Life is not about the destination but about who you meet and what you learn along the way.
Throughout the summer parashot (Torah portions), we have followed the story of the Israelites as they made their way from slavery to freedom and into the Promised Land. We have learned how the values of leadership, humility, perseverance, gratitude, and inclusion are integral parts of creating a new community.
Just as we have seen each week, the parsha continues to parallel much of what is happening in our community here at camp. Moses, the leader of a long and difficult journey, who is unable to complete the journey himself, must hand off leadership responsibilities to Joshua.
This morning, we took a journey of our own and explored our beautiful campus from a different perspective, on a path we haven’t taken before. As we walked, we broke into small groups and shared stories and ideas about how our camp values and the values that come out of Shabbat t’fillah (prayer) come alive here at camp and what we can take back with us into the “real world”.
This moving meditation took us up to one of the highest points of camp, overlooking the campus but also the neighborhood and the greater community beyond. At that highest point, much like when the Israelites gathered together on Mount Sinai to receive the Torah, we read Torah and sang together as a community. At that moment, we all acknowledged with gratitude and a touch of sadness that our time together is coming to an end and that the next chapter of our lives is unfolding before us.
Just as Moses turned to Joshua and said, “You are ready. You have learned so much and now you will be the one to lead our people home.” Tonight, our counselors turn to their campers and say the same: You are ready. You have learned so much and you are a leader.
We hope everyone that is a part of our community this summer – campers, staff, faculty and visitors – will emerge a bit changed; a bit stronger; a bit more humble; a bit more compassionate. We all have the power to change the world and it starts with placing your arm around someone else and saying, “I believe in you.”