Update from camp #1
The hour is late so this will be a very brief note. As our first day of kayitz 2011 comes to an end, I am sitting here in the office with a large smile on my face. Over 50 campers arrived this afternoon. Once at the Ramah in the Rockies ranch, our campers participated in typical first day activities including medical checks, camp tours and ice breakers. This evening we had a camp wide opening camp fire which featured skits by members of the various tents. We ended the evening by making smores.
Tomorrow morning, we are waking up at 6:00am for teffilot (prayers) followed by shmirat hagoof (physical exercise). After breakfast we begin regular programming.
While our campers arrived only hours ago, our staff has been here for over a week preparing for the summer. If it were not close to midnight, I would write much more about our staff (and certainly hope to do so at a future point), but suffice it to say that this group of 20 and 30 something’s is one of the most incredible camp staffs I have ever seen assembled in one place. To begin with, they are enormously qualified: our head climber has been a professional mountain guide for close to 10 years leading trips in Israel, Jordan and Europe; our archery instructor placed 9th in the NCAA and 23rd in the US Olympic trials; our head equestrian has been working in summer camps for close to 20 years and is assisted by a young woman studying to be a equine vet. In addition to their resumes, our staff have exhibited an amazing amount of passion: our song sessions usually turn into spontaneous dance parties; our teffilot (prayers) have been moving and inspirational; and our staff constantly return to our core values when planning the programming for the chalutzim (campers). Time and again, this past week, I have taken a step back and watched our staff step up and take on new leadership roles. I know that our success this summer will be because of the energy they will put into making sure that every chalutz/a who comes through our doors has the most incredible few weeks of their lives.
By the morning, we hope that our pictures will have finished uploading. Please remember that you can access our photos online through the link sent to all our families last week. If you are not a camper family, please email info[at]ramahoutdoors.org and we will send you the link (due to privacy issues we are not posting it on this blog).
Please know that during the summer we are available to speak by phone at 303 261 8214. However, since we check email far more regularly than our voicemail messages, if you need a quick answer, please email us directly.