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When Parents Get to be Campers, Too

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Wally Levitt8.01.20

I love seeing people having fun.

I’m writing this on the last day of Chanukah, sitting on a rocking chair on the porch of the Levine Center at Ramah Darom’s Winter Break Family Camp. It’s a beautiful 55 degrees in the mountains, and glorious sunshine is sparkling off the lake. For a Canadian, this doesn’t feel like late December weather!

Half an hour ago, following everyone’s favorite Camp lunch (tomato soup and grilled cheese, ‘natch!) parents dropped their kids off for an afternoon of fun Camp activities. I just saw a group of Penguinim (4 and 5-year-olds) heading to the climbing tower. Other groups are on their way to Omanut (art), some are playing soccer on the kikar (field), and still others are learning Ramah Darom dances downstairs in the moadon (multipurpose room). And our teenage campers are at the pizza oven making fresh pita from scratch. It smells amazing.

With their kids safely in the hands of our amazing counselors, what are the parents up to? They’re also going to Camp!

I just helped direct a few parents up the road towards our archery area and art building. From my perch I can see a group of adults enjoying “Happy Hour in the Garden” using freshly picked mint. A few of my fellow Canadians (yes, there are several of us here) are within earshot playing a game of pick-up hockey. And a group just headed out for a beautiful waterfall hike.

Evenings at Family Camp have been equally fun for all. Last night we had a community Chanukiah lighting followed by an awesome Chanukah party, complete the sufganiot stuffing, Chanukah art and more. After the kids were safely in bed, parents enjoyed an evening of trivia, cocktails and schmoozing. Tonight we’re all looking forward to a late-night bonfire.

This year’s Family Camp welcomed families from states across the southeast – Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Kansas and North Carolinas to name a few – plus even some from New Jersey, Illinois and Maryland who came south to escape the snow and cold.

As I will tell anyone willing to listen, Winter Break Family Camp is the most fun – and most affordable – family winter vacation. So next year, skip the cruise and the Disney vacation and plan to join us in beautiful Clayton!