I have always been a camp nut. There is something particularly special about the energy and community that is created at sleepaway camps. Though I only went to camp myself for two summers when I was five and six, I spent most of my teenage and college-age Julys and Augusts making up for it as a camp counselor, educator, you name it.
Yair and I spent the past week romping around at 10,000+ feet at Shwayder Camp in Colorado. We were invited to the camp to run our respective programs (Faces of Israel and Astronomy on the Road) and hung around for a few extra days of play and sunshine. Well, not quite sunshine. Summer in Colorado seems to be extra rainy so far, but the friendly and warm atmosphere of camp made up for the weather.
We were greeted with a welcome song (a really long song!) sung by the entire camp and were directed to our parking spot, where there was flat ground and an electric hookup. Though we never made it to breakfast, the food was incredible (perhaps too incredible!) and we were treated to a camp car which we used to explore the grounds and check out an awesome reservoir.
We did a lot of camp-type things like art, archery and sports (I’m still sore from the staff basketball game!), but our favorite activity by far was the ropes course. It’s incredible how fearless kids can be and also how quickly that fearlessness fades with age. Both Yair and I tackled the “Leap of Faith” where you climb up a 35 foot tree and jump from a platform onto a swinging bar that hangs an additional six feet up in the air and eight feet out past the platform. It’s freaky but totally worth it, and we were of course strapped into harnesses with belay partners on the ground.
I also zoomed down the zip line which has a lot of slack and so you almost free fall and bounce the beginning of the line. My heart was going mad, but I did it!
Another post soon to come on my impressions of religion at Shwayder, my first Reform Jewish camp.
posted by ayo