Ramah Darom, HSJ, And Virtual CampsTuesday, July 01, 2014
Our boys don't call it Ramah Darom -- they call it "Papa's Camp" I guess since Papa has such strong ties to it. He's served as its president, he was in on the original round of selection/fundraising/building and I think he's been sort of this integral part of it all this time. One year we drove up there and he was welcoming families at the front gate wearing his top hat and tails (with shorts. It's summer camp, after all. And if you know him, this doesn't surprise you a bit.).
Well, camp is in the north Georgia mountains so it's always several degrees cooler than say, Atlanta. Other camps supposedly refer to it as 'Spa Ramah' because the facilities are so nice. And they are. Last year we went for a special family camp since the boys are too young to stay there for sleep-away camp, and it was terrific. The grown-ups stay in a facility that has rooms like a regular hotel, and we were treated to camp activities, like archery, jewelry-making, hikes, canoeing...just worlds of things.
One morning, we got up and the boys milked some goats, then we got to watch cheesemaking. And I have to tell you, fresh goat cheese is nothing like what's in the grocery, which I already liked, and it is so much more fantastic than I imagined.
Shug gives it a try:
We had morning services here one day:
and inside -- the ark with wings, and it's all overlooking the lake:
Here, a place for Shabbat candles:
One morning we walked over to the waterfall:
And my favorite boys, canoeing:
We also did a week of daytime camp at Henry S. Jacobs in Utica, Mississippi last year, and that was great fun too! Here are the boys in front of the lake at HSJ -- which they got to canoe in with a bunch of other kids (their first time in a canoe!), and they made these great tie-dye shirts:
...and all wrapped up from swimming in the pool at HSJ:
This year the boys are doing six different camps, all either in B'ham or New Orleans. We are a camp family.
Av grew up going to Camp Blue Star, Camp Judaea, and Ramah in New England (before we had Ramah Darom down here). Av's dad went to Camp Lenox (he has great stories of the mothers putting the kids on the train in B'ham, packing them with fried chicken for the trip, and having the Pullman porters look after them). Av's mom went to Camp Romaca. His parents met at a Lenox-Romaca camp social, got married the day they graduated college, and just had their 50th wedding anniversary last month! Yay for camp!
For free, for kids 13+, Google is offering its free, virtual 'Maker' camp again this summer! The boys aren't teens yet, but we're definitely going to do some of these projects!
We're going to do Camp PBS Parents too!