By Arie Finkelstein, Rosh Shira (Music) and Camp Newman alumnus
I’d like to tell you a short story of a child at camp.
Seven summers ago, URJ Camp Newman looked different than it does now. But not that different really. On arrival day, the camper was greeted by people singing Hevenu Shal om Aleichem. On Shabbat, the camper wore white, prayed in the Beit T’fillah with the whole community, and danced at shira. And every night, before bed, the camper sang siyum, the closing night ritual, in a circle with their session.
But, there was one activity the camper did at Porter Creek which didn’t translate well to Cal Maritime; the Frisbee golf course. Now this camper wasn’t the best at Frisbee golf, but eventually they decided that they’d had enough of going around the trees to get to the pool gate, one of the holes. So, the camper wrote home to their parents, and received a smaller Frisbee, just the right size for getting through the trees. The camper practiced and practiced and, eventually, got a hole in one. Then one fateful day, the wind picked up and the camper lost the disc in the trees.
“Uh-oh…,” the camper thought “This disc was a gift, I can’t lose it now!” The camper searched and searched but never found it. And although the camper was sad, they soon forgot about the Frisbee and went on to have an amazing summer.
That was seven summers ago, and I was that camper.
Seven summers later … here we are. I’ve seen seven summers of change and growth, of joy and laughter. Yet somehow, after all that’s happened … my disc was found this summer and returned to me. Through some assortment of miracles, this seemingly insignificant piece of plastic survived, and found its way to Newman by the Bay, just as this community has thrived and found its way to this wonderful place.
To me it serves as a small reminder of just how blessed we are to be here today. Though, in life, we may lost things as we go along our way, somehow, sometimes, the things that are important to us find their way back into our lives – be it in memories, phone calls from old friends, or in little red pieces of plastic.