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Arts & Athletics

By Alma S. (Chavurah Camper)

For a long time, Camp Harlam’s arts and athletics electives were an utter mystery to me. I always took the same classes. My steady rotation of the painting class then drawing class was the most variety I had submitted myself to. My athletics remained my go to safe choice, archery. After 6 years of archery, I like to think I became a pro.

I don’t know what made me switch things up for my last year as a camper, but this summer I did the unthinkable. I signed up for gymnastics instead of pursuing my dream of becoming Katniss Everdeen. Gymnastics brought a whole lot more exercise, but the joy of doing a backflip for the first time – though heavily assisted by the two instructors, Rachel and Lior, made me wish I’d adventured in different electives sooner.

As for the arts that I chose, I went with ceramics. In previous years, the popular elective left me wanting a more quiet arts experience. Yet when I signed up this year I was met with only four other campers (all member of my grade and the oldest unit, Chavurah)! Our instructor gave us a main project, and LOTS of leeway. The amount of creativity that flowed through our group was essential to our bonding experience. For example, most of us put cute little faces on our clay mugs and when I decided to turn my mug (since named Pheobe) into a plant put by poking draining holes randomly into the base, my creative idea was encouraged and not belittled. I enjoyed that class so much I signed up for a second semester! The instructor, Mayan, is very supportive of my wannabe teapot.

I guess if I’m answering any question here, it’s be: which electives should I choose? The answer in my book is this: Don’t sweat it! Camp is the best place to try out different activities, and adventuring is the best way to make amazing camp memories. Though when in doubt, go with your Katniss Everdeen.


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