What I Love (And Miss) Most About Overnight Camp
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What I Love (And Miss) Most About Overnight Camp

Some of my best memories took place at OSRUI <3

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What I Love (And Miss) Most About Overnight Camp
Maddy Flagg

As the summer comes to a close, I have been reminiscing on my past years at my overnight camp Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute. Thinking back, these were some of the best summers of my life and if I could, I would love to relive every second. So, I decided to make a concrete list (in no particular order) of all my favorite things about camp from the six years that I was there.

Opening Day

Maddy Flagg

There is absolutely nothing like the feeling of running into your camp friends' arms after rarely seeing them for the past ten months. It is definitely a movie moment. Stepping off of the bus and running through the bridge of counselors' arms and searching frantically for your first friend to hug is such a magical moment. Then after, standing in a big circle with your best friends just waiting to see who is in your tent/cabin and being so elated when your chain of bunk requests works out! Nothing like it.

Sitting in Crazy Creeks on Mosh or Tzofim Hill

Maddy Flagg

When I was younger, my friends and I would relish the free time we had to grab our neon, tie-dyed, outdoor chairs and sit outside with a book or some string for a friendship bracelet and just hang out. OSRUI was like a little world and we created our own community within it by spending hours giggling and gossiping and dreaming about our futures at camp. It was also so nice to just be outside with no distractions besides the mosquitoes.

Mosh Trips

Maddy Flagg

Most specifically, canoeing, because I have the greatest stories of all time from those legendary trips. If I'm being honest, I am not the most outdoorsy person but I LIVED for these camping trips. My first ever canoeing trip there was a hailstorm and we had to be evacuated by the police who had to find us on the side of a river in the Middle-of-Nowhere, Wisconsin. On my second canoeing trip, the winds were so strong that they changed the current and we canoed in the wrong direction for a whole day and also my friend almost floated down the river while I was trying not to capsize our boat. Both great times!

Saturday Night Folk Night

not a pic from folk night but very similar vibes

Maddy Flagg

Definitely some of my fondest memories from camp are sitting in a circle around a fire pit listening to our song leaders strum some classic camp music as we sing along, adding in our favorite ad-libs that have accumulated over the years. I may or may not have taken an OSRUI songbook my last year...I just never want to forget the music and the memories that come with it!!!

Shabbat

Maddy Flagg

Ah yes, the most wonderful time of the week. Ever since I first started going to camp in 2012, I would love planning my Shabbat outfits with my best friends, trading dresses, badly painting our toe nails, and getting ready for the evening's festivities. Such festivities included Shabbat services, a special dinner, great food (I miss the Shabbat potatoes), and then Shabbat Shira and Rikud. Post-dinner, my friends and I would rush to get the best seat for our all-camp song session and sing until our voices were shot and then go to Rikud (Israeli dancing) and dance until our feet hurt and we walked home happy. The next morning we slept in, got donuts, and had a day of rest! What could be better than that?

The Lake

Maddy Flagg

Out of all the things there is to do at camp, the majority of my favorite activities took place at the lake. My friends and I did waterskiing, tubing, pontooning, and paddleboarding. But as we got older, we all became very close to the lifeguards and would love to drive around the lake telling the cute lifeguards all of our drama and looking at the beautiful houses and picking out which ones we were going to live in when we were older.

The Israeli Counselors and the Culture

Maddy Flagg

One of the most interesting things about OSRUI is that many of our counselors come from Israel. In some units at camp, they will only speak to you in Hebrew and, if you're like me and incapable of speaking the language, there's a lot to learn from them. I know that through camp, I have made many connections with my counselors so that if I ever travel to Israel I will always have someone to stay with. I have also learned so much through the Hebrew and Jewish study classes that I could never learn anywhere else.

Avodah

Maddy Flagg

Although it was my last, my Avodah summer was probably my favorite of all my years at camp. I basically cleaned toilets and did a lot of sweeping and when I tell people this they get confused about why I had the best time. It was because I wasn't a camper and I wasn't a full counselor because I didn't have any campers. My job was to clean the pool and when I was done I helped lifeguard so I made friends with the other guards and actually got a pretty good tan. It was also the summer where we all really felt grown up, it was the summer before we were seniors and it all felt very right place, right time.

I could never imagine my summers in any other place besides OSRUI. Their motto is "a lifetime of friends" and that couldn't be more true. I know I have made such strong bonds with the people that you've seen in the pictures above, I know they will be in my life forever and I wouldn't want it any other way.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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