by Maya Levine, Waterfront Staff
As usual, the agam (lake) was consistently the coolest place to be this summer at Camp Ramah. Whether we were dealing with first machzor’s wild weather or trying to make sure that the competition on the new water obstacle course didn’t get too feisty, life at the waterfront kept us on our toes.
The blob- arguably Lake Buckatabon’s greatest claim to fame- found a worthwhile companion this summer. The new water obstacle course (appropriately dubbed and henceforth referred to as the bloob) was easily a crowd favorite. There’s no better feeling than capping off a successful swim lesson with ten minutes of some hard-core bloobing. Campers find a brave competitor (or otherwise fly solo) and scramble across a miniature water trampoline, through an inflatable plastic maze, and ultimately down the thrilling waterslide. This new feature was met with an unprecedented enthusiasm for the lake, and the bloob’s ability to make the lake look appealing even in overcast sub-70’s never fails to impress.
In addition to the bloob, logrolling at Ramah reached new heights this summer. With four state-of-the-art plastic logs and in nostalgia of Wisconsin history, Ramah really got the log rolling on our newest water sport. Campers learned balance, coordination, and enjoyed some good natured competition in the shallows of Buckatabon.
Not only were the water accessories a hit, but the campwide lake events provided ample opportunity for campers to be present in the lake. With multiple island swims spaced throughout the summer, campers challenged themselves to improve their times and possibly even try the daunting there-and-back from the island. The island swims received camper turn-outs like never before. The Polar Bear Swim, the island swim that is staged at 5 a.m. so that campers can appreciate dawn at Ramah from a breathtaking new perspective, was proudly led by some of our younger eidot who are apparently 1) immune to the cold and 2) highly tempted by the post-swim hot chocolate made by the camping staff.
Bauer’s boat race was a huge success, allowing the oldest five eidot to compete in a kayak race from Bauer’s Dam on Upper Lake Buckatabon, a whopping 2.5 miles back to camp.
The Bogrim synchronized swimming classes had their much anticipated performance this past Friday. Bogrim synchro is a camper led dance routine set to music and performed in the lake to a crowd of cheering fans.
The lifeguard training was hugely successful this summer. The class, offered to Machon, is a rigorous course designed to train campers in lifesaving and CPR skills in order to pass the lifeguard certification test at the end of the summer. This unique opportunity is always met with eagerness from campers that even the notorious ten-pound brick test cannot wane. The campers in LGT applied these skills in real life, working alongside lakefront staff to guard island swims and free swim on Shabbat.
Tikvah swim, a class which brings Machon and Tikvah together to improve campers’ comfort in the lake and to work more personally with a one-on-one swimmer/instructor ratio, was also one of our favorites this summer. Using games that can be played both on land and in the water and maximizing the time spent with individual campers, we saw huge strides in terms of level of comfort and skill in the water.
As the summer winds down and we take some of our final seaweed-tinged breaths of fresh agam air, we fondly remember the aquatic successes of kayitz 2017 and look forward to preparing for 2018!