Shoafim and the It’s a Good Life Chug!


For almost twenty years, a special tradition just for edat ha-Shoafim has been the “It’s a Good Life” chug!  Begun by Mike Pletman back in the nineties when he was Rosh Tzad Aleph (the Head of A-Side, a position we no longer have here at Ramah New England), since ’98 or ’99 I have been continuing to run the chug with whoever was Rosh Shoafim that particular summer.  We meet at random times each week and do zany, silly things, often involving the consumption of a blue beverage.  (Back in the day, the official drink of the “It’s a Good Life” chug was Adirondack Blueberry Soda, which we felt was just about the silliest soda we could possibly find.  Sadly, Adirondack stopped making that soda about ten years ago.  I guess all the bottles we bought for “Good Life Chug” peulot wasn’t enough to sustain that product!)

To get into the chug, Shoafimers must write a twenty-two-and-a-half word essay, on a creative canvas of their choice (paper is not allowed!), explaining why they should be allowed into the chug.  It’s incredible to see the crazy, creative entries that the Shoafimers come up with!!  They find all sorts of objects onto which to write their entries, and they come up with great solutions to the question of what exactly constitutes a half-word.  We love giving kids these sorts of opportunities to be able to explore their creativity and emphasize their silliness here at camp!  Plus, for about a week, it means I might walk into my office only to find something like this waiting for me on my chair:


The meal at which Rosh Shoafim and I review all the entries is always one of my favorite moments of the summer.  Here are some photos of Karen and me reviewing this session’s entries:


The glasses one I am holding in the photo above really made me laugh.  Not only did the essay quote Monty Python and the Holy Grail, but I was blown away by the idea of writing the essay on the back of a pair of fake sunglasses (the idea being to put on the glasses and then ready the entry)!  Very funny.

Here are some more great entries.  This one was written on a bread-stick:


This one was written as if it were the ingredients of this bottle of glue:


And here is Karen wearing an entry that was written on a swim-cap!


Here is our first Good Life Chug assembly of second session, in which the new inductees raised their cups of blue drink:


Here’s a photo of our first session group:


So, what do we actually DO in the “It’s a Good Life” chug???  Well, it’s sort of a secret, but I’ll be back soon with another post detailing some of our silly peulot (activities)…