Hospitality Begins with Me

by Abbey Lewis

That's me in the hat on the left with my co-counselor Camille from last year.  We had SO much fun with our cabin!!!

That’s me in the hat on the left with my co-counselor Camille from last year. We had SO much fun with our cabin!!!

When talking about summer we normally think about new friendships, old friendships, time off, and good times. I cannot think of any better place that engenders these qualities of summer than Henry S. Jacobs Camp! This is my fifth summer at camp – I spent 2 years as a camper, 1 as a counselor-in-training (Gesher), 1 as a counselor, and now I am the hospitality intern. I was hesitant when I was given the call by my AMAZING supervisor, Ellen Alexander, asking if I would take this job. I knew it would give me great experience in my desired professional field: event planning. But, I really could not decide whether I was okay with not being a counselor. After some small talk about what the job would entailed, I heard the words, “and, you will be with your cabin at night.” I truly cannot express how excited I was. Nothing in the world is more rewarding than being a part of children’s lives like counselors are here at Jacobs.

Camp has had a huge impact on my life. Camp has been a place for me to escape reality and just get away for a couple months. Camp gave me a way to adjust being away from home, truly preparing for the move to college that I made one very short year ago. Camp gave me so many new friendships. Camp gave me the Jewish identity I have always desired, but had a hard time really creating growing up in Dothan, Alabama. Most of all, camp has given me the best five years of my life. There is nothing more special than seeing two hundred Jewish campers together in this place expressing who they truly are physically, mentally, and religiously.

I am extremely excited to be serving as this year’s hospitality intern and working with the fabulous marketing team: Ellen Alexander, Alex McKeen, and Omer Sela. During the summer I will be handling all details for visiting professionals, the staff onegs, the exciting Egolf Bar Mitzvah (coming up second session), and much more. Since I am pursing my degree at The University of Alabama in Restaurant/Hotel Hospitality, I think this will be one of the greatest experience builders I could imagine. Soon, I hope to find myself working as an event planner with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and I do not know any better way to prepare myself for that type of job than spending a summer working in the hospitality department while still maintaining a relationship with campers.

I truly cannot wait for the campers to arrive and the gates to open. (It’s so soon!) So many emotions have been running through my body during this week awaiting the arrival of my campers. The best thing about this summer for me is that I could be doing any number of other things – anything else – but, instead I am here at Jacobs ready to again have the best summer ever!

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