On Monday, Ramah Wisconsin hosted one of the biggest events of the summer–Yom Sport. Yom Sport (which means “sports day”) is more than just a day of sports, however. It is a day when every aidah in camp comes together in a spirit of teamwork and friendly competition. It is a day when people lose their voices from so much cheering and excitement. It is a day when even the most sports-challenged among us can shine.
The event actually started Sunday evening, with all the campers finding out which color team they were on and then eating with their color instead of with their cabin. After dinner, everyone went straight to the basketball courts for the opening ceremony, which included a torch lighting, a presentation of the brand new Yom Sport trophy made by a group of Nivonim campers, and a tribute to the 11 Israelis who were murdered during the 1972 Munich Olympics.
Then the games began, with campers competing by aidah in a variety of games. The games continued through Monday morning. There were the traditional sports: basketball, floor hockey, flag football, swimming relays. There were the nontraditional sports: greased watermelon (which takes place in the lake, with campers trying to get a watermelon covered in Crisco to one of the docks) and gaga (a camp favorite). And then there was everything else: Hebrew games (one of which included a huge floor map of Israel), banner painting, dancing, sandcastle building, and singing. There were even sno-cones being sold on the Kikar by our campers in Shoafim to raise money for tzedakah!
The morning ended with a camp-wide, four-team/four-color game of soccer that became the highlight of the day. The teams were all working together, trying to guard their goals and score on another team. At halftime, the whole camp broke out into an impromptu “Cha Cha Slide” that really showed the essence of the whole day–working together and having fun!
In the afternoon, the teams ran the traditional Apache relay, a huge relay-race that involved every camper and every area of camp. The relay starts with one camper from each team running a lap around camp and ends with the whole camp at the waterfront, cheering on their team captains as they build a bonfire. In between there was a potato-sack race, pudding eating, a Frisbee throw, three-legged race, running the bases on the softball field, a basketball shootout and more. The excitement is thick in the air and you can hear cheers rising from every part of camp as different groups of campers complete their task. Even at the end, when the last team was still trying to get their fire lit, the captains from the other three teams joined them to help light the fire. It’s an incredible site to see–all four colors arm in arm as they shield their fire from the wind. Even after a day of competing and point-counting, all the teams came together to make sure everyone was successful!
Kol HaKavod to all the staff members and campers who worked so hard to plan the amazing day!