By Kara Weiner
So, it’s been two years. Two senior camp summers together. And thinking back over the 16 summers I’ve spent at Harlam, I have to genuinely say that the last two are easily among my happiest ever spent here.
But what is it that has made these past two summers with you so special? Let’s try to break it down in numbers. 52 days across 2 first sessions, 41 village breakfasts, 4 trips out of camp, 7 hospital trips, countless miles walked between the two villages, not enough camp fires, endless laughter and smiles, and an incredible amount of love.
These statistics are a good representation of our two summers together on paper, but on paper only. You’ll never find the best things on a camp schedule, including things like our late night talks, midnight stargazing, whispered secrets of first kisses, being your cool mom, pulling scum out of the lake and putting it in the garden compost, or Swim Shady. We never could have planned walking through active construction zones, me being roommates with the boys, mudslides, serenading each other in the middle of the night, spike ball tournaments, and playing “odds are” in any spare moment. There is no way to capture the way that this group of nearly 70 campers has come together as a united and interwoven unit. And it’s these little moments that you have created in between the planned moments that have made these summers so special for us all, and what makes camp so meaningful and magical.
As we approached your final week as campers, there was a lot of talk about lasts at camp: Last Rak Dan, last Friday Night song session, last camper free choice, last Maccabiah, last shabbat speech from your unit head, and last day as a camper. But your camp journey is far from over. In fact, the best years are yet to come. From Kineret buddies to Carmel buddies, I have seen you experience a very small taste of what’s to come in your future and camp – and you will hopefully do it working side by side with the people sitting next to you.
From Baltimore to Boston, from brown time to green time (yes, your green time), from one village to another, it’s truly been an honor to watch you grow into the amazing people you’ve become. We have one more day to be together as the most spirited and fun unit in camp, one more night to stargaze, one more night for a fire, one more night of tears both happy and sad, and one more night to be together.
Love and Kachow,
Kara Weiner lives in Exton, PA. She teaches 2nd and 3rd grade during the school year. Prior to being a teacher, she studied Elementary Education and Psychology at Muhlenberg College. This will be her 16th summer at camp and 8th on staff!