One of my favorite times of the year is the 2 weeks that I and my family spend at Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Insitute in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. This camp is an incredible place, a living, breathing, Jewish community that speaks English laced with Hebrew, prays twice a day, sings boisterously, cheers and chants and laughs...while swimming, running, riding, and occasionally sleeping. It is a marvelous place for the campers, and also a marvelous place for my family to come each year.
As a rabbi, my job is to focus on the religious, spiritual, and educational life of the camp. There are many rabbis up here, each of us work with different units of differently aged children. I work with Kallah, the youngest unit. We are now in the second session of the summer, and we have 4th-7th graders in Kallah. Our group just arrived today and they are currently settling into their cabins as I type. Tonight they will eat dinner, share an evening tefillah (prayer service) and have a fun evening program...before falling exhausted into their newly chosen bunks.
Then tomorrow the fun really begins. We don't ease into things -- a full day awaits our campers tomorrow and I'm very excited for the beginning of our limudim, "study" program. Our topic for this session is Jewish heroes, and I look forward to seeing how the staff embraces our "shtick" -- the funny skits that help to make the lessons real to the campers (as well as entertaining). Part of tomorrow's limudim program involves human knots and pyramid building, so I'll make sure to bring my camera.
And then, of course, tomorrow night is our annual Independence Day celebration, complete with fireworks. Can't wait! Will tell this story tomorrow after the fun....