For the other 7 weeks of the summer, these campers play sports, swim, compete in Yom Sport (color war), write letters home, trade clothes, skip activities, and complain about the food - you know, regular camp stuff. But for a few days each summer, the older campers at CRNE get to pick a track of activities to concentrate in.
In the past five years, options for Kishroniyah have included sports (such as ultimate frisbee, basketball, and tag football), cooking (with chef Paula Shoyer, author of The Kosher Baker - watch a video of her teaching here), quilting with Anita Rabinoff-Goldman (founder of Pomegranate Judaica), a cement sculpting course, a jewelry making course, and...a mural course.
Tova Speter was the visiting artist who led campers from the units of Magshimim, Bogrim, Machon, and Nivonim in the creation of this mural.
The campers created the following description of their intentions behind the mural's imagery:
"As three campers drift off to sleep, their journey or “Masa” begins as the map they are reading comes to life. Behind them are camp bunks and the life cycle of a tree. This represents how our surroundings mature as we do throughout our Ramah experience.
The first leg of the campers’ dream journey is backpacking, an activity in which we partake on Etgar, our camping trip. They are traveling on a path, similar to the birds migrating on their journey above. They are also playing Frisbee in a field, a popular camp activity.
The next panel shows the campers rock climbing up a waterfall, reminiscent of our rock wall at camp, and symbolizing that in every journey there will be challenges that we need to overcome. If you look closely you might be able to see a Hebrew letter hidden in the rocks. Combined with the letters hidden in the mountain and the sunset, the Hebrew word Masa is spelled out, the theme of our mural.
The next panel sports a scene that is dear to nearly everyone at camp – Havdallah in the grove. Look for the hidden symbols! From the grove waft music notes and words that are the Shir Ramah camp song. Also in the mountains are the words to Tefillat HaDerech, the prayer for traveling. The wafting music notes drift to the heavens where the three campers plant an Israeli and American flag on the top of a mountain representing our dedication to Israel.
The footprints in the sand lead to the campers setting up camp and enjoying each other’s company around a bonfire. They look to the stars and see remarkably real constellations copied directly from the vivid Ramah sky.
In the final panel, train tracks cut the scene because most people think about the train tracks as being the entrance or exit to camp. As the sun rises, the car of campers on the road are preparing to embark on their next journey in the real world, inspired by all of their journeys at camp. The “welcome home” sign is exactly how we feel when we come to camp and it will always feel like home even after our many future journeys."