Rishonim Overnight: Part Two
By: Erik Rendelman, Rishonim Unit Head
Well Camp Stein, we have done it again! Yet another Rishonim Overnight has been completed, and our campers and staff might have returned to camp a little dirty and smelly, but they arrived happier than ever! Regardless of whether this was their first, second, or (for me) 20th, overnight, the kids and their counselors shared a fantastic experience they won’t soon forget.
We arrived at our amazing campground at Lynx Lake, and our campers were eager to get down to the water as soon as possible (they had heard all about our first overnight from our 4-week campers). Once we took a short hike to the shore, we conducted an intensive workshop* on skipping rocks. Some of our Rishonimers can really throw! Ask your camper what their high-score** was, I’m sure you’ll be impressed.
After returning to our campground, we had a true Rishonim feast of pita pizzas, all of which were prepared by our staff members. The kids ate their fill, then immediately went in search of the perfect sticks to roast marshmallows with. We were very lucky to be able to work with a real campfire for the second time this session. For many of these campers, this was the first time they were able to make real s’mores, and the kids loved sharing the experience with their friends.
Following this delicious dessert, campers played cards and read books until we got them prepped for bed, sleeping under the stars alongside their cabinmates and staff. The fearless Rishonim Unit Head ended their evening with a story, by request, about a normal hike I once took with my best friend, where something amazing and magical happened (as with the last overnight, that story is 100% true, in case anyone asks).
Our campers returned the next morning with smiles and stories. It may seem like an ordinary campout, but to my campers and staff, it was both a learning experience and a cherished summer memory. Rishonim is all about attitude, creating opportunities for personal growth and building positivity towards activity areas across camp. These kids went outside their comfort zones, and are better because of it.
I have no doubt that, one day, some of them will be leading a group just like them on an overnight, and may just have the same thoughts that I do now. I can genuinely say, as our session comes to a close, that I will dearly miss each and every one of them.
*Our sincere apologies to the fisherman of Lynx Lake, we couldn’t resist
**For anyone who is interested, the record is currently held by Sam Gosling, counselor of Dov, with over 25 consecutive skips