What an amazing day we had today at CRB. Our population swelled from the usual 800 people – campers and staff members – to over 1,000 as we welcomed 180 of our fellow campers and staff members from Camp Ramah in New England for Yom JV and some 200 people for CAMPER 2014 DAY and 20 alumni from Gesher 2003. What a day it was!
I felt very proud of how we handled today’s incredible events that required every department in camp to be on and working at its fullest capacity. From our facilities and kitchen staff members to security and programming, camp was humming with an increased sense of excitement. It was great to welcome 70 families who were interested in Camp Ramah for their child for the summer of 2014 or 2015. In fact, a few families who have their child enrolled in this summer’s second session came to camp today just to have their child see camp in action. Today’s attendees also included alumni families who expect to send their child here in the future. In addition, some families traveled to camp today who are already sending their child to camp but brought child #2 to give him/her the opportunity to be a part of perspective camper day. For me, it was great to meet alumni who came up to me and said, do you remember me, I was in your edah in 1982.
The vast majority of our visitors were new to Camp Ramah in the Berkshires. Many parents and their children shop camps and research their choice of summer residential camps like they might one day do for a child applying to college! We had twelve tours around camp lead by younger staff members for perspective campers and an equal number of parent focused tours lead by our more veteran leaders. What an amazing site seeing perspective campers interact with a current camper who they know from home. Or a perspective camper at the agam seeing and hearing the excitement of one of the more popular activity centers.
Hearing the excitement of inter-camp play with Camp Ramah in New England is one of the highlights of the summer. After two and half weeks of team building and skills instruction our campers were ready for their games. We played basketball, softball and Frisbee of course but we also had a hug rikkud and at Palmer’s request hug Scrabble.
If this were not enough we hosted 20 alumni from Gesher 2003. They came to see each other, to see camp and spent time with this year’s Gesher. It is another amazing site to see our current campers speak with our “veteran” alumni teaching both groups the importance of community through camp.
Sites and sounds around camp…. Just another day in machaneynu. I had a great day and I hope you did too.
Rabbi Paul Resnick