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One Last Time: Chavurah’s Service Readings

Our Chavurah (rising 10th graders) campers, led their last service as campers on Saturday morning. They shared their memories and thanked camp for the amazing summers they have spent in a place that has become their second home.

By Emma, Remy, Carly, Ilana and Laine
Writing this speech was really hard for us.  We kept thinking of ideas, but we shot them all down because it’s impossible to put into words how much camp means to us.

Talking about the end only makes it feel more real. Our summers can’t be defined by cold showers and splitting the last cookie.  But rather, by the endless laughs and countless memories with our best friends. So here’s our advice to you: Don’t worry about making your last speech perfect.  Because clearly, ours isn’t! Enjoy the summers of your lives in the best place on earth. Because before you know it, you’ll be up here with your best friends, reading your last speech as a camper at your last Shabbat. We will be forever grateful for our journey here. Thanks for everything Camp Harlam.  We love you!

By Jon
Legacy is a big theme here at Camp Harlam.  People write their names on their bunks, leaving behind their names to be seen by future campers (at least that’s the way is was when we were in Main Camp).  At camp, you are remembered by your actions, and how you have impacted the lives of other people at camp. But we all have an impact on our peers and friends at camp. Throughout the Chavurah Village you can see thousands of names from former campers and counselors going back decades on the plaques and walls in the village.  While we may not know the story of all of these people, we know that they all left a positive impact on their bunks, units and friends in their own day. This legacy connects us to them across the generations of Camp Harlam.

By Jacob N.
Camp is a special place.  Many people have left behind powerful legacies, such as Arie Gluck, who was the director of Camp Harlam for 37 years!  As a Chavurah camper, it is very unlikely that I’ll be able to leave such an impact on camp. However, not everyone needs to have such a large impact on the whole of camp.  It’s not always about how you change the whole place, but also about the effect you can have on specific individuals. You do not need to be a person who is remembered for helping everyone, or changing all of their lives.  It is unrealistic that most people will have that kind of impact. Instead, your legacy can be how you affected the lives of your peers and the people around you. One physical legacy people can leave behind is signing their names on places like the Barn in the Chavurah Village.  Years after we leave, our Carmel buddies may see our names and remember us, and how we may have tried to be funny, friendly, or kind – the ways in which we have tried to impact our buddies in a positive way. Legacies are special to each person, and we all choose what kind of legacy we want, whether big or small.

By Lily and Esme
In the Mi Shebeirach prayer, we ask for strength and healing for those who need it most. Chavurah has needed a lot of healing this session.  Our unit has had countless injuries throughout the summer. But through it all, we have become closer as a whole from sliding in mud during bunko to dancing our hearts out at our last Rak Dan.  We’ve done it all. As our time as campers comes to an end, we look back at the endless friendships and memories that will never be forgotten. We remember as well the times that we have supported each other when one of us is in need of some added strength or healing.

By Jake, Alex W. and Tyler
One last time! One last Shabbat, one last color war, one last bunk.  Everything from camp gives us lifelong memories. From traditions to trying something new; from mystery jobs to unclogging toilets; from yellow meal to pepper steak; we love everything about camp. Throughout our time in Chavurah, we have been granted much freedom.  Because of this freedom, we experienced new things such as spike ball tournaments every pre-Shabbat shower hour, Chavurah Peace Warriors,  and various injuries. This freedom not only connected us as a unit, but made us a family.

Family.  That’s the word I would use to describe Chavurah.  It’s funny how people we’ve been going to camp with for years became family by living in one big bunk for just a month.  And this month gave us family that will last for a lifetime. This family has gone through a lot and we have so many traditions and inside jokes.

Everything we have done since Junior camp followed with us all the way to the ‘Rah.  The other night I participated in a mad lib and it made me realize that our traditions haven’t really changed.  When our counselors were in ‘Rah they did the same evening rituals as they do with us now. Since this is our last summer, I hope to come back as a counselor to pass down our traditions to new campers.  

By Simon, Max and Leo
At Camp Harlam Shabbat is special.  Shabbat is a sacred time when we come together as one. Through prayer, we are able to connect with God and our community.  In this holy space we can all appreciate Shabbat together. From wearing white to spreading tallitot over each unit, Shabbat traditions make this camp so special. Being our last summer at camp, we hope to pass on these traditions and create new memories with friends and future campers.

By Sophie N., Maddie, Sara and Tracy
Dear Diary,
It’s my first day of Carmel.  My new friend Tracy and I played cards together on her bed.  Even though I’ve had three bloody noses and I’m a little homesick, I have hopes that things will work out.

Dear Diary,
My first week of Kineret has been AMAZING!  I had the time of my life at our first Rak Dan.  I’m so excited to go double sessions for the first time.  Camp is really starting to become my second home.

Dear Diary,
I’m starting my second week of K’far.  Even though I just met her, Sara has already become my best friend.  Since we are all together in one village, the connections and friendships have really grown.  I can’t think of any place I’d rather be but here.

Dear Diary,
It’s my last day of Chavurah.  As I stand here in front of all of camp I’m realizing how fast time has gone by.  I will always cherish the memories and friendships that I’ve made here. The lessons that I’ve learned will never be forgotten.  As I say my final goodbye, I promise to keep this place in my heart.

Goodbye Camp Harlam, Thank you for being our forever home.

By Scoop, Josh and Dorsey
Time passes, it’s inevitable.  In the past we’ve spent our time enjoying camp and creating bonds.  From Carmel to ‘Rah, we’ve created and strengthened our brotherhood. However, during that time, the thought of running out of time has been lingering in the backs of our minds.  And we never really took consideration of this idea until this year. In this past week this realization has become apparent but instead of pushing this notion away, we’ve decided to embrace the fact that our days as campers are numbered. This session we took it upon ourselves to live in the present and to cherish every single moment. From playing a whole lot of Spike Ball to just hanging in the village, we’ve barely wasted a second.  This is important because, guess what – Time is precious! We advise each and every one of you to appreciate every minute here. Because soon enough you’ll end up like us, at our last Shabbat wondering where all the time went.

By Cara, Briana, Marin, Casey, Peyton and Lauren
So far, throughout all of our different amounts of years at camp, we have all experienced many memories to lead up to our final year.  So let’s take a little trip down memory lane with all of our best memories.

My first ever day of camp, there was a thunderstorm, forcing us to stay in the chadar ochel for extended song session.  The rain got so bad, we had to be driven to our bunks. This helped me get over my homesickness and create my forever friendships.

I was supposed to be an intro camper my Sharon year.  As the summer went on, I realized how important camp was to me.  My mom let me stay for the full session, and it was the best decision I ever made.  It kept me at the place I now call home.

After a chaotic and rain-filled night in an overcrowded tent, my friends and I get up to watch the sun rise over the mountains.  Though the sunrise itself was nothing special, the moment was as close to perfect as any moment can be. I was surrounded by people I love in a beautiful place and I will never forget it.

The Galil wedding of 2017 I married Maya.  What would have been a run of the mill camp wedding was blown out of proportion when word got out to pro-staff.  In our old bunk of Galil Girls 2, three full bunks and half of the leadership were there to watch.

I will never forget staying up on the last night of Galil.  We were sitting in the shower and later went to go see the goats in the early hours of the morning.  We were standing by the lake with our feet in the sand and watching the sun rise on the Chapel on the Hill.  This moment will be remembered forever as a special moment in my life.

To wrap up all of our memories, last Friday night.  This night truly wraps it all up. This song session was loud and enthusiastic and everybody put their all into banging and singing.  Our last Rak Dan together as a unit was our last of the best memories of ‘Rah. We were all shouting the songs and jumping and dancing.  To end it all, we moshed to our last song to show how much we bonded together as a unit to create one of the best memories of camp.

Now, during this silent prayer, please take this time to think about all of the memories you have made in this amazing place called….Camp Harlam.

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