Originally Posted on the RJ Blog. Rabbi Seth Limmer is the Dean of Faculty at URJ Eisner and Crane Lake Camps. Visit the RJ Blog to read the entire article.
Everyone goes to camp to make a connection: to friends, to their truest selves, to the spirit of a community. One of the best presents my parents ever gave me was the gift of connection I have to URJ Eisner Camp – to its people, to its beautiful grounds, to its singular ruach that has made me who I am. I started attending Eisner as a camper when I was 10 and grew up there every summer until I was part of the administrative team and graduating from college. As soon as I was ordained at HUC-JIR, I signed up to volunteer my time on faculty for the next summer, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of each of the past 12 summers I’ve been blessed to work at this incredible incubator of Jewish identity.
The connections I have seen forged at camp this summer are simply incredible. Ten year-olds explore their relationship to the middot/dimensions by which a Jewish character is measured. High school sophomores search out connections to God in nature, meditation, relationships, philosophy, and liturgy. College students continue their connection to camp by coming back and serving as positive Jewish role models for the next generation of campers. And my colleagues – cantors, educators, and rabbis –not only give back to the world of Jewish camping to which we owe so much of our development, but also deepen our friendships as we discuss everything from the newest developments in Jewish life to the most recent challenges we have overcome in communal life. Camp never stops giving.