Yom Roo Opening Ceremony
Here are some glimpses from the opening ceremony of Yom Roo, the athletic competition against Ramah Berkshires (see History and Roo Song, below).
We are looking forward to an amazing day here at Camp Ramah in Palmer as we welcome our fellow chanichim (campers) from Ramah Berkshires-
“Hine ma tov u’ma na-im Shevet achim gam ya-chad
Behold how good and how pleasing it is for brothers to come together in unity.”
What an awesome opportunity for us to come together two camps each bringing our amazing talents and to share that with each other!
Let the games begin!!!
How the Roo came to Palmer
The Palmer Fighting Roo is our beloved camp mascot. We have a Roo perek (period) every day, and we celebrate Yom Roo twice a summer when we play competitive sports against Camp Ramah in the Berkshires. The Roo appears frequently on t-shirts, jerseys, signs, and even on last year’s Kishroniya mosaic project. But what is the Roo and why do we have a mascot?
The origins of the Palmer Fighting Roo are completely grassroots. And, as is often the case with history, there are competing accounts of who actually came up with the idea. In the summer of 2013, a few veteran counselors decided that what Camp Ramah in New England needed was a mascot. Although we had been playing sports against other camps for years, we never had an official mascot! After batting around a number of different suggestions, the counselors settled on the idea of the Palmer fighting Roo, both because it was original (how many teams do you know what a Kangaroo Mascot?), and because of the connection to the Hebrew word ruach, meaning spirit. Now, we don’t just have tons of ruach at Camp Ramah, we have ROO-ach!
The Roo quickly caught on, and before long the Roo had an official design, shirts for sale for staff, and even a few different chants and songs. The official Palmer Fight Song is now sung regularly, especially loudly and enthusiastically on Yom Roo, before getting on the buses to go to Ramah Berkshires:
When it comes to Ramah camps
If you ever had to choose
The choice would be obvious
We’re the Palmer Fighting Roos (Roo! Roo! Roo!)
From A-Side to B-Side
Our ROO-ach leads the way
So go! (fight!) go! (fight!) go! (fight!) go!
Roos will win the day!
As with most camp traditions, the Palmer Fighting Roo has quickly grown from an idea by just a few staff members having fun, to an integral part of camp culture. More than anything, the Roo demonstrates the tremendous influence that everyone in our camp community, specifically our college-aged staff has to affect culture and effect change at Camp Ramah.
* This blog contains text written by Machzor Rishon (first session) blogger Miriam Benson