Ramah Outdoor Adventure Welcomes Long Time New Englander to the Team!
adventure in Colorado welcomes Dan Buonaiuto to their team as Program Director.
Dan is an alumni of Ramah New England. Check out this Bio from the Outdoor Adventure
blog. Mazel Tov to Dan.
My name is Dan
Buonaiuto and I have the honor and pleasure of joining the Ramah Outdoor
Adventure family as the program director of camp. Rabbi Eliav
has graciously allowed me to take a little break from unpacking boxes full
of miscellaneous camp “treasures” that are left over from this past summer to
introduce myself to you.
So here are the
I was born,
raised and educated in the suburbs of Boston; first at the Gann Academy/ New
Jewish High School followed by Tufts University where I received a
degree in Geology. I grew up hiking, skiing and kayaking with my family, but it
was on a dog-sledding and ice-climbing trip in high school that my love for the
outdoors truly ignited, and it has been burning strong ever
spent much of my time in college leading trips for the Tufts outing club
that ranged from trail work and backpacking to a mid-January polar bear
swim in New York’s Lake George. While at Tufts, I also played on the
I grew up
summering at scenic Ramah in New England and went on to spend five years
there on staff. I was both a bunk counselor and the
Rosh of the Nature Program, but be forewarned- if you are looking to
background check my Ramah career know that at camp I was
exclusively (and I hope affectionately) known to all as “Dandan”.
graduating, I spent six months living, working and studying on a ecological
farm in Israel to earn a certificate in a system of agro-ecological design
called permaculture. If you don’t know what permaculture is, be prepared
to to hear A LOT about it and maybe learn some tricks of the trade at
camp. And now, after a summer of leading groups of Jewish high school stduents
on backpacking and community service trips on the Hopi Indian Reservation in
Arizona, I am happy to once again be back in the Ramah community.
I only had the
opportunity to spend one Shabbat at Ramah Outdoor Adventure this past
summer, but what a Shabbat it was! In my short time there, the thing
that struck me about this camp in particular were the connections I saw. Such
rich connections between chalutzim, their madrichim, to the camp itself
the beautiful forests and meadows surrounding camp, and to joyous and
thoughtful Judaism. This brief taste of Ramah Outdoor Adventure life from
last summer was enough to make me excited to dive in for Kayitz 2011.
with both staff members and chalutzim, I heard there was great enthusiasm for
the service projects and farming chugim. I was struck by the amount of
investment the chalutzim felt towards building and improving the space around
them. When living outdoors, it is almost impossible to not start to incorporate
the rhythms of nature into ourselves. Through this lens of observation, we see
countless natural systems which link the world together in efficient
harmony. Having this awareness infuses our own actions as seen in camp
through the various construction projects as well as traditions that the chalutzim
built this past summer. I have big dreams for an active ecological farm
(hopefully with animals too) at camp next summer, a project that
after seeing the ruach and dedication of last summer’s chalutzim, I now
know will be possible with their contributions. Along with this, be
prepared for expanded work projects, as well as new adventures, new masaot
and that old feeling returning home to a place you love after a whole year
of being away, and having it feel like you never left its awesomeness.
really a long post, and ourboxes aren’t going to unpack themselves so I better
get back to work. So long for now everyone, I look forward to meeting you all
over the coming year.