By David Berkman, Camp Director
One of the most fascinating things about camp is the unusual influence it has on the space-time continuum. Go ahead and laugh, but it is true. Space and time change dramatically at camp. I know this is true because I am in the middle of my 30th summer at camp and my fifth summer here at Kalsman. That can’t be the case though, because it was just a few years ago that I started going to camp and it seems like it was only the other day that I was frantically buying forks and knives for the dining hall for our first summer here at Kalsman.
Time really does change here though. The days last forever but never once do they drag on. In all seriousness my day is often a 19 hour or more work day. It is filled with countless interpersonal interactions (trust me, I tried to count them all one day) which make every day wonderful and exhausting at once. In fact as I sit here and write this somehow it is now tomorrow and today is yesterday! I have been meaning to write this blog since our 5th Anniversary a few days ago and there is always a distraction- a program to visit, an activity to help lead, a song to sing, a s’more to eat… Ask any camper you meet about Kalsman and you will hear the same things- an almost overwhelming amount of activities that they get to do and a list that is almost as long of things that they wanted to try but that we ran out of time. Weeks seem like an eon but a day flashes by in the blink of an eye.
Camp time and space are special too. Camp is often referred to as the Shabbat of the year for campers. Camp becomes a holy and sacred place both in location and time. It is impossible to be at Kalsman and not be inspired by the sheer beauty of our setting and activities. Time at camp is time away from the most basic of our stressed- somehow we get three meals a day, there is no pressure about school, jobs, or family. While the mountains and trees are stunning and the break from the rest of our schedules is remarkable in and of itself; these are not the things that make Kalsman special.
Camp time and space are special because of the impact it has on the souls of our campers. Camp time and space are special because of the campers we nurture and nourish – both physically and mentally- so that they will become the leaders and visionaries of our communities. Camp time and space are special because of the relationships formed whether it is between two people (we have our first camp wedding in a few weeks) or if it is between a camper and God. Camp provides campers and staff a venue to explore ones on identity with God and with Judaism. There are few other times when our children grow so quickly in such a short period of time.
Thank you for entrusting your campers to us and our program.
May we go from strength to strength.