Sunday, June 18, 2006

Tales from Jew Camp: An Introduction

I had planned to write this a week ago, started several times, scribbled on a sheet of paper. But I sat in front of this laptop and this blank Blogger screen... and nothing happened. Absolutely nothing.

Normally I can let my fingers go on autopilot and cede control of all creative functions to the right side of my brain. Call it talent, call it subconscious, call it whatever you want. It just happens. But this week has produced only a series of words, a jumble of meaningless phrases that don't matter to me in the least.

I guess when you try to write about something that is so very close to your heart, no matter how silly it is, it's hard to be blithe about it. Trust me, I've tried. I'm a firm believer that sarcasm and self-deprecating humor can be applied to distance to a situation, whatever that happens to be. Any regular reader of this blog can attest that many of my entries are rife with that sort of writing style. This, however, cannot, will not, be translated into a light article.

As I write this, I can guarantee that I will be blushing. I suppose I get embarrassed over how juvenile it is (or seems to be). Okay, I'll just say it.


A Jewish girls camp, to be specific.

For the last ten years, I have been attending the same camp, either as a camper, trainee, or a counselor. Same camp, same activities, same people.

See? Blushing.

Oh, how I wish I could just sit here and make fun of the whole thing, the whole concept! Like how Jewish parents send their girls to this camp specifically to meet Jewish boys at the neighboring camp and how, ironically, more lesbians come out of the camp than marriages. But then I think about how many camp marriages do last and how many points your cool factor goes up if you are a lesbian at camp... and I can't make fun of it anymore.

Know why? Because that is part of the charm of camp. At camp, I am brave enough to smash gigantic spiders while issuing my shrillest war cry. I can wear the same dirty old hat everyday. I can give a sermon or two at Shabbat morning services. Camp did more for me as a woman than any Spice Girl ever could. And I couldn't be more grateful.

On Tuesday, I leave to begin my tenth and final year at my dear, sweet camp. After three years as a counselor, I need to begin planning for real life, taking internships, travel. I must leave my mountains behind to enter a world where the only mountains I will climb are metaphorical in nature. But I still have one last year. One last fling at childhood before entering a new life.

So, I invite you to join me in my final journey. Though I will not be able to write everyday, I hope to share my stories with you at least once a week. Perhaps I will finally be able to convey my feelings for this place in my own idiom, instead of stilted flowery prose.

Until then, goodbye!


PS. Please feel free to leave comments if you so wish. I hope to be able to check my e-mail while at camp (if their sporadic internet cooperates). I'll definitely respond if I have the chance. :)

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