There is a tradition in Judaism that if one does something three times it becomes a hazakah… it becomes set. So here is my third post and I am thrilled to see so many folks reading it. You have re-affirmed my deep belief that people like to hear about what is going on in camp during the summer even if they are not experiencing it for themselves.
We are in the middle of shavua hachanah – the week that we “only” have our staff members in camp preparing for the summer. It is intense and relaxed, trying and mellow, packed and unstructured. Yesterday we had a little over 200 staff members in camp.
We had returning staff – some third generation in Camp Ramah – we had new people from England, Israel, California and South America. We have assembled an outdoor education staff – the largest ever for camp – of 23 people. There are returning Mishlachat. There are new. There are even kitchen staff members who are the third or fourth in their families who are here from Slovakia who want to be here in our own little Gan Eden because of their older siblings.
Gan Eden – this is the feeling I had yesterday as walked around camp. I had to pinch myself – not really – that this is our reality for the summer. We are creating a small Gan Eden for this incredible community of 800+ people. The skies were bright blue – not a cloud in the sky. By the way,can you pray for that on Tuesday please!? The green grass not used yet by our campers. New beds were being installed in two B-side bunks. New fans placed in four bunks on A-side.
The staff members are also very engaged. They work hard in their training sessions balanced by ample time unstructured times. We ask them to grapple with issues such as: what to do if you see a snake or you have a stuffed toilet to what can you expect from a 12-year-old or how to discuss prayer with a 15-year-old.
Yesterday I lead an engaging hevruta study session about the birchot hashachar in the morning service. All of this is part of my life as director – from snakes to prayer and from proper documentation for employment to helping someone put on tefillan for the first time ever. It’s great.
Rabbi Paul Resnick