Editors’ Note: As the only region with a basketball league, Seaboard’s unique qualities add to the beauty of the region. From the United States’ capitol in DC, to North Carolina, Maddy Pollack brings you the region that is obsessed with Old Bay. She writes about their Encampment and how incredible Seaboard Saturday nights are.
Imagine this: Flashing lights. Leaping teenagers. Pumping music. DJing from the rabbi. Screaming and shouting. Energy that you just cannot believe until you see it. To get to this moment, let’s rewind just 45 minutes. Here, you will see a circle with the Regional Executive Board and Tri-Chairs, a circle of seniors, and the largest circle, that of other USYers and staff standing shoulder to shoulder, singing the prayers to end the best day of the week. You might hear those with deeper voices harmonizing, and others simply trying to say the words right. You (should) catch a smell of the b’samim (spices) as one of the Regional Board members sprints by, trying to pass everyone before the next blessing. You feel the gradually intensifying swaying movements to the tune of Havdallah, and you might feel the hips of the person next to you as your two surrounding parts of the circle de-synchronize their swaying.
For now, the world is at peace, and nothing else matters but actually catching a whiff of the spices and swaying in rhythm with everyone else. You feel the energy and devotion to this region; Seaboard Saturday nights are irresistibly beautiful. Soon, right after the candle in the middle circle tells us just how good our week was, the room erupts in hugs that tackle your friends, “Shavua Tov”s that are like music to your ears, pictures flashing, and tears from some as they realize this is their last Encampment. As Havdallah comes to a close, the room erupts yet again.
Flashing lights. Leaping teenagers. Pumping music. DJing from the Rabbi. Screaming and shouting. Energy that you just cannot believe until you see it. You see one big circle in the middle of the Beit Am at Capital Camps of USYers spending all the energy that no one ever knew they had. You will definitely hear the pounding music, put on by our favorite Rabbi (most songs are requests from the USYers, of course). We all smell like sweat and B.O. after a while, but you’re enjoying yourself so much that you barely notice or just don’t care. You feel the floor bouncing as the combined intensity of everyone on the dance floor causes it to move slightly up and down in the most concentrated places.
Once more, the world is at peace and nothing else matters but having the loudest voice and getting all of those words right. You feel the energy and devotion to this region; Seaboard Saturday nights are irresistibly beautiful.
Seaboard is made up of USYers and Kadimaniks from all over the DMV (DC, Maryland, and Virginia) and North Carolina. But tonight, the distance that you feel most of the year is far from your mind. These Saturday nights remind you how close you are to your friends and to your region.
Maddy Pollack is a junior from Seaboard USY. She is a proud member of B’nai Israel Congregation (BIUSY) in Rockville, Maryland. She is currently serving as regional Communications Vice President and serves on Communications International General Board.