The 2013 application materials are now available for the GFC Avodah counselor-in-training program. The Avodah program combines leadership training as well as professional development opportunities that benefit the participants during their time at camp but also as they look ahead to college and future employment. The unit is designed for entering high school seniors. It gives them the unique opportunity to learn while having fun with their friends and taking advantage of everything GFC has to offer. For more information and application materials, please visit our Avodah website. Rachael Pearson, a 2012 Avodah participant, shares her experience in the program last summer.
After 6 previous summers at Greene, this past summer I finally got to be an Avodahnik. After not attending camp or Israel the summer before (2011), I actually considered not coming to camp at all going into my senior year. Even after deciding to sign up for Avodah, I still kept changing my mind about attending. Then, in February, I made up my mind. I was going to go to camp that summer, and I was going to get the most I possibly could out of being an Avodah.
The decision was a hard one for sure, and as camp came closer I got more and more nervous. I was scared that I would feel out of place with everyone due to the fact that I did not go on Garin Greene. Although, in reality, once arriving on camp, it seemed as though I never missed a summer with my best friends, and that all my worries in the world about what was going to happen during the next 8 weeks, were gone.
Avodah as a program was extremely rewarding. I got to work closely with the Avodah staff, along with all the other counselors on camp, which gave me the opportunity to see firsthand, what I had previously seen to be the easiest job in the world. I also loved getting to work with Bonim girls the entire summer, who taught me to stay as young as possible for as long as possible.
Working with Admin on camp showed me that even though they claim camp is not magical, the work they do itself is magical. The most rewarding thing of all was working with 40 of my best friends to plan all camp programs, work on the field doing luggage (which is actually one of my best memories from this past summer), bussing in the Chadar Ochel, and doing one of the other one million responsibilities we had as Avodah. Most importantly, I learned from everyone on camp, that work and play can truly be combined, and that you can be entirely responsible while having the time of your life.
A month after coming home, I do not regret my decision to return to Greene for my Avodah year one single bit. I gained more work ethic than I would have at an internship. I had more fun than I would have had sitting at home doing nothing all summer. I learned more about my Jewish identity than I have in 17 years. I gained more friends than all 6 of my previous years of camp combined. Without Avodah, I would not be as confident in myself as a young Jewish adult, or be able to proudly say that I plan on coming back for staff for the 2013 summer, and several summers after.