Stars in the sky/bring the summer right back to me…
At camp earlier this week, I was struck by the quiet that covers camp in the absence of our campers and staff members. I experience this each year after the summer; the calm that settles over camp as it waits for next summer. I welcome the morning with the sound of birds singing outside my window. At night, I appreciate the ability to see the stars – made even more pronounced as many of the lights that we have on during the summer are dark.
On Monday evening, we celebrate the birthday of the world. Rosh HaShana, the Jewish new year, welcomes in the Days of Awe, the time marked on each end by Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur. We take stock of our lives, celebrate our growth, make amends to those we have wronged, and ready ourselves for a new year. Rosh HaShana is filled with symbols: apples and honey, round challah, pomegranates, honey sticks. We eat apples and honey to remind us of the sweetness of the new year. Pomegranates symbolize renewal. The round challah represents the circle of the year – reaching the beginning and starting the circle of our year anew.
This year may have been filled with challenges, but it was also filled with joy. Our time together this summer at camp was the highlight of my year. We shared the wonders of camp, the excitement of being with friends new and old, and the creation of community. Our campers exercised independence, challenged themselves in a safe environment, and were nurtured to be their best selves. Our staff were able to gather, to lead and to teach, and to experience their own growth at camp. Our faculty engaged in a different way, immersing themselves in all aspects of programming while embedding themselves in a specific unit during their time at camp. Our camp committee supported camp, volunteered on opening and closing days, and played a vital role in luggage days. This year, especially, I look back and am thankful for camp and every part of our GFC community.
A new year brings renewal and opportunity. I am excited to introduce two new members of our full-time team. Our new Executive Chef and Rental Business Manager, Eli Cohn-Wein, has a passion for camping and cooking. Eli brings years of camp experience and cooking in the Jewish community to this role. Based out of Dallas, Eli will not only bring a fresh lens and new ideas into the kitchen, but will also coordinate our rental business. Click here for Eli’s perfected challah recipe. (I’m going to make it with my kids this as we prepare for the holiday!)
Beau Moore, our new Facility Manager, spent many years at summer camp both as a camper and in professional roles. We are thrilled that Beau will bring this love of camp along and his experience as a mechanical engineer to this role. Beau, his wife Alysa, and their children will live on-site at GFC year-round.
Learn more about Eli and Beau here.
We are excited to begin hosting our own retreats again in the Spring with family camps geared toward different age groups and our campers-only Spring Camp for 1st-5th graders.
And, of course, we are already planning for a phenomenal Summer 2022!
Rosh HaShana is filled with symbols: apples and honey, round challah, pomegranates, honey sticks. We eat apples and honey to remind us of the sweetness of the new year. Pomegranates symbolize renewal. The round challah represents the circle of the year – reaching the beginning and starting the circle of our year anew.
Looking forward to all that this new year will bring, I would like to share Marcia Falk’s blessing for the new year, May It Be So. (For more from Marcia Falk, click here. May you have a sweet and healthy new year!
May the year bring abundant blessings—
beauty, creativity, delight!
May we be confident, courageous,
and devoted to our callings.
May our lives be enriched with education.
May we find enjoyment in our work
and fulfillment in our friendships.
May we grow, may we have good health.
In darker times, may we be sustained
by gratitude and hope.
May we be infused with joy.
May we know intimacy and kindness,
may we love without limit.
May the hours be enhanced with music
and nurtured by art.
May our endeavors be marked by originality.
May we take pleasure in daily living.
May we find peace within ourselves
and help peace emerge in the world.
May we receive the gifts of quiet.
May reason guide our choices,
may romance grace our lives.
May our spirits be serene,
may we find solace in solitude.
May we embrace tolerance and truth
and the understanding that underlies both.
May we be inspired with vision and wonder,
may we be open to exploration.
May our deepest yearnings be fulfilled,
may we be suffused with zeal for life.
May we merit these blessings
and may they come to be.
May it be so.