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"Hello Mother, Hello Father..."

07/28/2022 02:20:00 PM


Rabbi Kelly Levy

As I mentioned in my previous blog from July 7, I was fortunate to spend 12 days at my home away from home, Greene Family Camp. While I have spent many, many summers at GFC, this one was unlike any other, in particular as I watched hundreds of campers and staff sing their hearts out while wearing masks.

And yet, the magic of camp still remained. The joy of bringing my daughter with me for a second time was special and meaningful. Seeing all of our CBI students deeply engaged in Jewish life, making lifelong friendships, and having the best time ever was wonderful. Reconnecting with old counselors and friends (who also still find themselves returning to GFC year after year!) made the summer amazing.

I have learned many lessons from camp through the years, lessons that are important for camp and beyond. This summer was no different. So, I present to you “Lessons from Camp,” in no particular order:

  1. Always wear a hat. Yes, this helps to block the sun from burning your face, and yes it helps to keep you cool in 100°+ weather. Hats can also give you the opportunity to express yourself, showcase your style and who you are as an individual. It lets you be who you are, and whoever you are, you are amazing.
  2. Wear your sunscreen. Protect your skin. Protect the sacred and holy vessel that houses your soul, the soul you cultivate when at camp and at home. Keep your skin safe so that it can continue to keep your body safe.
  3. Drink lots and lots and LOTS of water. Hydrate your body and give it the nourishment it needs to move through the day. Water, one of the elements we cannot go without, provides us with so much of what we need. It keeps us cool, it refreshes us, and it gives us strength.
  4. Make new friends, but keep the old… You know the saying. But it exists for a reason! Friends make everything in life sweeter, richer, and more meaningful. Find the ones who empower you, who give you strength. Cultivate those friendships, keep them close, stay in touch, and reciprocate those friendships.
  5. Find your role in your community. Are you the leader? Are you the supporter? Do you provide the humor? Or, can people turn to you for comfort? Know that your role matters, that your community could not be complete without you.
  6. Be flexible and adaptable. At camp, you could be hired for one job and find yourself doing something totally and completely different. Go with it! Find the joy in your new task. Help when you need to you, step back if that makes a difference as well. Change is hard, but being willing to make changes go a long way.
  7. Have fun! We often find ourselves stuck in routine, going from work to home to work to home each and every day. There is joy just waiting to be discovered around every corner; you just have to look for it. Make the most of every opportunity and bring others along with you. Life is better when it’s filled with fun.

This list is by no means complete. What would you add to it? What other life lessons have you kept with you?

May we all continue to learn, to grow, to explore, to discover, and to enjoy all that life has to offer!


Tue, December 6 2022 12 Kislev 5783