first day The ruach (energy) near the edge of the parking lot was palpable. In the sea of green shirts, counselors jumped up and down shouting their cabin numbers and aidot (divisions) for everyone to hear. As counselors cheered, campers poured out of buses. Two lines of counselors helped campers onto the gravel of the parking lot and into the arms of old friends and into the hands of their madrichim (counselors). With raised clipboards, the tzevet (staff) welcomed their campers into a new summer at Machaneh Ramah! first dayFor many campers yesterday was their first day on the kikar (grassy area in the heart of camp). For others, it was their fifth. They brought their luggage to their empty cabins, filling the tzrif (cabin) with their laughter. Clothes were unpacked, cabin mates were introduced, snow cones were eaten, and games in and out of the cabin were played. After all of the buses had arrived, camp gathered together on the kikar waiting for the first dinner of the summer—hot dogs and hamburgers. Campers sat together with new and old friends, eating family style. At their dinner tables they played cabin clapping games and screamed “yehi shekets” (announcements to other cabins) with the Hebrew words, “Bruchim HaBaim!” (Welcome everyone!). It felt great to be at camp, meeting new people and sharing stories from the past year.

To start off Kayitz (summer) 2014, some of our campers shared what they are most excited for this summer, thoughts that many others at camp will agree with.

first dayGabe S., Kochavim: I’m excited at camp to play sports like gaga and soccer. Also I’m excited to get close to nature.

Julia W., Kochavim: My favorite part about being in camp is meeting new friends.

Dana Levin, Garinim Counselor: The thing I’m looking forward to most this summer is getting to know my campers and their interests, and helping them grow throughout the rest of the summer.

first dayYaakov S., Solelim: I’m probably most excited for Yom Sport, because I’ve been waiting for that since, like, Garinim.

Zachary G., Solelim: I’m excited about the sports activities, especially archery.

Dani O., Shoafim: I am most excited for meeting new people and the plays.

Raquel C., Shoafim: One of the things I’m most excited for this summer is my play, “Frozen.”

Izzi G., Bogrim: I’m most excited to bond with a lot of the girls, people in my aidah, and to just get to know more people.

first dayDaniel S., Machon: I’m excited to spend time with my friends.

Sam Levitt, Machon Counselor: What I’m most excited for this summer is to show these guys the best summer that they’ve ever had. Even if they haven’t had the best summers in the past couple of years, this summer is going to be the one. My Machon summer was amazing and I really want to give that to my campers. We’re going to have an awesome time!

Ari R., Tikvah: It’s just a new beginning—my first year, a lot of exciting stuff. There’s a lot to look forward to. I’ve been looking forward to it since the middle of winter.

first daySophie C., Nivonim: I’m most excited for spending my last summer at camp with all of my best friends on the givah (Nivo hill).

Grady H., Atzmayim: I’m excited for the summer, just being back, spending time with friends, and just sharing a memorable experience all throughout the summer.