Ode to Camp

A dance camp 2 hours north on the Central Coast
with challah, Shabbat candles and morning toast
what does possess them, they must be meshugah
I was anxious as I got into Steve and Suzie’s Kluger
The journey was pleasant, my expectations great
everyone had arrived we were the only 3 late
such was the caring that while the clock was a tickin’
they saved us a plate each of Friday night chicken
The dance hall is large with smooth wooden floors
80 folk dancers, a circle for a cause
they had gathered together and were about to link hands
Sydney, Melbourne, Gosford and even New Zealands
in contrast to Perth where our own Hora Maccabi
has only 25 members and a Japanese kemo sahbee
Batya is the teacher and can sing like a bird
as opposed to Michiko and it might seem absurd
especially when a mayim and a Yemenite, spoken in Jap
we laugh hysterically when she tells us to ‘crap’ (clap)
Saturday began with perfect weather
after breakfast we weren’t light as a feather
and even though the excitement was building
Frances was relentless, her efforts unyielding
the new dances kept rolling – 1,2, shalosh and arba
there was mi shema’amin and halaila yesh chagigah
The afternoon session resumed at 4 pm
to be followed by dinner, more dancing and then …
zemirot in the bush, the camp fire burning
the chagigah awaited … everyone yearning
A tradition on dance camps over the years
the post dancing party to allay any fears
while Labor fought Liberal in matters federal
the outcome unsure, the candidates vulnerable
Never in history because of 2 party preferred
the surprising outcome had never occurred
and all the while a party of a whole different sort
kicked off after midnight and it wouldn’t be short …
The revellers were attracted like dust to a broom
immediately noting the liberal partyroom!
political leaks are frequent – it needs a revamp
The morning after the night before
as always the pounding felt really sore
and breakfast of pancakes and malty molasses
was easier digested behind dark sunglasses
then came the revision – dances 1 to 7
followed by sleep?  – that would be heaven!
but Frances kept up her formidable pace
with still more dancing, a marathon race
Unquestionably the dancers would unanimously agree
they would gladly pay if she doubled the fee
a teacher whose quality poise and grace
would be impossible to begin to replace
And then the inevitable goodbyes and farewell
everyone was touched – hey, you could tell
great time and great memories to hang on to most
Bashana haba’ah l’Sydney Central Coast!