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Tikvah Campers, Families, Staff and Friends THRIVE in the "Off Season"
November 24, 2009 by Howard Blas
Many years ago, Marcy Yellin, mother long time Amitzim camper and Voc Eder, Jacob Yellin, raised an interesting observation. I suspect her comment is no different from ones we hear from Ramah parents in all Ramah camps. The Yellin Family has LOVED Ramah and Tikvah. "Our only regret is that Tikvah is only two months and that we have to wait ten months for camp to start again. Why can't it be ten months with only two months off?

We in Tikvah have been brainstorming ways to allow members of the community - campers, family members, staff members and numerous "friends of Tikvah" to be connected - both in person and virtually. I would like to introduce some of our "off season" projects. I plan to share details of each in future blog postings. I will strive to post entries an average of once a week.

For the past month or so, several Amitzim campers and counselors have been "piloting" a weekly "Shabbos is Coming" conference call where participants sing "Shabbos is Coming," discuss the parsha, and shmooze. Voc Eders have been having a similar call with their advisors. How nice to share Shabbat all year round with camp friends!

Voc Ed and Post Voc Ed Staff, along with several Washington, DC - area Friends of Tikvah, had an idea - how about a reunion/Shabbaton in Washington! Stay tuned for details of our January 15-17th reunion - and wait until you hear about the "Tikvah Express," magically transporting us to DC!

Speaking of reunions - did you know this is the 40th Anniversary of Tikvah? Our Tikvah Program was the first of the Ramah programs for campers with special needs and we are celebrating! Details of our July 11th in camp reunion - for former Tikvah campers and staff an families - will follow shortly. For now, send me anecdotes, stories and reflections (howardb@campramahne.org).

And a different type of Tikvah Reunion - Amitzim staff members and their dear friends from Teva Staff are planning a Shabbat get together in New York in early December. They just might be planning to connect with New York area campers...

Please stay tuned for news of the many ways staff, campers and families are staying connected all year round. I wish we COULD make Marcy Yellin's suggestion of 12 month camping a reality. Short of that, let's stay connected in person and virtually!