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2226 Sacramento St
Berkeley, CA, 94702
United States





Week 44: "Camp it Up!"

Daniel Barash


Wrong turns happen—especially when I’m driving! Last Saturday, we made our annual summer pilgrimage to Camp it Up!, an amazing family camp that I introduced in Week 21. What should have taken a cool four hours took a hefty six after I missed a mid-trip turn. No matter, for when we pulled up at half-past five, we were warmly welcomed, as expected from this community that has been gathering for the past 26 years.

After settling in, dinner was served, and our table mates (plus a number of nearby folks) were treated to the week’s Challah-it-Forward loaf! “Oohs,” “Ahhs,” and “Yum!” were roundly exclaimed, accompanied by a warm, proud smile from baker Aviva. A perfect beginning to a week of community, connection, and hot weather! Days filled with arts and crafts, music, swimming, creative play, food, and good conversation. 

There is no internet connection here, so all the campers, both young and old, have been forced to unplug and reconnect—with each other! There are not many opportunities for this in our 21st century lives, and we welcome and cherish this time as a family.

In thinking about the significance of this kind of experience, I’m reminded of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel’s description of Shabbat as a “Palace in Time,” a sanctified period in our otherwise busy lives. In a way, Camp it Up is representative of this idea, eight days of intentional connection with ourselves, our family, our wider community, and the natural world. 

Of course, since we are here through Sunday, we’ll Challah-it-Forward again this Friday. Only this time, we won’t only be baking for the Camp it Up Community, but with it as well; I’m leading a workshop for 10 camping families, and we’ll share half of our loaves with the kitchen staff, who have been working so hard this past week providing us with nourishment.

I'll provide a full workshop rundown next week. Until then, a Good Shabbos to all!