Returning To Camp-True Emotion
I love camp. That emotion bubbles to the surface at varying times. As a camp director it sometimes is difficult to find the time and space to think about camp in terms of love. The work is all-consuming and the responsibility is enormous.
As I was driving up to camp yesterday to move in for the summer the feeling just came over me that I really love camp, love what I do and can't wait for our staff and campers to arrive.
This is my 19th summer working at a summer camp, 10th as a director and 5th in Palmer. I still get goose bumps when I pull into camp.
I'm not sure I can explain exactly why this is. Certainly there is a level of "coming alive" at camp that is unmatched for me as compared to anywhere else. The place itself feels holy. It is as if the grounds themselves remember all the campers and staff that have come over the years, their trials and tribulations as well as their successes and accomplishments.
There is an energy at camp that builds as first the lead staff (hanhallah) arrives, then the full staff, and finally the campers.
Building community and all those relationships is incredibly meaningful. It is intense work that leads to the camp axiom that every day is like two weeks but two weeks are like a day. We have been here less than 24 hours and yet our lead staff feels as if we have been together a long time.
I love camp because multiple times every day I get to see the results of our efforts. From the smile of a young girl who climbs the Alpine Tower for the first time to the satisfaction of a teenager who gives his first D'var Torah, growth is everywhere.
I love camp because when I feel a little tired or down there are 750 other people who will pick me up with a smile or an encouraging word.
I love camp because the sound of young voices singing Hebrew songs lifts me spiritually and gives me hope for our future.
I love camp because over 200 staff who are extraordinarily talented and smart choose to spend their summers giving back instead of doing anything else.
I'm a morning person. At camp, if I'm not awake by 5:30 it is a sleep
in. This morning I watched the world come alive as I went for a jog. I
realize how lucky I am to be here. The dawn of today reminds me that
every summer is its own entity. Another opportunity to paint a
We have a real mission at Camp Ramah. We are trying to
impact lives by creating a community that cares about everyone, that
fosters personal growth, and inspires our Jewish future.
The dawn of today parallels the dawn of a new summer. We are starting once again. The wait is over. I love camp.