As I moved my daughter, Jillian, into her official first cabin for her official first summer at GFC, I was slammed with nostalgia, emotion, and full circle moments, as well as some familiar camp connections.

One of Jillian’s counselor’s mom’s was my first unit head when I started in Niviim. Her dad was my husband’s unit head in Kohanim his first years of camp.

The parents of Jillian’s Avodah practically helped raise me throughout my NFTY days. One of my daughter’s good friend’s mom was one of my campers years ago. And probably the best connection is knowing that my daughter and one of my best friend’s daughters are starting their camp careers together just like we did many moons ago.

Every year, I realize more and more the magic of GFC. Camp provides a safe environment where Jewish children of all ages can explore, learn, grow, create, play, sing, dance, eat, camp, zip, pray, make lifelong friendships, be themselves, and so much more.

Camp is a place where you know you’ve got a friend. It is a place where you can lean on me and lay under the spectacular magic of the stars in the Bruceville sky. It is where you can leave on a jet place and wish upon a star. It is a place where the seasons, they go round and round.

Camp is my past, it is my present, and I have no doubt, it will continue to be my future. My wish for my daughter and all those other campers beginning their Jewish camp journey is to take in every moment – all the smiles, laughs, memories, because time flies by when you are having fun!

Riana Sherman is Avodah Faculty Dean for first session. She attends camp with her daughter, Jillian, a Bonim camper, and son, Gavin, in Niviim.