Jan 20, 2022

Posted by: Hoffman

Becoming a Camp Kid

In August, we had our first baby, Marlee. It was an unbelievably exciting and much anticipated time in our lives, as is all parents’ experience. We went through all of the ups and downs and questions (and still do!) as we started to get the hang of having an infant for the first time. One thing that has surprised me over the past 5+ months is that my connection to camp has strengthened. In the early hours of the morning to calm Marlee down, engage her (and myself), or just to make her smile, I often sing her camp songs. We sing the song about a moose, the boa constructor song, Shabbat songs, campfire songs, and yes, even the Ranch Camp favorite – the Mountain Dew song. Nerdy to admit, but I actually like to challenge myself to see if I can think of a camp song about whatever pattern she is wearing on her onesie. Oddly enough, the only one I haven’t been able to think of is a song with strawberries in it – if anyone has one, I am all ears!  

 Another surprise that’s strengthened my relationship with camp has been talking to my camp friends about which camp songs they sing to their kids. “Comparing notes” led to more ridiculous sing-a-longs, of course, and an awesome trip down memory lane reminiscing on our laughs together and our connection to camp and to each other. Not surprisingly, we all have the same hopes for our kids: that they go to camp one day and become a “camp kid” because of the deep impact it had on each of us.   

 These songs have not only been a fun way for me to re-connect to my camp days and introduce her to Jewish songs but a way for me to start what I hope becomes Marlee’s connection to camp. It has given me so much appreciation and nostalgia for my own camp days. I attribute so much of my Jewish identity, passion for nature, and connection to my community to my years at camp.   

 Because of how much it has meant to me over the years as a camper, staff member, and camp director, I hope these early song sessions are just the start of Marlee’s journey to one day becoming a “camp kid.”  

 Even though it’s January, camp is just around the corner! The Ranch Camp team is hard at work recruiting the best staff, talking to parents and campers, booking campsites for trips, ordering equipment, thinking through evening programs, and doing all of the millions of other things they do behind the scenes to make camp be the experience of a lifetime for all campers come summer. Whether this will be your camper’s first or 13th season, we are so excited for them to join the camp community! We are counting down the days ‘til another summer full of fun and connection, of that unforgettable “Ranch Camp magic,” and of course, lots of camp songs!   

 Yours in camp,