A Letter From Manda

June 10, 2024

There was a moment right before the start of Bissel (our weekend retreat for younger campers) this past March—everything had been set up, the staff had done all the tasks they needed to do before our campers arrived, and there was a sense of quietness and stillness before the first car rolled up, followed by the busses, and camp was filled with noise and laughter and joy. The moment was fleeting—the weekend ended, and camp went back to stillness. It is the sounds of that weekend that I continually think of when thinking about the summer that is about to start—the joy (even during moments that were challenging) that our campers felt, the ruach, the excitement to try things even if those things are scary. It is a sound that replicated itself out both of our family camps and sounds that I know will permeate our summer. The past few years have been challenging but camp is a reprieve from the world, it is a place to grow, and learn and laugh and experience deep joy—that is my hope for the summer. That our campers and our staff find moments of deep joy—that they laugh harder than they have in a while, that they think deeply and that they grow. My hope is that our community experiences those things this summer when we are all together, and then, can take that hope and joy back with them to spread it amongst their communities at home.

Right now, camp is quiet, soon we will be setting, excitedly waiting for the moment to shift from quiet to lively. I know the year-round staff team is excitedly awaiting that moment and I hope that your campers and our staff feel the same way.