Rhythm of Ramah- Spotlight on Agam (waterfront)
The agam (lake) is one of the most special places at Machane Ramah. Just like the heart is the center of the human body… the agam is the heart of our camp. It is a place where edot often sit and have morning tefilot, evening bonfires, special activities, and of course swimming, boating, and playing on our amazing inflatable water toys. The agam can also be seen and enjoyed from almost anywhere in camp and in the early morning, the agam provides a breathtaking sunrise.
The agam is staffed by American Red Cross certified lifeguards. We currently have 24 swim staff made up of both Israelis who have just completed their army service in the IDF as well as parents whose children are campers at Ramah Palmer.
Campers come to the agam at least two to three times a day for boating, instructional swim, free swim, and to use the water park. Prior to being able to enjoy the agam’s many activities, the children are given a swim test according to the standards of the American Red Cross Learn to Swim Program. They are then placed into swim classes and given a colored swim tag (Red, Green, and Blue) which represents in which area of the agam they are allowed to swim. The average class ratio is 1:7.
During the instructional swim, campers work on various skills ranging from basic water safety to diving and everything in between. At the end of each session, campers take home a swim skills achievement certificate and a photo of their class. We also have a junior lifeguard course for Nivonim campers that takes place during Kishroniyah (specialty week). During the free swim, all campers swim with either one or two buddies and buddy checks are conducted on a regular basis to ensure the utmost safety at the agam.
This summer, we have 7 inflatable water toys in our water park. The newest of which are the seesaw, the iceberg, and the summit express (which includes a climbing wall and slide). All campers and staff wear lifejackets when exploring the water park and are supervised by lifeguards stationed at various locations throughout the park. Everyone at Ramah loves the waterpark and the lifeguards often hear children yelling, “THIS IS AWESOME!”
In addition to the new water inflatables, the agam also has a brand new amphitheater. It is made of long wooden beams and has a stunning view of the agam. There is also a new gravel path leading to the agam, creating a real beachfront experience.