by Ari Vandersluis, Rosh Halutzim It has been almost a week since we welcomed 74 rising 6th graders to our home in Conover, Wisconsin. While some were new faces, many of the Halutzimers were returning for their second, third, or even fourth summer at Camp Ramah. They entered with smiling faces and open arms.


The first week of camp included several firsts for the eidah. They had their first peulat erev (evening activity) and got the chance to meet and get to know their talented and dedicated tzevet (staff.) They chose their tarbut for the summer from some new and unique options, including wood-burning and glass-fusing. Halutzim also began playing their selected sport and it seems to me like Sollelim is going to get a run for their money in our Halutzim-Sollelim soccer game next week. Finally, we welcomed in our first Shabbat as an eidah.

In our first Shabbat together, we explore our summer-long theme, Or L’Goyim, being a “light unto the nations.” We discussed what it means to live as an example to others and how to reflect leadership in our daily actions. We simulated the way we make different choices depending on which role we are taking in our communities and the way we can translate that intentional decision-making to our cabin communities. It was encouraging to see the way these rising 6th-graders engage in conversations regarding their leadership.

Today we are leaving camp for a fun day of adventure around Eagle River. After an exciting first week, I can’t wait to see what the rest of the summer has in store.