How Going To Summer Camp Shaped Me

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By Lillian L., Staff Member

Like many other kids, when I was ten years old my parents sent me to sleep-away camp for the first time. When some people tell the story of their first year of camp, it goes something like “I fell in love the second I stepped onto camp.” For me, this was not the case at all. My first week of camp I cried basically all day, writing my parents letters about how I was completely packed waiting for them at the gate to come pick me up, not participating in my activities, not eating very much at all, et cetera. I’m sure I was a miserable camper to have (sorry to my counselors that summer).

After that first week, I’m not sure what changed but something inside me clicked. I started to make friends and suck it up a little bit. I thought to myself, “Well, if I’m going to be here I might as well have a little fun.” It also helped that the Macabbiah theme that summer was Harry Potter (my absolute favorite series). By the end of the session, I felt the magic that is Camp Eisner. I finally understood what everyone was talking about. On the last day of the session, I bawled again – but this time for a different reason – I couldn’t stand the thought of going home and leaving all the friends I had made.

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