Summer of 2010 was my first summer at GFC. I had just moved to Texas going into my freshman year of high school from Florida. My mom really wanted me and my siblings to go to a Jewish summer camp. She did her research and found Greene Family Camp, and before long we were registered for camp. Little did I know how much of an impact Greene would make on me.

I went into the summer feeling nervous – I was starting Kibbutz where I assumed all of the other campers had been going to camp together for years. Luckily, I instantly connected with the people in my unit and made friends I still have today.

I left that summer thanking my mom for “forcing me” to go to camp and told her I wanted to keep coming back.

Fast forward to Avodah Summer. I had registered for Avodah and was excited to return to camp but was hesitant due to a family health issue. My mom was re-diagnosed with ovarian cancer after being in and out of remission. Before I left Dallas for camp, my mom was already in hospice but told me how much it meant to her for me to go to camp. She encouraged me to attend Avodah and told me how happy it would make her. She assured me I would have the best summer.

So, I packed my bags for my first full summer away. I stayed in touch with my mom and promised to call each day. Little did I know, I was saying goodbye to her for the final time. Three days later I received a phone call from my dad telling me my mom’s health was worsening, and we planned on me coming home to visit the following day.

June 10th my world was shaken and taken from under me. The morning of June 10th I was packed and ready to go home for my planned visit. I had said goodbye to my friends, saying I’d return in a few days. My dad called me on the drive to pick me up and told me my mom had passed away. I missed her by a little over 2 hours.

I left that day to be surrounded by family and to go to my mom’s funeral/shiva not knowing if or when I would return to camp.

I had decided with my family to go back to camp knowing my mom wanted me to be there. And when I did return, I was welcomed back with open arms, literally and figuratively. Greene Family Camp means a lot to me. The reason why I am connected to camp is more than just because I was a camper and counselor. It’s my last sole connection with my mom. I remember the morning of June 10th where I was on camp and who I spoke to. Having this connection to camp will never change. It’s my true home away from home. I am forever thankful for my mom sending me to camp and to have spent 7 summers at GFC. Not many people start camp start their summer journey in Kibbutz, but I am thankful for everything that has made my camp experience so great.

Brianna Kreditor has been a longtime GFC camper and staff. On February 18th, she will be participating in Wheel to Survive, a fundraiser for ovarian cancer. Brianna’s mom battled ovarian cancer for 5 years and was a carrier for the BRCA gene. Her twin sister, Michelle, found out she carries the BRCA2 gene, which means she has a higher risk of ovarian cancer. She will be riding a stationary bike for 6 hours in memory of her mom and in support of her twin sister to help find a cure for ovarian cancer Read more of Brianna’s story of “why I ride” and consider making a donation here.