Essays on Camp
Over the years, a number of our campers have written school essays on their camp experiences, whether for elementary school, high school, or college admissions. We want to share their words with you here.
Did you recently write a poem, essay, or article on camp? Please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Please note, some details or names in stories have been altered for privacy.
“I can’t wait… I can’t wait… I thought this is my new home for 30 days.”
The Jewish bond at this camp is so strong and so passionate. Every Shabbat was a magical one with singing and dancing. It was truly a joyous occasion. […] That experience was something I will never forget in my entire life and I am glad beyond words that I did it. One really special part of about Camp Ramah is that no matter what their Judaic background and beliefs are everyone is always included.
“Because of masa, I learned more about who I am. I am not the most flexible or patient person, but the high value I place on being an empathetic, compassionate person compelled me to start being more flexible and patient. Last summer on the Continental Divide Trail, I saw the benefits of being willing to change.”
“All this gains you closer to everyone around you, as there’s nothing like being a cold and wet and tired and having to pick each other up and support each other. This encouragement creates inseparable bonds that are so unbreakable and strong. And sleeping in tents and having barely enough food really makes you rely on the people around you. I consider many of my best friends to be from camp.”
“I exhaled softly, relieved that the day was over. But, even as my muscles loosened and relaxed, I was ready to do it all again in the morning. I wondered what would happen the following day, because on these trips, you can never really know. For the moment, I was content to lie still in this beautiful place in the mountains and stare at the tarp above me. I lay there in the silence. The experiences of today and tomorrow were keeping me awake.”
“Arriving alone at Denver International Airport, I felt small and insignificantin that huge space. I saw a sign for a tornado shelter and thought, “What am Igetting myself into? Backpacking for the first time and there could be a tornado!” Then I saw someone in the same camp T-shirt I was wearing, and met Rami, my counselor. By the end of the trip I was a member of a “jamily,” a name we created for our JOLI (Jewish Outdoor Leadership Institute) family.”
“Though the backpacking trip was the most physically challenging experience I have ever had to do, I am very glad that I did it. I got caught in a hail storm, and I couldn’t breathe much of the time due to altitude. At kabbalat Shabbat when I returned to base camp , I realized how proud of myself I was and all that I had accomplished in just four weeks.
I am now a much stronger person (emotionally and physically), and my confidence is much greater. I had the time of my life at Ramah Outdoor Adventure, and I cannot WAIT to return next summer.”
“The floor on the ohel ochel –the dining tent– sways and bounces on Friday night, as over 150 campers and counselors exuberantly sing and dance after the Sabbath meal. It’s a physical reminder of the incredible spirit that surrounds me. I am smack in the middle of so much positive energy, Eytan on one side, Janine on the other, our arms around each other as together we lead the Hebrew songs. I am completely at home here, part of a community of people who passionately share my interests and my values, at my home away from home, Camp Ramah in the Rockies.”
“In sum, the place I am most content is Ramah in the Rockies, a secluded mountain home-away-from-home for hundreds of nature-lovers, adventure-seekers, self-challengers, driven learners, and caring friends. While we blacken targets with arrows, while we race across the mountains on bicycles, while we simply lie down and watch the stars for hours, we are knitting our community of movers and shakers more and more tightly together. At camp, with the sun rising over the rugged peaks of the Rockies, and another fantastic day ahead, I have good reason to smile.”