After another wet evening, the sun is again shining brightly. We began our morning with rocking musical teffilah with the entire camp gathered in our new Pardes Teffilah. Although it was relatively warm this morning, we had 45 minutes of physical exercise before breakfast where we played tag, kick the can, and ran running drills. As I type this letter we have chalutzim (pioneers/campers) who are shooting targets at the archery range, riding horses on the trail, cooking around a campfire, climbing cliff, doing art projects and so much more.
The first three days of camp have been amazing! Although we are the largest group ever to assemble at Ramah Outdoor Adventure (more than 150 campers & staff members) we already are beginning to come together as one big community. This community feeling was evident on the first night, when we had a spontaneous song session in our “bet am bet” because it was too wet for our opening camp fire. This community was evident last night after dinner where the singing and dancing was literally shaking the room and chalutzim of all ages made human dance chains. And this community is evident during free time, when I look around and see people who 4 days ago did not know each other, and now are hanging out playing games and chatting with each other.
While we expect this weather pattern to break in the coming days, we seem to be stuck in a cycle of beautiful mornings and early afternoons followed by wet late afternoons and evenings. Rest assured, though, that the rain has not dampened our spirits! Yesterday the Bogrim chalutzim (entering grades 9/10) took advantage of the weather with mud games (I have never seen such dirty kids!), while our other chalutzim moved indoors for edah wide games (they were all much cleaner). This evening, we are hoping to gather for Kabbalat Shabbat outside, but are also preparing for a service under our brand new “Ohel Mo-aid” which is big enough to seat 150+ people.
We are all looking forward to Shabbat. I must hear the “shabbas is coming,we’re so happy song” every hour from one group or another (Two counselors woke up the whole camp by singing this at 6:01 this morning). I will have much more to report on Sunday or Monday, but for now I wanted to paste a link to a blog post that was published today on the Foundation for Jewish Camp blog written by our head of education, Megan Goldman. Megan wrote a beautiful piece that really captures the essence of Shabbat here at Ramah Outdoor Adventure.