by Arielle Glaser, Gesher 2006
When I was asked why I love camp, I immediately thought to myself…well this is going to be a piece of cake, I LOVE CAMP!! But as I sat down to put all of my ideas on paper, I realized there are too many things that I am passionate about and obsessed with that I needed a way to focus myself. My 8 years as a camper, participating on Ramah Seminar, and spending 5 years on staff, gave me so many different and amazing experiences that have shaped my life. Below is an acrostic that helped me express some of my thoughts.
C is for Camp. It is truly my favorite place on earth. A place I am proud to call my home. A place that has given me the opportunity to meet the most amazing individuals in the world. A place where I learned something new every day. Not only did Camp Ramah in the Berkshires influence and nurture my social needs, but it also instilled and fostered Jewish morals and values in me. I know that today I wouldn’t be practicing Judaism to the same degree had I not attended camp. I am so beyond thankful for Camp Ramah and not a day goes by that I’m not reminded of the many summers I spent in this special community.
A is for Ampitheater. My most favorite place within camp. Although the first few years I attended camp it was still woods I am fortunate and lucky that I was able to lead Kabbalt Shabbat in front of the entire camp on the steps overlooking our beautiful lake. When the entire camp gathers and stands together all in white, overlooking our beloved Lake Ellis, my heart fills with joy and I can’t help but smile. Only those who have been present at Kabbalat Shabbat can truly understand the unique sense of kehilla, neshama, and ahava that fill the amphitheater.
M is for masoret, tradition. If there is one thing that I love about camp, one thing that makes us so extraordinary, it is the silly things we do and say simply because they’re tradition. Who doesn’t love donuts for breakfast on Yom Daled or Yom Daled in general? Our amazing b-shuls, that really result in everyone smelling and one person cleaning up? Our bunk raids featuring our very talented counselors and well rehearsed shmirah members? Haba bator? Music to our ears…Frozefruit, Chipwhich, Oreo sandwich, hot pretzel or 6 bags of Dirty potato chips. The rikudiyah, zimriyah, Yom Sport break outs. CHUG. B25! Bunk trips to Kent, Webatuck, and Cousins – these are things we never question or take for granted. We just know and do! Camp runs (on Dunkin during tzevet appreciation week–a more recently practiced tradition) on these unique traditions, that we are all thankful to be a part of and know.
P is for the people who make the whole camp experience worthwhile. The people who have been my companions and friends for all the years I’ve been going to camp. The people who will be my dear friends, forever, as we have been deeply connected in a magical and meaningful way that will never be broken. All the people who have been and will be partners, cohorts and buddies through good times and sad times, through great times and all times. I cannot begin to express how very blessed and honored I am to know and continue to meet all of the special people that are connected to our incredible camp.
I’d like to thank everyone for contributing to my deep rooted love and passion for CRB.