By Rabbi Marci Bellows, Crane Lake Faculty Member
Originally posted on The Jewish Week at the following address: http://www.thejewishweek.com/features/reform-really/all-i-really-need-know-i-learned-camp
All I really need to know, I learned at camp (to borrow a phrase from Robert Fulghum). This may be a slight over-simplification, but it is greatly accurate, to say the least. Just as I did last year, I am writing my current column from Faculty Housing at URJ’s Crane Lake Camp in West Stockbridge, MA. I arrived a few days ago, though it already feels like I’ve been here for weeks. Immediately, you get sucked into camp culture, you add a bit more pep into your step, and you see the possibilities for fun in everything you do. As this is now my third summer on faculty here at CLC, I know more and more of the culture, and I recognize lots of the campers. It feels like my summer home, as it surely does for the campers who return for year after year.
I’m especially aware this year of the fundamental life lessons that one learns during summer camp. And I’ve been wondering why the rest of life isn’t more like my weeks at camp. These life lessons, while certainly available to us the rest of the year, are even more obvious and present during these precious weeks. Those who treasure camp as much as I do will identify with these ideas, and those who haven’t yet experienced the joys of Jewish camp will hopefully take some of these lessons into their lives.