My daughter is working at Camp Dina in the Poconos this summer and my son-in-law is driving the younger kids of the staff to Camp Dora Golding, the companion boys camp. I was very happy that they got away, but there was a tinge of sadness because I would barely see my grandson. When the text came in that we could come up for Shabbos I was overjoyed and excited about some new Shul experiences.
Since we ate our meals in the cabin, we didn’t experience the renowned girl’s camp dining room ruach. Fortunately, it did spilled over into the 20 member male staff and spouse minyan. It began with a spirited all-hands-on-board Chatzi-Carlebach Kabbalos Shabbos. Everybody sang and it rocked the dual purpose shul and music room.
Shacharis had a lazy summer day start, and when I asked what time was Boruchu, I was kindheartedly informed, “whenever we get to it”. The Baalei Tefillah for both Shacharis and Mussaf were excellent. It was fascinating that they had so many good Baalei Tefillah among the 20 males. Those who read the Torah were all well prepared. Unfortunately, the camp Rabbi did not give a drasha, but I spent some great time talking to him about his Kiruv Shul experiences in Irvine, California.
The kiddush after davening was amazing. The shnapps were good, and I’m not a big herring fan, but the ruach carried on. There were a number of spirited zemiros sung during the take it slow kiddush. And to top it off, there were a few Dvar Torahs. Everybody was very friendly. It was great Shabbos morning.
I was prepared for a great Shul experience with a focus on connection, and the Ruach in the Mountain Minyans truly exceeded even my optimistic expectations.