Saying Good-Bye to Our First Summer at Ramah Boston

When Ianne, our assistant director, and I met for coffee earlier this week to debrief from Ramah Boston’s first summer, we both expressed the same two sentiments:

1. we were still decompressing from an intense and amazing summer (and thus, our inclination to sit on our couches for extended periods of time felt validated!) and 2. WOW, we created a successful and vibrant camp from just about nothing.

As we sat together reviewing the summer, we kept coming back to the same sense of awe. Somehow, out of nothing, this group of nearly 50 staff members created a Ramah summer camp where there hadn’t been one before – and the 170 campers who spent their summer with us thrived. They learned to swim, to dance (here’s the playlist, if your camper is still practicing in your living room!), to try new things and to make new friends. They ate new foods, celebrated Shabbat with our community, rode buses (some for the first time), and expanded their sense of independence in new ways.

It wasn’t just the campers who grew this summer. Many members of our staff arrived to us as the one-school-year-removed-former-campers that many 16-year-olds are. Amazingly, they left this summer as professionals who successfully managed a summer job more complicated and challenging than most college internships. These teens stepped up in truly beautiful ways. I am so impressed with their maturity, their creativity, their compassion, and their willingness to grow and learn. To be sure, we all have things we can learn and ways in which we can grow. But, as a whole, a summer at camp can be one of the most profound and rewarding experiences a person can have – as an adult as much (if not more so than) than as a camper.