim: Archery (“I’m already improving after two lessons”), Ropes (“I went straight up the first time, using Jacob’s Ladder, which is really hard”) and video. Charlie is also very happy being a part of his edah and the wider camp community. “I LOVE Shabbat at camp!” Charlie exclaims. I love sitting in the amphitheater facing the Agam for services and I love Havdalah, when we all gather around the big candle.”
Debbie M. is a camper with dual membership in Nivonim (rising 11th graders, the oldest edah) and in Amitzim (teen campers with disabilities). This summer, Debbie says, “I am really trying to challenge myself.” During what she calls an “amazing summer,” Debbie has tried many things for the first time: white water rafting (with Nivonim), a very high amusement ride at Six Flags, and standing up before all of Tzad Bet on Friday night with an “Oh My Lord” rap about the past week’s accomplishments. (It’s hard to explain this – you have to see it for yourself.) Now Debbie is turning her attention to a huge goal: climbing the Alpine Tower. Recently, she made it two-thirds of the way up, which was “very hard – and I’m nervous about heights. I am very, very proud of myself” for accomplishing this, Debbie explains. Now she has set her sights on climbing to the very top!