Isaac H., Age 14

It’s about an hour before noon. The camp staff tell you to put on long pants and closed-toed shoes. It’s time to go to the giant swing!

Giant Swing1The swing is located at the end of a path inclining slightly into the woods. Along the path on one side is the trapeze and the beginning of the ropes course. At the end of the path is a large cleared-out area for swinging across. For this swing you have to climb a 20-30 foot tree to swing from. But first you have to suit up. Everyone waits their turn for a safety harness and vest. Once it’s your turn, you hook up to a rope and begin your journey up the tree. At first, it’s a little tricky: the metal rungs that are easy to grip don’t start until after a wobbly rope ladder. This is when people sometimes freak out and go back down. But, if you go on, don’t look down. Just look up and focus on reaching the next rung. Once you get to the top, one of the workers hooks you up to the swing, unhooks you from the platform and asks if you’d like to pray. Then it’s up to you to push off the platform. From there you can go upside down, spread your wings and fly, etc. Just do whatever you want to maximize your enjoyment swinging between two trees. Eventually, the swing winds down and a worker helps you down with a ladder. And you’re done. You can go to the trapeze or go again, but the satisfaction of being a Jewish bird stays fresh for the rest of camp.