Opening Day at OSRUI

The osrui blog

Home » Opening Day at OSRUI

Today should have been Opening Day of Summer 2020 at OSRUI.

The morning starts early on Opening Day.  Our staff gather in their crisp new t-shirts for t’fillah (services) with voices singing together and smiles exchanged between friends.

I am going to miss that today – looking out at the young adults who carry the confidence that comes from knowing you can bring magic to life.

I give the staff their final charge for the day: Hundreds of campers are making their way to Oconomowoc. Some can’t wait to return to Oconomowoc. Others are coming for the first time. All are looking for acceptance, and to be able to be themselves in a way that only comes from camp.

I remind our staff that the most important place at camp isn’t the pool, the climbing tower, or the stables.  It is a log with a camper on one end and a staff member on the other, talking and listening to each other. Our community is built on listening, playing, exploring, and learning what it means to be a Jewish young person.

I am going to miss that moment today – what we do is “l’dor v’dor”. We pass down traditions, joy, and care of OSRUI from “generation to generation”.

The gates open and in minutes the sounds of laughter and singing fill the air. A camper may need reassurance as one of our counselors takes their hand. A parent may need reassurance as they watch their child start to navigate the independence that comes at camp.

I am going to miss those moments today too – the moments when ten months of work come alive and our team is reminded why we do the work we do.

Today should have been Opening Day of Summer 2020 at OSRUI.

It isn’t Opening Day because, not only do we teach Jewish values at camp such as “pikuach nefesh”, the value of saving a life, we choose to live them. This year, that meant choosing to not have camp in-person.

Today, instead of greeting campers and parents in Oconomowoc, I am writing to ask for your help. This is a moment of great need for camp and our community. Many of you have already donated. Thank you. If you haven’t yet,  I hope you will join me in supporting OSRUI with a donation to our Sustainability Fund to help sustain us until we can be together again.

Join me in supporting OSRUI…
…for the counselors who will sing in services together next summer
…for all the campers who have yet to experience a summer at OSRUI
…for our community of staff, campers, clergy, and who are already counting down to Summer 2021

I am confident that with our community’s partnership we will gather together for generations to come, experiencing the laughter of new friends, the joy of song, and the magic of camp that has existed in Oconomowoc since 1952.

Thank you for being a part of our camp community.

Solly Kane