Giving Back: It’s All About The Passion

By Carol Margolis, former GFC camper and staff member, current camper parent and Vice-Chair of the GFC Camp Committee.

About five years ago, I was flattered when I was asked to be on the board of a non-profit organization.   After steering away from volunteering when my two kids were younger, I realized it was the time in my life to give back.  Should I volunteer my limited time with this new non-profit?  Should I consider others?

What really guided this internal conversation in my head was:  what am I passionate about?  What has had an influence in my life? What is important to me and my family?  I knew the answer to that question was where I needed to be.  And this led me, of course, to Greene Family Camp and the Camp Committee!

I grew up in Richardson, Texas and attended a junior high with about four other Jewish kids in the grade.  I was lucky enough to begin GFC in 1978 and continued as a camper and on staff for 8 amazing, life-changing summers.  What made my experiences life-changing?  GFC shaped my connection to Judaism and allowed me to make amazing life-long friends.  The friends I made are the kind of friends we all cherish.  The kind that make you think of the friendship circle song, “Winter, spring, summer or fall, all you have to do is call and I’ll be there.”

So now that you know how what led me to volunteer at Greene Family Camp and the passion I have for this place that we all love, I thought I would share what the GFC Camp Committee is and what our role is.

The GFC Camp Committee is a group of volunteers throughout our region who feel passionately about Greene Family Camp and its future.  We work with Loui, Ana, Scott, and Stefani to make sure issues are raised, and we are constantly thinking about sending more kids to GFC and keeping them coming back.  We work together all year, and we are continually amazed at the leadership and amazing understanding Loui has of GFC and how to move it forward.   His staff dedicates their lives to GFC and we are so lucky to have them.

Any excuse to be at camp, the Camp Committee volunteered to help with Opening Day and had meetings the first few days of camp.   

At the meetings we heard from our Cornerstone Staff who shared their camp stories and what being on staff means to them.  What a tremendous group of young people-their messages were very special and tears in the room were clearly visible.  We also were at the dedication of the Kramer Corral and tour of our new barn, a visit with our animals and a tour of the new garden/orchard.  WOW-an unbelievable addition to GFC!  We also shared ideas and discussed our Ambassador Program which helps bring GFC back to local synagogues and our Friends of Camp annual giving program.

It was magical to see camp in full swing.

I was sitting in the Beit K’nesset  (chapel) with my fellow Camp Committee members on the first Shabbat of the session.  What I saw was so gratifying.  A chapel full of campers and staff full of energy, singing beautiful songs, swaying with their arms around each other – building life-long friendships and their own Jewish community.

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