Our time here has created lifelong friendships, unforgettable life experiences, and a connection to our culture and heritage. We are young Jews; our relationships are a representation of our Judaism living on. When the rock-hard relationships we formed at camp exist outside camp, we carry our Jewish identity with pride.
This was a summer of firsts for Carmel. First time at camp, first time away from home, first ever insect night, first Maccabiah, and my first summer as the Carmel unit head. Being in Carmel with all new campers, has reminded me how special this place is to me and how it has shaped who I am.
Outside camp I am known for not being nervous about stuff. But then, in my cabin, for the first time I didn’t know what to expect. I literally spent 15 minutes trying to get down from my top bed. After a couple of days everyone felt so close. Now we are like family.
As a Jewish Life Advisor I come to camp to seek meaning – to learn from campers, staff, and leadership what is important to them, what everyday life is like, and how they are living their Jewish lives. As a person who wants to grow, I come to camp to learn more about myself, to hit reset, and to try to understand who I am at this moment in time.
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.
Being a part of this immersive experience creates bonds like none other. As we like to say, Harlam is where “friends become family.” Your children will have made new friends and also may have struggled at times to connect with others. All of these are valuable opportunities for learning, and we hope the positive relationships they created can be sustained beyond their time at camp.
While camp is certainly not a desert, like Asha and Moses we are challenged to find purpose and meaning, Binah, in the everyday. And we are challenged to find opportunities to say “Hineni” – Here I am. We are called upon to use our strengths, share our insights, raise awareness, and offer our support and understanding.
Tonight – we are honoring CITs who have exemplified leadership in their own way, and we are honoring them by presenting two of them with the Mitch Perlmeter Leadership award. Mitch was a beloved member of the Harlam community who passed away unexpectedly in 2011 at the age of 17.
You were hooked on camp – for summers, you couldn’t wait
From Sharon to the ‘Rah, then Israel and Gesher
Joining the staff was never a question
n camp, thinking about the middah Binah will help my bunk, Sharon 1, to complain less and to ask more. You should ask when you don’t understand. You can learn about binah by looking back at your past and seeing where you could have used it, and to try to practice Binah more in the future.