From The Director’s Desk – October 2018
“And there was evening, and there was morning. And God saw that this was good.” Tomorrow, as we prepare to begin the Torah cycle yet again, we will read these prolific words, some of the first that we learn in Hebrew school, Day school, or even at camp. They are, of course, the beginning of our Torah, of our story, as a Jewish people, and as humanity.
Something I have always found fascinating about our creation story is the idea of a true blank slate. Think about it: the world started from nothing. Then, God begins to create – first light and darkness, then, water and the sky, then the land, animals, and so on. But imagine what it must be like to invent something from nothing. The first two words of the Torah bring us this idea: Bereshit Barah. In the beginning, God created.
Once the outlines and contours of the world are created, humans come along and through them we understand how creativity and individuality will come to shape and influence our world. Like the creation story, our camp experience is also born from the idea that we begin with a blank slate, slowly filling in the contours of a beautiful picture. During the past several weeks, our team has been diligently reading through incredible feedback – from campers, from counselors, and from parents. Yes, we really do read every survey you complete (thank you!).
Written on the pages of the evaluations are stories – some incredibly positive, others unfortunately negative – all stories from summer 2018 that will guide our thinking for how we will shape summer 2019. Of course, the framework exists – something tells me that there WILL be Maccabiah (just don’t ask the older campers who always say it’s cancelled). Something tells me there WILL be adventure on the ropes course, in the pool and lake, and on the sports courts. Something tells me there WILL be friendships formed and memories made.
But how those things will happen remains undefined. You see, we approach each summer with the knowledge of what has worked and what didn’t, but with our minds open to possibilities we may not yet have dreamed.
During this past summer, I wrote to you about how our team has been looking to unleash creativity. At all levels, we seek to explore new ways of engaging our campers, of crafting incredible experiences for new and returning campers alike. We hope to create something which we can look back upon and say, “that was good.”
As we continue this journey, we need your continued assistance. If you have ideas, thoughts, or suggestions, please share them with us. We want to know how we can make summer 2019 even better than the last. Until we connect, we hope you enjoy your new beginnings, wherever they may lead.