by Rabbi Allie Fischman, Camp Director

The weeks and days leading up to Opening Day felt like the longest game of “hurry up and wait” … our staff spent time learning, preparing, and building community, our logistics and maintenance team made sure our beautiful facility was in top shape … and all the while we waited. Waited for that first car to pull into our gates, that first refrain of “Heyveinu Shalom Alechem”, that first shehechyanu, that first run-jump-hug-scream that happens when friends reunite again after a year of being away, the first siyum of the summer. And now, we’ve finally arrived at the first Shabbat of the summer.

This week’s parsha is also about waiting and anticipation as the Israelites stand, poised to enter the land of Israel. They’ve spent 40 years wandering, a whole generation of waiting and wondering what it would be like to finally come home and be free. Will it be safe? Will we be taken care of? How will we find our way?

I imagine this is also how our campers feel in the days leading up to camp. Excitement mixed with trepidation, giddiness, and fear of the unknown.

On Tuesday, we welcomed nearly 300 campers back home to Porter Creek Road for our first session of the summer. Together with our 150 staff and faculty, camp is overflowing with joyful Jewish moments, bubbling with laughter and screams of delight, ringing with music and fizzing with FUN. Camp is FINALLY happening, and it was worth the wait.

Where else can you learn to spin plates, play gaga, hike to the star, climb the tower, take an improv class, make a ceramic pot and still have time to go to the pool, sing at the top of your lungs and end the day with a campfire and s’mores? We are entering Shabbat filled with joy, friendship and so much gratitude for this beautiful community.