Posted on May 22nd, 2016

How Lovely Are Our Tents

It’s not hard to count camp alumni at gatherings of educators, and I, too, am proud to be a product of two URJ camps. I made lifelong friends, but more importantly, I chose my lifelong path, as I watched my counselors and teachers, my faculty and supervisors. Now I serve as a faculty member at URJ Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute, and I have also graduated to the important status of “camp parent.”

I am personally fascinated by the culture of our camps and the impact that all these camp programs have on their participants, families, and communities. With this in mind, I set out to create an issue of ARJEachshav that would address some of these ideas. (I should have known that May was a little bit of a busy season for those involved in camping, and I so appreciate the work of this month’s contributors!)

I hope you enjoy reading our president’s thoughts on our “educator hats,” and learning more about the educational philosophies of two of our URJ camps. A conversation about enduring dilemmas led to Michelle’s thoughtful piece about balancing living and learning in the camp environments. I’m proud to share the direct impact of camping on one of our colleagues and AJRE board members, and I’m certain that many of you reading this have your own similar stories to tell.

I hope that this month’s issue gives you a deeper insight into the world of Jewish camping, and that we can continue to explore the variety of Jewish camping opportunities for all of our young people!

Happy reading and happy camping!

Rabbi Phyllis Sommer, RJE, is the editor of ARJEachshav and a very happy camper.