Thinking back to last summer at Tamarack Camps, it’s hard to believe that I was actually there to work a full time job. Not only did I make the most amazing friendships that will last a lifetime (despite the distance!!), watching your campers love camp and grow as people because of the impact you have on them is genuinely the most rewarding experience. Camp gave me incredible opportunities that were beyond what I ever expected, and whilst it was sometimes challenging, it has taught me life lessons which I have taken home and will keep with me for the rest of my life. Nothing excites me more than the thought of reuniting with both my friends and my campers and getting back into camp life!! Camp is the most accepting and welcoming place I know, and I will forever be grateful for the family and home away from home it has given me.
Returning to camp this summer is all I’ve been thinking about since I left, I knew form the day I arrived at Surprise Lake Camp I would be returning. Camp is an experience of a lifetime that I am counting down the days to do all over again. The friends you make, the laughs you have, the songs you sing and the special moments you experience are countless. From the day I arrived, every staff member was welcoming with huge smiles, and desperate to help me settle into camp life and become an integral part of thee camp. Every single staff member truly cares about one another, if I ever had an issue, someone was there to help or to make sure I was okay and I truly loved that about my camp. I’m returning for so many reasons, but one main reason is the impact both the campers and stand made of me. Many of the staff have become my friends for life who I talk to daily, and my campers taught me so many lessons about myself.
In just a few weeks I’ll be returning to my summer home to be a counsellor and also take on a new leadership role. I’m excited to have a new experience at camp which will bring new challenges but also bring many rewards as it did last summer. Camp is what you make of it, and if you are going for the first time this year, all I would tell you is to go with an open mind and take every opportunity you are given because you will end up having the summer of a lifetime.
I have been counting down the days since I’ve been back in London until I get to go back to EKC. Who would’ve guessed that I would call West Virginia a second home? The friends I made I know will last a life time and as cliche as it sounds I really met a new group of sisters that live on the other side of the world to me. I worked as a general counsellor for 11 year old girls and it couldn’t have been a more rewarding job. The campers were so much fun and so sweet and they really look up to you as a role model! I was so worried it would take a little while to get comfortable at camp and know my surroundings yet on day one of staff week I had already made a group of girl friends who treated me as a friend they’d known for life. Emma Kaufmann Camp really treats everyone like family, whether it’s your first year or your 15th year! This year I’m so excited to see my campers again and see how they’ve grown throughout the year and hear all their stories! I also can’t wait to reunite with my best friends and make 10000 more memories that will last a life time! For anyone about to go to camp for their first time I ask you to take in every moment and make the best out of it!
I’m Rebecca and I’m a first year at the University of Nottingham going to B’nai B’rith Oregon in the summer. I decided to sign up to JCUSA after hearing so many amazing stories from people who have already been, especially stories from my camp! I’m most excited about meeting new people and making new friends, and also trying all of the fun things that I have heard my friends speaking about like the colour wars and overnights as well as spending over two months in America!
Hi, I’m Danielle Jeffries. I am studying Experimental Psychology at The University of Bristol. I am heading to Camp Mountain Chai this summer as a General Counsellor. I am so excited to partake in all the activities, make amazing friends, inspire and be inspired. I have lead summer camps before and cannot wait to use these experiences to ensure that I and everyone else have the best summer yet! I am looking to work with children in the future and the opportunity to lead camp encourages my passion in this area of work. I applied to lead camp, as I saw and heard about the incredible time that everyone had last summer! I thought, ‘that needs to be me!’ and now it is me! I can’t wait to bring ruach, love and laughter to camp! Bring on summer!
I applied to JCUSA earlier this year on a bit of a whim and I can honestly say that I haven’t looked back since! After completing my application and having my interview I was hired by camp JCA Shalom – an amazing place that I can’t wait to experience for myself! I am incredibly proud to be taking my first steps on my camp journey alongside camp JCA Shalom whilst they take their first steps on their journey to rebuild. Whilst I haven’t even stepped foot in the USA yet I can already feel the impact that JCUSA has had and will continue to have on me not only for the summer but for the rest of my life. My goal for camp is to make at least one positive difference in one young person’s life – and to have an unforgettable summer along the way!
Eden Rose Levy, Israel
Hi, my name is Eden and I am 22. I was born in Israel, and then moved to London with my family when I was 5, we lived there for 7 years. I now live in Tel Mond, and have just completed 3.5 years service in the IDF Intelligence Tech unit working in computer networking and foreign affairs. I am really excited for my summer at B’nai B’rith Oregon, and can’t wait to meet everyone!
Binah Nambozo, Uganda
Shalom, my name is Binah but my friends call me Abby and I come from the Abayudaya community in Uganda. I am a university student taking a course in Childhood Development. It has always been my dream to work with children because I love spending time with them. I am so excited that I will spending my summer with with all the wonderful people at Camp JCA Shalom and going to America for the first time. I can’t wait for JCA to become my home away from home and I can’t wait to meet everyone. Thank you JCA and JCUSA shall for giving me this big opportunity.
As always, we have had so much fun at the US Embassy this year with so many J1 visa days. We have loved seeing so many of you at the embassy, coming with your friends and delegations to complete the next step in your journey to camp.
This years Orientation Day, held on the 14th of April, brought together more counsellors and, alumni and camp directors than we have ever seen!
We were so happy and thankful to have been joined by directors and leadership staff from Camp Ramah in the Berkshires, Camp JCA Shalom, Surprise Lake Camp, Maccabi Sports Camp, Perlman Camp, Emma Kauffman Camp, Camp B’nai B’rith Oregon, Camp Mountain Chai and JCC Ranch Camp, as well as Jodi Sperling who is a consultant for overnight summer camps. Thank you to all of those counsellors who joined us and to our unit heads for helping to plan and run the day!
We had a great day filled with fun and interactive sessions, informative camp time and great food at lunch provided by Just Kosher. Many of our counsellors and directors also joined us for a very fun and rather loud dinner at Pizoyo that evening, giving all of our staff and directors a chance to get to know each other in a casual environment with some great food.
Wishing everyone an amazing Summer 2019!