Many of us planned summer trips a long time ago. If you’re like me, you planned a trip to Happiness. No, it’s not on a map. But Happiness is here on our campus all summer long. It’s called Camp Ideal.
Over the period of Covid, Partnership Together (P2G) provided us with many meaningful virtual programs that connected our local Jewish community in northern Indiana with our friends in Western Galilee in Israel. This June, we were so happy to be back live and in person to meet our friends in Western Galilee as part of the Temple Israel tour of Israel led by Rabbi Shoshana Feferman.
In Pirkei Avot-The Ethics of our Fathers, we find the dictum of “Shammai said, “Emor m’at v’aseh harbeh” which means “Say little and do much.” Today’s colloquialism, made famous by Nike, would be “Just do it!”
I’ve been going to Camp Ideal for what feels like my whole life. This is my second summer as a CIT (counselor in training), and my 10th summer overall. The first thing I think of when I think of summer is Camp Ideal and it’s always been like that, which is why it has made this year very bittersweet.
We sang them in, we sang them out. Camp Ideal came to an end last week, and the lack of singing voices and running campers is noticeable to say the least. With the largest camp turnout in recent memory, our Camp Ideal family continues to grow, allowing for bigger and grander programs and a growing Tsevet (camp staff). Speaking of grandeur, did anyone hear about our firework show to conclude our first Maccabia of the summer with a bang? What about our medieval themed Yom Gaga, with an entire day dedicated to a camp sport favorite? But none of this would be possible without the counselors we had these past 8 weeks, and they deserve much more praise than my words can offer.
As I write this article, it is a delightful 83 degrees, the sun is shining brightly, and there is the slightest whisper of a breeze gently caressing the leaves in the garden. I love summer! Some of my favorite summertime memories revolve around family trips to the lake. Every summer, my family, extended family, and even a few close family friends who rotated in on occasion, would spend two sun-drenched, glorious weeks together in South Haven, Michigan. Some owned places, most rented units very nearby—lakefront—the beach just a few short steps from our doors. It was an idyllic way to spend the summer holiday.