George at Home: Using Camp Skills in Real Life

By: Melanie Wasser

Hi Camp George!

Just a few days ago, I returned home from the most incredible experience of my life, the March of the Living. I’ve been waiting to go on this trip for as long as I can remember. Last summer at camp, I was able to hear camp staff share their stories and experiences on the march, which made me even more excited to go!

Melanie (left) with her friend Sydney (another first year counselor.)

Melanie (left) with her friend Sydney (another first year counselor.)

Although I have spent every summer at Camp George, I was still nervous about being so far from home for so long. Especially because I didn’t know very many people going on the trip. However, a few of my very close friends from camp were also signed up. When I found out we were all on the same bus I was no longer worried. The friendships that I’ve developed at camp are so strong and unique that I knew I could turn to them for support and reassurance during the difficult times in Poland.

One of my favourite things about being at camp is the singing and song sessions, because it’s something I can’t do during the rest of the year. The fact that everyone just breaks out into song and is so spirited makes me feel so proud to be apart of such an enthusiastic community. Who would have guessed that I would have had a taste of “Super Spesh Song Sesh” on the  March of the Living?On the trip, the Holocaust survivors we met would start singing and dancing almost everywhere we went and it made me feel like I was at camp again. The coolest part about this  was the fact that everyone came from different summer camps, cities, and even different countries. Not everyone spoke the same language, and not everyone knew each other, but we all knew the same songs. It was such a powerful thing to see 10,000 Jews from all around the world singing songs together that I had learned from my summers at camp.

Melanie (left) with a fellow March of the Living participant.

Melanie (left) with a fellow March of the Living participant.

Another amazing part of the trip was meeting so many new people. In such a short period of time I developed some amazing friendships that I know will last here in the city. Initially, meeting new people was one of the things I worried about the most while signing up for the March of the Living. But I realized that  throughout the years, my experiences at camp have given me confidence in myself, as I’m sure it has many others. This confidence helped me come out of my shell and be more outgoing in a whole new environment. I got to know people that I never would have met otherwise, and I know that without having gone to camp, I would not have the same courage or confidence to do so.

What I have learned from my years at camp has not only shaped who I am today but has also given me skills that I can use in so many situations.

Thanks Camp George! I can’t wait to be back on Maple Lake in only 60 days!

- Melanie

 

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