To My Ramah Darom Campers, Thank YOU

To My Ramah Darom Campers, Thank YOU

I love you all so much and you continue to impress me every day.
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Its been a while since I wrote a letter having anything to do with Ramah and it made me realize that I should revisit this topic. It’s been three months since my camper Ari Weiss was killed in a plane crash after a vacation in Costa Rica. The first month was hard for me and that might’ve been a reason for steering away from this topic but I then thought that my campers were struggling the way I was and I need to be here for support. While this might be three months late and I still struggle to grasp this here is a letter to all my campers to know that I am always thinking about you.

The years I worked at Ramah I had three separate age groups but I also claim other campers as my campers whether I taught them, they CIT'd for me, or if they developed a relationship with me just because. I don’t know an exact number of how many campers I have so I’ll say around the number of 200.

To my campers,

Whether I was your bunk counselor, your climbing instructor, a counselor you CIT'd for, a CIT for you, or even someone you just talked to a lot you are the reason I came back to camp all these years. Being a camper at Ramah I was lucky enough to meet some of the best friends I could ever ask for. When I was a camper I was lucky enough to have a counselor for four years and many counselors for two and three years. These were the counselors I was the closest to whether I had them for one year or more and they are still people I keep in touch with to this day. Similar to each year you all return to camp without some friends I have done that as well but I have learned why I come back each year and that is because camp gave me so much and it is time to repay the place that gave me everything.

As I went from camper to counselor to rosh I saw camp in a different way each time and I hope you see that as well. I have been lucky enough to still keep in touch with my friends from my Gesher and create relationships with people of other Geshers. My advice to you is to create those relationships with people outside your eidah because you never know who you’ll find.

Camp is responsible for making me into the man I am today and it has also helped each and everyone of you whether you know it or not. A few days ago I saw many of my campers join in the march in Washington and also participate at their own school walkouts and protests. Seeing this especially at a high school age can all be traced back to camp teaching you to fight for what you believe in. When I was in high school I had to deal with anti Semitism and bullying but based on what I learned from camp I knew I had to be the bigger man and not get involved. I can say that as a college student being the bigger man was the best choice.

There are going to be times where life won’t be easy and I am here to say that it will get better. I have faced so many ups and downs and I just have to look on the bright side and just keep moving forward. You are all going to do amazing things in the future and be sure to bring passion to everything you do.

Finally to my campers who will be in Gesher this year. Since meeting many of you in 2014 when you were in Cochavim your eidah always reminded me of my eidah. As you grew up I saw the passion for camp and the fun brought in by the eidah. I know it is still hard to do this summer without Ari but I just want you all to know that he is super proud of everything you have done and will do and I know you guys will always be thinking of him this summer. I am always here for you when you need me. I know I might not be here this summer but I will try to facetime or work family camp sometime during this summer. I love you all so much and you continue to impress me every day.

Love,

Jacob Silberman

Cover Image Credit: Ramah Darom / Instagram

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15 Thoughts Every Girl Has In A Tanning Bed

"Haha, imagine if I got stuck."
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If you have ever been in a tanning bed, you know it is easily the most boring 10 minutes of your life, and some beds are even longer than that! Unless you have a really good playlist of songs or you can take a quick nap, you usually just lay there, staring at the lights while the bed whirs and colors your skin. Here's just a few thoughts every girl has while in a tanning bed:

1) I hope I put enough lotion on... maybe I should get out and put on more...

No matter how much you think you used, you should always use more. Somehow it's better and you get more tan.

2) Maybe if I keep the fan on I'll sweat more and burn more calories….Okay nope can't do it with the fan on.

It gets way too hot in these beds to have that fan off, no matter how many calories you could burn.

3) Maybe if I put the towel under my head, I can make a little pillow!

And when there are no towels? Well, that is just a disaster and you have to make do with your hair or shirt.

4) Haha, imagine if I got stuck.

Whenever this thought crosses my mind, I have to lift the bed a little bit to make sure it'll still open and will let me out.

5) Do you think I'm tan yet?

No, 10 minutes is not enough time to become a new shade.

6) Do you think they cleaned this bed? They have to, right?

Although it is on their list of things they have to do, you always wipe it down right before you get in anyway. Just to be sure...

7) Let me put this in my Snapchat story! Cute little emoji... perfect!

Every girl has done this picture at least once.

8) Do you think they can hear me singing? Oh well...

The employees will be getting their own personal rock show today!

9) Is it illegal to tan twice in one day?

Yes, yes it is,...though it doesn't stop you from thinking you can get away with it though.

10) If I don't move, I can't get weird tan lines.

I speak from experience that this is not a true fact though it doesn't stop me from testing it out.

11) I hope my goggles don't give me a raccoon tan.

One can only pray...

12) I've only been in here for five minutes, are you serious?

Beauty and perfection take time!

13) $80 lotion are they serious? Oh my gosh, it smells like pina coladas! Okay, yes, I'm buying a bottle.

Lotions are ridiculously overpriced, but that will not stop you from having the nicest smelling one, like Snooki's brand... because of Snooki.

14) Am I even getting tan? Is this doing anything?

Despite popular belief, it is doing something.

15) Ugh, finally I'm done. And I burnt my butt….

Always. Never fails.



A special thanks to my friend Liza who helped me think of these!

Cover Image Credit: usatoday.com

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15 Steamy Summer Date Ideas That Won't Burn Through Your Bank

Don't let date night get repetitive this summer...

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With a new season, comes new opportunities for super fun date ideas to keep your love life fresh and fun. I'm sure your favorite brunch place is great, but why not take advantage of the beautiful weather and try out some new things with your significant other this summer?

1. Go to the farmers market.

There is something so refreshing about walking through a farmers market. How could you not be happy when surrounded by fresh fruit, coffee stands, and live music? This is such an easy way to get some sunshine and grab some AMAZING food. My farmers market used to have everything from freshly pressed lemonade to waffle sandwiches. If you want to take the date a step further, find a recipe before you go, and buy fresh ingredients to cook a yummy dinner together later that night.

2. Tie-dye matching T-shirts.

Tie-dye is messy, so take advantage of the beautiful weather and head outside where things can get as messy as you want! What a cute little date souvenir too!

3. Late night ice cream run.

Ice cream is cool and everything, but something about ice cream in the middle of the night seems way more adventurous than a mid-day scoop. And the only time of the year that its going to be warm enough out to get ice cream late at night is, of course, summer!

4. Draw with chalk.

Honestly, your possibilities with this are pretty endless. Drawing contests, hop-scotch, make a masterpiece together, whatever your heart desires. Bring a speaker and maybe some bubbles too while you're at it, sometimes embracing our inner child is a necessary, grounding experience.

5. Throw a barbecue.

Who says spending time together is limited to only the two of you? Cooking together for your friends can be great bonding time too. Invite the crew and spend the afternoon outside at a park or in a backyard. Bring some music and maybe some activities like frisbee or kickball and enjoy some beautiful social time.

6. Take partner dance lessons.

Salsa, tango, swing, rumba, foxtrot, your opportunities are endless. Nobody is saying you have to be good, but how fun will it be to have some new moves to show off next time you and your friends go out dancing or to a concert?

7. Float down a river.

Go with just the two of you or bring some friends, either way, this is a perfect way to spend a few hours out in the sun while staying cool in the water!

8. Take your dogs to the dog park.

Parks are already fun, but when they're full of dogs they're about a million times better! Also, who doesn't love watching their significant other play with puppies?!? It doesn't get cuter than that.

9. Go cliff jumping.

In a safe spot, of course! You know what they say, you should do something that scares you every day...

10. Go on a road trip

A road trip is perfect because it's not as huge of a commitment as going on a real vacation together, but it's still a good little getaway where you are sure to bond a ton. You will have the whole car ride to talk and jam out to each other's favorite songs, how could that not be a grand time?

11. Get artsy and do a photoshoot.

Even if you're not a photographer, its kind of fun to get creative with a camera! Pick a spot somewhere nearby with cool scenery (try golden hour for extra gorgeous photos) and be each other's models. It will be a nice simple date, plus you will get some good Insta content!

12. Go to a sports game.

Plan ahead and get some tickets to go see a sports game in your town or one nearby! Sports games have such a fun upbeat atmosphere, plus fun food, and they're a good excuse to get decked out in fun fan gear!

13. Go mini golfing.

SUCH a cute and fun date idea. Mini-golfing dates never fail to bring out peoples silly sides. Why not make it a competition? Loser buys ice cream for the two of you when you're finished.

14. Go rollerblading.

OK, this one scares me personally, but for anyone with the athletic ability to attempt this, I fully encourage (and envy) you! What cuter sight to see than the two of you holding hands gliding down the city walk together? Just please wear your pads!

15. Have a car wash.

I don't mean go to the car wash together! I mean break out the speaker, the buckets, the sponges, the hose, and get soapy and silly together in the sun. Who knew cleaning could be so much fun?!

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