Camp During The Year

By Alex Null, long time camper and staff member at GFC. Alex was the Melachim Unit Head last summer and spent this past weekend as staff at the Camp Retreat.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to work the annual Greene Family Camp 3rd-6th grade retreat. Although I served as a unit head this weekend, I got to live in a bunk with six, sixth grade girls.  As a senior in college, this weekend allowed me to escape from reality, as well as see best friends and experience camp during the school year. Just like the kids who attended the retreat last weekend, I was missing camp and the friendships of summer.

Greene Family Camp holds a very special place in my heart. As I was helping lead Saturday morning services, I was able to share my Jewish journey with these kids. I explained to them how I started attending GFC when I was just ten years old, and hadn’t missed a summer since! I am from a small town in southwest Oklahoma where there are no other Jewish families, and I too saw camp as a safe haven for me to express myself and my Judaism. I explained to the campers how the same feeling they experience when they’re here is the exact same feeling I still experience eleven years later.

As I sat around the campfire Saturday night at Havdallah, I felt the true magic of Greene Family Camp. For once, I was able to sit back and see camp through a different lens. It was an incredible feeling that I will never forget. I got to see several children experience camp for the first time, and it was an unbelievable sight to see! From dancing in the Chadar O’chel to saying our highs and lows together at night, this weekend opened my eyes to the true meaning of camp. To me, camp is a place where I can be my true self and express my Judaism in a unique way.

I can easily say that attending GFC the past 11 summers has not only affected my life in a positive way, but it has shaped me into the person I am today. I am confident that because of the engaging connections I’ve made at GFC, and the important lessons I’ve learned – I am a more well-rounded individual and am prepared to transition from a college student, to a young Jewish adult.

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