by Sophie Samuels
Last summer I fell in love, and no, not with Nadav whom I “married” during a Garin evening program. I fell in love with Jacobs Camp.
I was 23, had graduated from college, and had been at my first real job for 9 months when the opportunity to spend my first summer at sleep-away camp arose, and I jumped at it. As a child, my parents offered to send me to Jacobs every summer, but I never even considered the thought. Now, years later, I realize what an amazing opportunity I missed out on.
As Garin Unit Head, I oversaw the camper unit made up of entering third, fourth & fifth graders – a position I am excited to be doing again this summer!
What I found last summer is that Jacobs Camp is a nurturing environment where a kid can be a kid and grow each day. Over the course of the summer, I watched my campers try new things, make new friends, have as much fun as they possibly could, and gain a new sense of independence every step of the way. They were not only gaining confidence in themselves, but as the summer went by, I watched my campers enrich their connection to Judaism. At Jacobs, campers’ Jewish roots come alive; kids don’t only learn about Judaism, they experience it. With traditions like dressing in white and gathering as an entire camp to celebrate Shabbat, it is no wonder how everyone there feels a part of the experience and in turn, builds a greater Jewish identity.
Jacobs Camp is an amazing place, and I can’t explain how thankful I am that I was in the right place at the right time and was able to experience it for myself. But I know I was very lucky and that my personal camp experience is few and far between. I could have easily missed out on something that I now love so much.
So if your child says he/she doesn’t want to go to camp, think twice about it before just letting them stay home. Make sure that they have all the facts and know what they are missing out on. Because if I had known, I would have gone to camp long before it was almost too late.