There are several experiences common to most summer camps: campers swimming with their friends, playing soccer and other team sports, participating in art projects, learning to become more independent, making new lifelong friends.
But there are some things that are truly unique to Ramah camps…things you likely won’t see anywhere else.
Inspired by my first summer at Ramah Darom – and also by my 17-year-old daughter who seems to spend an inordinate amount of time on BuzzFeed (sorry for the shout-out, Talia!) – here’s my list of 12 things you can only spot at a Ramah Camp:
- A full-on rock concert for the entire camp – but where the “songs” are actually Torah passages, in Hebrew, written to modern new melodies
- Three 9-year-olds sharing layning (reading) of a Torah portion during morning services
- A Rabbi walking around Camp, tefillin still wrapped around his arm and head, holding his 5-year-old son’s hand
- A random parade of dozens of Israeli flags through the Chadar Ochel (Dining Hall) to excitedly welcome Yom Yisrael
- “The Parsha Show”: a D’var Torah delivered by a group of teenagers as a dramatic theatrical production
- Over 700 campers and staff dancing enthusiastically to modern Israeli music to welcome the new week
- A group of 11th graders wide awake at 7:30am, singing and dancing and drumming along to musical tefillah (prayer) led by a guitar-wielding Rabbi
- Hundreds of kids dancing around the Chadar Ochel during Friday breakfast, excited to welcome Shabbat
- A group of 13-year-olds hand-making their own kosher Tefillin, step by step
- The young Rabbi of a local congregation decked-out in the jersey of his favorite soccer team, sitting under a tree studying Mishna with a group of very engaged campers
- A group of Tikvah supported campers dancing joyously to Israeli music
- Hundreds of people, arms around each other in circles, making Havdalah together under the stars