A thank you letter to all past counselorsPosted on May 15th, 2019
Camp is a meaningful experience for everyone. Whether this summer will be you or your child’s first summer at camp or if you have been attending for years, our camp community grows every year, and the lives that are impacted grow with it.
As a camper, your counselors help you to grow into a strong, unique, Jewish adult. As a counselor, you have the opportunity to teach the next generation, to help inspire them, shape them, and empower them to make a difference. Camp is a very special place, where young adults shine as role models, and generation to generation they make a difference in the lives of their campers.
To my role model,
Thank you. I wish that I could show more gratitude with those two words… I wish that I could tell you how much your time meant to me… I hope that this letter can express everything that you’ve given me, taught me, and inspired me to be. Thank you.
When I drove through the gates on the opening day of my first summer at camp, I didn’t know what to expect. I was nervous that I wouldn’t make friends and I was scared to be away from home for the first time. There were so many unknowns: How would I deal with being away from my parents for so long? What would my day look like? Who would my counselors be? How would I know where to go? Camp was such a big place, and I didn’t know my way around like I did at home.
As my parents walked me to my cabin for the first time, you greeted me at the door and all of my fears faded away. You had the biggest smile when you saw me, you welcomed me with open arms, you got down on my level to introduce yourself to me, and you took me by the hand to meet the other campers in the bunk. I asked questions and you answered them. You showed me that it was okay to be nervous, and you showed me that my bunkmates were too. On that very first day, you told me that I was now a part of a bigger community. You showed me that I wasn’t alone. When my parents left, you invited everyone to come sit on the floor and play some games together. You made sure that I was comfortable and that I was happy… and your kind smile made me feel safe.
Throughout my first summer, you taught me so much. You showed me that it was okay to be my authentic self, and that our bunk was full of authentic individuals… but that together we were a community. You inspired me to be the best possible version of me- to live authentically, humbly, and enthusiastically. You showed me that enthusiasm breeds enthusiasm. You were always present. You listened when I needed to talk, you comforted me when I needed to cry, you lifted me up when my spirits were down, and you empowered me to lead when I wanted to follow.
When that first summer ended, you hugged me and said, “See you next summer!” And you were back at camp summer after summer, encouraging me and watching me grow. Every summer, my counselors continued to teach me new things, to inspire me, and to lead by example. Every year my love for camp grew stronger because of the experiences that I had while I was there. I always knew that I wanted to be a counselor one day. I knew that I wanted to grow up to be the role model for my bunk that you were for me. So much of who I am today started with the things that you taught me all of those summers ago, so again, I wanted to say: Thank you.