This is my inaugural blog for the season, for our 50th summer of Machaneynu Ramah, when we will touch the lives of 1,000 campers and staff members. Thank you for reading this and please follow our blog throughout the summer which will appear twice a week. In just 16 days we welcome 574 campers to camp.
Yesterday was an amazing day for Camp Ramah in the Berkshires as we experienced Festival @ 50. Often I got goose bumps as folks told me stories about their experiences at camp over the past 50 years – only good stories! Nearly 1,000 alumni, campers, board members, distinguished guests from the community and from the Foundation for Jewish Camp and staff members came together under bright blue skies to celebrate 50 summers of CRB! There were alumni from every decade of camp.
There were two pieces that were particularly gratifying about yesterday. The first was that 143 children who attended the Festival were registered by their parents as future campers. This bodes well for our future. Some of them will be second generation campers and some will be third generation. WOW! How gratifying is that?!
The second piece was the massive effort of our volunteers. Under the professional guidance of Karen Legman Segal who is camp’s Director of Strategic Initiates and Communication, and the leadership of Diane Spiegel Belok and her team, we had 100 volunteers yesterday who made the day happen. After all, what Director in his right mind would agree to have such a huge event just 16 days before opening day of our core mission – the summer camp season! I knew that we could do it because there are so many supporters and friends who want to give of their time to make CRB as strong as possible.
Some of you who might be reading this are alumni who will not be in camp this summer. I invite you to follow this blog and to visit our website for camp updates. Some of you reading this are spending your very first summer NOT in machaneynu. I am told that often those experiencing “withdrawal symptoms” have a lump in their throats on opening day – June 25th by the way – after spending many summers where else but Wingdale?! And so, I hope that this way of communicating will help you in your transition.
Yesterday we also had several Ramahniks, younger and older, present statements which began, I am Camp Ramah in the Berkshires. Toddah Rabbah Ramah for a list of impactful values which camp has taught them. Camp impacts. Ramah transforms. Yesterday worked. This blog works.
Now let’s go and enjoy the summer!
Rabbi Paul Resnick