By Max Weinberg, Senior Assistant Director
At camp, we say that the days are long but the weeks are short.
53 days ago, we opened the gates and greeted our Aleph campers, fresh out of the school year and ready for a great summer experience. Campers from all over the Pacific Northwest journeyed by car, by ferry, and by plane with one common hope for their summer experience – FUN!
The magnitude of what our community accomplished this summer cannot be measured on any scale known to humankind. Old friendships were rekindled and new ones were formed. Campers surpassed their goals for the summer, whether it be reaching a new height on the tower, learning to play a musical instrument, taking on a role in the camp musical, or swimming in the deep end of the pool for the first time. Our compassion and understanding grew as we got to know those who differ from us, and with each experience we became stronger and better people.
Along with all of that came the goofy moments of camp. We dressed up in silly costumes for no reason at all. We created delicious food out of crazy random ingredients. We danced ourselves silly at our evening programs. We sang our hearts out at Shabbat Shira. We laughed and laughed until we cried. We ate s’mores for breakfast at Boker S’more! We high-fived our friends so hard that our hands stung. And each night before bed, we came together as a community, put our arms around our friends, and reflected on the day.
And now, as we depart and move back into the “real world,” each of these moments becomes a memory that we will cherish. Through the challenging times we face in our daily lives, we will always have these memories to make us smile. We’ll remember the bonds we made, those we learned from, and those we with whom we’ve smiled.
To all of our staff members, thank you for your commitment to making Camp Kalsman the incredible place it is. Thank you for the energy you brought every day, for keeping the campers safe and healthy, and for making each camp day more exciting than the last.
To our faculty, thank you for supporting and guiding each and every camper and staff member. Thank you for volunteering your time to be here, and for helping to shape the next wave of Jewish leaders.
To our camper parents, thank you for sharing your children with us this summer. Each and every camper played an important role in shaping our holy community.
And to our campers, thank you for all of the ruach, the laughter, and the smiles. Thank you for being yourself. And most of all, thank you for blessing us with your presence.
We are already counting down the days until next summer…312 days to be exact!
L’hitraot, Camp Kalsman. See you in 2018!