By Sam Berezowsky GFC Development and Marketing Assistant this summer. Sam is a long time camper and staff member. Among Sam’s resposbilities will be keeping parents informed whats going on at camp.
If you know me at all, you’re well versed with my no-filter, too loud personality. I have heard numerous times that I make friends easily, but I honestly do not think I would be this way without Greene Family Camp. During my first summer in Kohanim 2 (going into 7th grade, now Shoftim), I was so far out of my comfort zone that making friends seemed like an impossible feat.
I went into that summer with a few good friends from my hometown synagogue and without those girls it would have been very difficult fitting in. Not only was I shy, I was incredibly homesick; and I didn’t want to talk to my counselors about it. I knew that I loved GFC but it was too hard for me to make enough friends outside my cabin to make my day enjoyable.
It was heartbreaking as a counselor to see some of my kids go through these same emotions. Wanting to be there but still missing home so much every night. I wish that someone had told me a few things I needed to know before that first summer:
1. Don’t be afraid to be weird- I was so afraid to be the weird girl that I tried too hard to fit in, and I ultimately came off as the weird girl.
2. Don’t be afraid to talk to your counselors- The most frustrating thing as a staff member is when something is visibly wrong with a camper and they don’t trust you enough to come to you. Campers become our kids, and we would do anything to protect them from getting hurt.
3. People will accept you, if you let them- If you go in with an open mind, people will accept you. Not every kid will be nice, but most will be incredibly accepting and willing to show you the ropes.
These are a few tips that would have made the world of difference when I was 12 years old. Camp is a place to make friends and memories. I have made some of the best friends I will ever have with some of the most incredible people over the course of my time at GFC. I will forever be indebted to this place for teaching me the value of friendship, and I can only hope that for every camper who drives through that gate- there is a best friend waiting for them on the other side.