Shoafim & the “It’s a Good Life” Chug!

Over Shabbat we welcomed many members of adat ha-Shoafim into a Ramah tradition: The “It’s a Good Life” Chug!

This is a chug (elective activity) that we offer each kayitz (summer) ONLY to adat ha-Shoafim!  It’s just one part of the special Shoafim experience as the oldest hanichim (campers) on Tzad Aleph (A-Side).  For over twenty years, the “It’s a Good Life” Chug has been a special program offered only to Shoafimers!  (The chug was originally begun by Mike Pletman, who was at the time Rosh Tzad Aleph.)

To get into the chug, hanichim must submit a twenty-two-and-a-half word essay, on a creative canvas of their choice (paper is not allowed), explaining why they feel they must be allowed into the chug.  The kids come up with all sorts of creative and funny ways to write an essay that is exactly twenty-two-and-a-half words long, and they are incredibly imaginative and resourceful in choosing a “creative canvas” on which to write their essay!  Pictured above and below are Claire (the Rosh Edah for adat ha-Shoafim) and I reviewing entries on Friday:

Yes, the photo at the top is of a hanich (camper) who carved his entry into cheese.  And the photo at left, above, is our first “legacy” Good-Lifer — that bottle of soda was brought to camp specifically for this purpose by Kayla, the daughter of Rabbi Fred Elias who helped launch the “It’s a Good Life” chug two decades ago!  (We used to drink blueberry soda in the Good Life chug, because we felt that was the silliest soda around.  We don’t do soda at camp these days, and the Adirondack brand of hechshered blueberry soda no longer exists.  But Kayla’s bottle was an homage to the original days of blueberry soda!!)

On Shabbat afternoon today, we had our first Good Life gathering of Machzor Sheinei (Second Session), a festive afternoon oneg!  Our first official Good Life peulah (program) of the machzor will be later this week…!