by Lea Wohl-Segal, Rosh Hinuch (Head of formal education) As part of their Jewish studies, the Solelim studied Pirkei Avot. During the fourth week of camp, teachers Warren Ferratier and Jamie Schwartz initiated a special project called Pirkei Ramah with the help of some veteran camp staff. The Solelim interviewed these veterans about Ramah history and asked them what has changed about camp and what has stayed the same. The campers were fascinated to hear about the experiences of the veterans and the wisdom they’ve gained over the years. They heard about camp traditions and learned about the significance of certain songs, rituals and routines of daily life. The campers also gained a new understanding of the important role of Hebrew education and Jewish Studies throughout Ramah’s history.
The introduction to Solelim’s Pirkei Ramah states, “Moses received Torah from Sinai, he transmitted it to Joshua, Joshua to the Elders, the Elders to the Prophets, and the Prophets to the Great Assembly… (Pirkei Avot 1:1). In the summer of 2016, the Solelim recorded the wisdom of Camp Ramah in Wisconsin and wrote it down. This is their Pirkei Ramah.”
Here are a few excerpts:
“Never take your talents for granted; always put yourself in someone else’s shoes.”
“He who squanders wastes time; Participate, participate, participate, participate. Time at Ramah goes too fast to waste. One who does everything is wealthy and rich in memories.”
“There are three things that counselors are like: They take care, they are interesting and they believe in their campers.”
“Before speaking, you should think about what you are going to say, then think about how your words will effect others around you, and only then should you speak.”
“Having a good experience at Ramah rests on three things: teaching through actions, enjoying time with nature, and continuing bonds outside of camp.”