This has been a glorious week in camp but still tainted by our concerns over the situation in Israel. In camp, Israel is at the heart of what we have been and are doing. Through dialogue with our incredible Mishlachat and leaders we have been able to convey news, information, and the story of life in Israel today to our campers.
Last week Gesher engaged in a very long and very intense discussion. There have been countless conversations amongst campers and staff members alike. Just this morning, Rabbi Barry Katz facilitated Shorashim tefillot and presented ways in which we can connect to friends in Israel. We are all praying for peace.
The Israelis that surround us have also taught us how to balance moving forward with camp programs while thinking about the latest events in Israel. This past week, a camp wide Havdalah, led by Mishlachat helped us appreciate our strong community bonds.
On Sunday, camp was filled with two hundred people including perspective campers and families participating in Camper 2015 Day along with our alumni enjoying their Gesher reunions at Yom Bogrei Ramah. On the very same day Solelim and Bogrim competed against Ramah New England in a variety of sports. JV Palmer, once again, was thrilling for all. Judy Mathews, a bread maker and Ethan Raskind , a fly fishing expert, joined us early in the week to instruct and share their talents with our chanichim.
By Tuesday, Tzeirim was on the road to Eisner Camp where they entered into sports competitions against Eisner Camp and Ramah New England. To our delight Tzeirim won the tournaments bringing home the Kiddush Cup for all to admire. The high ropes, Etgar hiking challenges, the Machaneh Aleph spectacular production of”Noah”, a Maccabiah day led by Gesher, and Ramah Nyack campers joining Nitzanim for two nights propelled us through the week.
The energy continued as Teva watched incubating chicken eggs (almost ready to hatch), our campers tended tomato plants almost ready to be harvested from our farm, and chanichim baked vegetable pizza and borekas in the Mitbachon. I know that it will be hard for our first session campers to leave all the excitement and hope that all will return in Kayitz 2015.
I am looking forward to greeting our visitors on Sunday and to welcoming our Ta’am 1 campers on Monday followed by our second session campers on Tuesday.