Blog  This Week’s Jewish Value: Ahava

This Week’s Jewish Value: Ahava

The final Jewish Value of the summer is Ahava, or love. When at CLC, everywhere you look you see love. Whether it’s campers’ passion for sports or the everlasting friendships, love is all around. We asked campers and staff what they love about camp or how they feel love at camp and we would like to share their responses with you.

Screen-Shot-2015-08-14-at-8.07.55-PMBy my third year at Crane Lake Camp, 2008, I had solidified a group of friends and established connections with my counselors, but CLC hadn’t become the place it is for me now. One afternoon, a fall on the tennis courts had left me with an injured ankle and a pair of crutches, meaning getting into my top bunk every night was a 5-minute process. Luckily, a kid in my bunk who I had never bothered spending much time with decided to be my chauffeur from the floor to my bed, carrying me up every night and down every morning. It was that routine that brought us so close together and eventually made us best friends by the end of the summer, a friendship has lasted for another seven years and will last for many more to come. I tell this story not to guarantee anyone the love or friendship they’ll find at summer camp, but instead because as co-counselors on our second year on staff, the two of us now get to witness our own campers making the same connections and finding that same love we were lucky enough to find so long ago. Love isn’t hard to find at Crane Lake, whether it’s love for our friends, love for our kids, or love the camp as a whole. All it takes is an open mind and a willingness to care for the people around you, and I’ve never found a place that fosters that more than CLC. –Lev Freedman, General Counselor

Obviously all the Jewish values matter but I believe love, Ahava, is the most important foundation for the camp community because it is so apparent in every aspect of camp life. Love can even be seen in tense times such as color war where both teams, especially captains, feel the most joy when they are united as their unit, rather than divided in their teams. For example, right before the winner is announced the Olimers unveil their black shirts underneath to show they don’t care who wins because they are about each other more than who is victorious. And it sounds cheesy but you can feel the love radiate in these moments. When everyone is crying and hugging and forgetting about the competition, it’s an ultimate sign of love bringing people together. It’s love for the camp, the friends and the family that keeps us together. Simple, plain old love. – Sharon Elkouby, General Counselor

Screen-Shot-2015-08-13-at-5.06.40-PM“I love being with my friends at camp. It’s one of the best parts. It’s nice because we aren’t together during the year so when we come to camp we have a lot of fun together.” – Molly R., Bunk 2

“I love all my friends at camp.” – Leo S., Bunk 18

“I love the people at camp. It’s not about the activities, it’s about who you’re doing the activities with.” – Maya A., Bunk Lodge

“I love the people and community. No matter where you look you always see people you know. I love the feeling of being here.” – Adam W., Bunk 2

“I love my friends.” – Nathaniel S., Bunk 21

“When I think of love at camp I think of my bunkmates, teva and t’fillah. You haven’t seen your bunkmates for a year but when you get back in the bubble it’s like you never left. At teva, you have to take care of your friends. At t’fillah you’re singing and having fun. Also by not having your phone at camp, you are able to bond a lot better. Color War is so much fun too, before they announce the winner at the end of sing, we all sing the Crane Lake Alma Mater. Crane Lake Camp is an amazing experience to have, CLC is life.” – Mia M., Bunk 4

By Lindsey Blackman, Communications Specialist