There’s Life After Givah
There’s life after Givah. It’s hard to envision
the world going on without Gaga’s precision,
or overnights, undernights, catchable flags,
or lanyards or rock art or bugs in your bags.
In time, the displacement won’t feel quite as strange.
But some distant day, when you’re thirty-and- change,
you’ll think of a place with a name meaning hill.
You’ll remember a song, use a leadership skill
(or the nagging a newsletter taught you to do)
and you’ll realize that Givah still lives within you.
And meantime, the pictures are recent and clear
from all the best moments of this very year.
Community service, and waterslide trips,
and dancing and spinning and swinging your hips.
Maccabiah cheering, and getting your bets in,
and rooting for fun, every Flintstone or Jetson.
Vermonsters, and guests, and a fundraising swim,
topped off with a joyful and resonant Zim.
Your feet know the dances. You hear every tune
you’ve learned since the camp came together in June.
It’s August, so go! Live the months in between.
Here’s hoping we’ll see you in 2018!
Gan and 1-2 stayed at camp a bit late to their delight,
As they enjoyed what the “big kids” do, at our 2nd ever “Undernight.”
Capture the Flagging and swimming and barbecuing galore,
Gave them a taste for when they’re older, what’s in store.
Next day, the older campers went to the Maccabi competition
Jews ‘round the world’ gathered in Albany for a mission.
Athletes swam and played basketball, while all the while
We cheered them on, rockin’ our Givah shirts in style.
As I sit in the office and write this article,
I look forward to the Na’arim-run carnival,
And the Oneg to be hosted by the marvelous staff,
With all the singing and dancing, I’m sure there was no gaffe.
This week, no matter where around camp you roam,
You could see campers in kachol and katome.
Wednesday morning Bonim launched Color Wars,
Teams competed fiercely to up their scores.
The ruach could be felt throughout our bones,
As the Jetsons combatted the Flintstones.
We haven’t yet determined which team is winning,
At the time of the Givahton printing.
But that’s ok; it doesn’t matter if we win or lose.
We relish that ruach from our pores did ooze.
At Givah, the 2nd place team is not the “rotten egg,”
Because we all gather together, to enjoy Oneg.
We forget about our recent contest
Realizing that being one big mishpacha is best.
I took a break from the weekly poems; another I just couldn't write,
As we gallivanted to Great Escape to 74 campers' delight.
I wouldn't, no couldn't, author any others….
wish I could; I would've if I had my druthers.
But instead I marveled at our bravest staff member
Who was scared by no one but Levi, as we all remember.
Instead I watched with eyes a-gleamin,
As chanichim tackled the Screamin Demon.
Instead I enjoyed listening as Na'arim drank from the kiddish "kos"
and sang bikol ram "Hayam Ra'ah Vayanos."
I wish I had written a poem, but time I did not allot.
Alas, as you read this, I have to head out for the Givah Shabbat.
I’m so proud of our campers, for performing Tikkun Olam
Some did what they’ve never done “af pa’am.”
Visiting the residents of the Massry was such a mitzvah
Gan & 1-2 sang songs, and cut a rub on the reetzpah.
Special thanks go to Noah, Daphne and all of the staff,
For leading the campers as they provided a laugh
And a smile to those that loved the bright faces
And the interview questions and the warm embraces.
Contrast that with the farm and the smell of onions so strong,
Campers cleared weeds from beds as big as a furlong.
From the front of our line of workers to the last one/caboose,
We helped the farm so they could cultivate their produce.
After delving into study of the prayer Az Yashir, campers ventured to Lake George and had no fear. Screaming “wahoo” with all ten toes curled, we zoomed down the rides at Water Slide World. When told it was time to go, there were shouts of “You’re meshuga!” (crazy), campers did not want to get out of the river that was lazy. From every 5-6 camper down to every last Ganster, campers were envious of the gargantuan Vermonster that the Na’arim and Bonim got to attack; what a unique chatif- a midday snack. The Gan & 1-2 had fun of their own; each a ‘Lake George tourist,’ Motorcycling, teacup-ing, what adventure at Magic Forest. To round out the week, 3-4 hosted Oneg, dancing “Stam” (Simple), Smiles were huge; we could see every last dimple.
The summer’s now a quarter gone, so fast, can you believe it?
With only six more weeks to go, is it time to start to grieve it?
Of course not, as I’m sure you know, Camp Givah’s just begun,
Let’s take a look at this past week, and all the crazy fun.
For me the highlight was, for sure, the camp-wide barbecue,
What a wonderful way to celebrate the day of red, white, and blue.
Up at camp, (yes, I was there, I’ve never been so lucky),
Those dogs and burgers cooked by Gregg, were certainly not yucky,
And I’ll tell you one thing that’s still true, it consumes you while you’re
That old Camp Givah ruach still permeates the air,
The campers decorated rocks, played hard in relay races,
And those that danced with Noa had such smiles on their faces.
There was music, baseball, basketball, a photo booth and singing,
At Etz Hada’at Daphne’s ukulele was heard ringing.
The Bonim worked their darnedest to lead the camp, and they were grand,
And then the week was over, as Cuties and the band
Led all of us in Oneg, Hiney Ma Tov was their song,
Do you want to feel the ruach? You’re invited - come along.
By Shoshana Flax - Former Givah Counselor
When Givah calls, you answer.
You’ll hear its old refrain.
Chime in with “shooby-dooby”
as you rumble down Camp Lane.
The summer’s off and running!
You brought your awesome selves,
and Jamie brought activities
like “Giants, Wizards, Elves.”
The ice was safely broken
and ruach was the mood.
You sang, you swam and survey says
you rocked at Family Feud.
The overnight was Wednesday.
You captured flags, and tried
To find your counselors fastest--
they ran, but couldn’t hide.
At Oneg (as you read this?),
you had a special guest:
Ruth Pelham’s mobile music
welcomed in the day of rest.
When Givah calls, you answer
its hail as old as time.
You dance again, or craft again,
or write another rhyme.
So whether you’re a newbie,
Or used to sing with Shraga,
Shout out that “shooby-dooby.”
Camp is waiting. Go play Gaga!