The Kids Take Over Camp (I’m the Kid!)

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By Ethan Lesser, Tzofim ‘21

Hey, it’s Ethan from Tzofim! I come to camp every year and this is my 4th summer at Eisner. Each year I come in as a camper and leave as a camper, but this year I will leave as staff… well, sort of! At Eisner Camp we have a tradition called Yom Tzofim, where the Tzofim unit switches roles with the camp’s staff. Leadership Team members, specialists, and even the directors are temporarily replaced by us! This means that we the campers are now your Eisner staff for the rest of the day.

Ever since K’tanim, our Eisner experience has been marked by waiting for a chance to take on a special role. It’s so interesting to learn about how everything comes together to make camp run smoothly. Now more than ever, we have found a new appreciation for our counselor’s perspectives and leadership. And for the 2021 Tzofimers, this chance has finally come. The kids are running the camp!

This morning we “broke” the Yom Tzofim news by announcing to the entire camp that Yom Tzofim is finally happening. I have taken on the role of social media director so that I can tell you about the wonderful activities that happen on this unique day. Camp is fun, but for a moment, running the camp is pretty cool too. We get to help kids build their summer memories and do things that we have always wanted to ever since we started going to camp. For me, I certainly loved riding in a golf cart. Extra Mo (candy) wasn’t too bad either!

Right now I’m working with our “new” photography team. I have photographers with cameras taking photos of all of my unit’s jobs. We have campers running our sports activities, logistics team, and the ropes course with the adventure staff. Our friend Hannah has taken on the role of our Camp Director James Gelsey. Hannah talked to the camp “as” James this morning, announcing the start of Yom Tzofim and other important hodaot (information). Mia was helping teach the other units Israeli dances as part our their t’filah prep. She took on the role of our head dance instructor and is teaching kids great routines in K’tanim and above. My friend Noah is helping the pool as a “lifeguard” and the waterfront staff is even training him on how to be one. At Eisner each unit gets a period to swim, and today thanks to Noah and the rest of our waterfront staff, they can do that in a fun and safe way. But ever since they gave him his whistle I can’t stop hearing it!

At the end the day all of the the Tzofimers had a great time as “staff” and are better prepared for what will come next in our Eisner Camp experience. It really prepared me for what a job in the future could look like and the responsibility that comes with it. More immediately, we walk away from this day with a renewed sense of respect and responsibility for camp.

The rest of the Tzofimers and I are especially prepared for and excited about the responsibility that comes with our Olim year of camp. I’ll tell you this much: it is something I’m really looking forward to! Signing off for now, Ethan.