Camp’s Identity is Created by All of You

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By Haley Amdur

This is a closing speech of this week’s Saturday morning service, but it’s also my message to you. I have watched you thrive at camp this summer. I’ve danced with you at Rak Don, I’ve sung with you at song session, I’ve done a lot of nothing around the village with you, and I’ve watched other people swim in the I pool. All of that is the day to day of camp, and that’s all wonderful. But that’s not what forms an identity.

Identity forms at camp through the people you connect with and the impact you have on them. I’m so proud of the impact you’ve all had. I’ve watched as you’ve supported each other through hard times, and I’ve watched you laugh with each other in the good times.

But I challenge you to think bigger than that, because you’ve left a very very big impact. I see it in the way you talk about camp and its people. I see it in the smiles on your Carmel buddies’ faces as you tuck them into bed. I saw it in the groans heard around camp, as campers were escorted around by their RAHdy guards. This is the magic of camp; it exists in all of you. Your identity is wrapped up in this place and its traditions. Camp’s identity is created by all of you. I know this feels like the end of something, but I promise it’s just the beginning. Whether you continue at camp or not, camp will come with you on your next adventures. Thank you, Chavurah, first session 2021, I can’t wait to see you again.

Haley Amdur is the Chavurah Unit Head this summer. She formerly served as Head Song Leader at Camp Harlam as well as the Jewish Life Assistant. This is her 12th summer at camp.