This post was written by Sam Greenberg, Camp Ima.

Today, I am covered in mud. This of course, doesn’t normally sound so pleasant, but it’s a happy sign that the rain we so desperately have needed in Colorado has arrived. From metayalim to JOLI to tzevet (staff), few faces are mud-free. This is a GREAT thing…plus it’s shower time for Shabbat!

As Shabbat and Yom Yisrael approach, I am reminded of how quickly time flies, and invigorated by the excitement swirling around base camp as the next round of masaot (trips) approach.

A wise person (my mom, in fact) once said that life is not lived in moments, but in memories. As I look back on this past week, I am most struck by two memories: Chicken chasing and the importance of calcium at breakfast.  Each day, we focus on our kehilla kedosha (holy community), and these two memories were no exception.

Last Sunday was Yom Sport, ROA’s version of Color Wars. As Kerach (Ice) and Aish (Fire) prepared to take the field, there were many activities that our chalutzim participated in. Walking around taking pictures of kickball and helping Aish write their team cheer was, at the time, what I thought to be the highlight of my day. Hearing the phrase “Chicken Challenge” immediately perked up my “Camp Ima ears” and I headed down to take pictures. At camp, no one is perfect, and on occasion, the chicken coop gets left open. Chicken Challenge pushed two of our metayalim chalutzim from each team to collect as many chickens as they could, placing them back into their coop as quickly as possible.

The two pairs of girls lined up at the fence, ready for an epic match. I will never forget when the judge (our JOLI chalutzim) yelled “Go!”, and the girls took off.   If you’ve never seen girls chasing chickens to return them to their coop, then you are missing out. This challenge was the definition of teamwork. Girls had to partner together to corner the chicken, pick it up, open the coop, and place the chicken inside without letting any of the other chickens get back out. The sheer giggles and smiles from all of the bystanders and the girls themselves was incredible.

Four short days later was the 4th of July. As breakfast drew to a close, our food educator informed the whole group that there was a piece of breakfast missing, and it was high in calcium and also filled with protein. Then, we brought out ice cream with sprinkles and whipped cream for breakfast. The hoots and hollers of the chalutzim filled the chadar ohel, as the patriotic songs played in the background. Our day finished with rounds of “Ain’t no mountain high enough”, “Sweet home Alabama”, and “This Land is Your Land”.

As I reflect back on the three different memories that are so richly engrained in my mind (the mud, chicken challenges, and ice cream for breakfast), I feel humbled to be a part of this family that is so much bigger than myself. The ruach and ahavah that radiates throughout camp on this day (and every day) reminds each of us that we are here for one purpose: Jewish unity. No matter where each person comes from, at the beginning of Kabbalat Shabbat and at Havdalah, we are united not only with the 150 other people at this camp, but with thousands of Jews across the globe celebrating the same holiday that we are.

Personally, I’m excited for the showering (as are all of us covered in mud), the seitan BBQ brisket, and Imprahmav (our own Ramah version of Improv comedy). I’m sure others are excited for the gaga tournament or rikkud which takes place at the beginning and end of Shabbat. Here’s wishing all of our readers a relaxing and rejuvenating Shabbat, and the comfort of knowing our chalutzim (or your children) are doing the same. Shabbat Shalom!