Second session started with a bang, albeit wet! It was so exhilarating to see lots of new faces arrive feeling a mix of emotions. Campers have now gotten into the rhythm of camp with some fantastic programs planned. Chuggim (electives) have now been picked. Sports teams are being formed. Arts Festival participants are busy perfecting their dancing and singing. Camp is humming.
As we walk around camp, hakarat hatov fills our fields, buildings and overall atmosphere. We welcomed a few new mevugarim (adult staff – specialists and teachers) on Sunday. Today at breakfast, one of them approached me and commented “what a warm and welcoming community that we have created.” They continued by saying, “so many have been open to my questions and no one has made me feel like an outsider. My children, who are new campers, are so comfortable and already look like they have been here for ten summers!”
One member of our community that has welcomed so many over the years is Davida Amkraut. She has been a steady presence for so many in our community. Hakarat hatov doesn’t always take the same form with every person – as it shouldn’t. What you might not know about Davida is that there truly is not a person who is more loyal to her staff. Her fierceness is her superpower. And there is no doubt that Davida has made many members of our Yavneh community feel at home over her 24 years at Yavneh. This is not the only thing that comes to mind when I think about Davida. She shows hakarat hatov in a totally different way by caring deeply about people and giving them sage advice that makes them take pause. I know this because we have built a respectful working relationship that I have come to value as imperative in my own growth. It is often hard to hear when you aren’t doing something the way you intended it to be, and Davida offers a word or two to get you back on track. In today’s world, where we might be afraid to voice our true feelings, Davida teaches us that this is the way to create stronger relationships. I think this is the ultimate goal of hakarat hatov.
We look forward to celebrating with her over the coming days as she wraps up her tenure as a member of our Hanhallah (leadership).