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A Game-Changing Experience

“Down by the banks of the Hanky Panky
Where the bullfrogs jump from bank to bank say a B.U.L.L
Bull frog jump no more 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10”

As I started playing this hand-clapping game with my campers at Ramah Yachad one afternoon during free time I had flashbacks to when I was a nine-year-old camper. I remembered playing it at Ramah Darom with camp friends and counselors I looked up to. I remember being very excited when I was one of the few kids left in the game, about to win. I could see that exact same excitement in my campers’ eyes as we played the game here and three girls remained—about to win.

Despite being thousands of miles from home, I began to see the similarities between my camp experience and that of these young Jewish Ukrainians. The kids were beaming with joy as we played different games. Each time different kids won. As we played the games, I started to enjoy them more and more as I saw that the impact they made on the campers was similar to the impact they had on me as a camper.

Through this experience, I am transforming from a camper to a counselor. I am no longer a carefree camper. I am starting to have more responsibility and am being seen as an adult. I am tasked with taking initiative, and I am in charge of leading fun games and teaching the campers about certain aspects of Judaism. Most importantly, parents trust me to supervise their kids and keep them safe. Despite these changes I still feel the same excitement when playing Bullfrog. Only now, I feel the excitement more deeply.

Danit Silberman, 17, is from Mobile, Alabama and is a rising senior at the American Hebrew Academy in Greensboro, North Carolina. She has attended Camp Ramah Darom for eight years and participated in Ramah Israel Seminar.

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