In life, we can either let our experiences make us bitter, or we can channel that feeling towards being a good example in order to improve things.



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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Flashback

Were you ever a camp counselor before? I don't know about you, but for me it was very enjoyable. I mean, you got to go many different interesting places, chat with the other counselors, get paid, and were doing some productive.

The day camp I worked at some summers ago was a camp for special needs children. We didn't get paid much, but we got something, plus the feeling of doing something for others. A lot of the counselors there were girls and guys from Yula highschool. I remember looking at the guys during orientation and trying to spot the good looking ones. And some of them were good looking.

Okay, back to camp. Man, there are so many memories. The ratio was one or two campers per counselor and the bond between them was amazing. There were a few regular kids there too which was good because it benefited both types. The special needs child gained a friend (close to their age) and a helper. And the regular child gained some sensitivity to those that are different from them, which is an excellent lesson for children.

What was really special was seeing the excitment and joy that the campers felt during the trips and the on campus activities. The camp director told us that this is the highlight of their year. I think the bond b/t counselor and camper showed most during the dancing that we did every Friday. Separate of course, guys here and girls there. The counselors did not hold back but went all out to make it very fun and enjoyable for them. And the music added a lot also.

At the end when camp was finished for the summer, we had counselor parties at different places. I worked there three summers and each summer, these gatherings grew to more gatherings. I don't really keep in touch with them anymore. But once in awhile I see one of them and we catch up.

18 comments:

FrumGirl said...

I never had the pleasure of being a camp counselor, I was out of camp when it was time to work there, lol. I rathered to go to Israel for summers than work... now I kind of wish I did do some counselering. Probably would have been a great learning experience. Sounds like you had a great time!

Lvnsm27 said...

Yeah, I did.

I have a regret also. I haven't been to Israel yet. And two summers ago when I wasn't doing much, I was thinking about going with birthright but decided not to for diff. reasons. I was worried about the adventurous activities they'll do. I'm not the adventurous type, but more of a touring type. I would love to go there though sometime eventually.

Eshet Chayil said...

Been to camp plenty of times...never been a counseler.

turquoiseblue said...

And I have 2 regrets then... "Counselering" AND Israel.

But camp itself, was always a unique experience - good and bad and worse all meshed together. Some very special memories though...

Pragmatician said...

I was never a counselor because I hate camps, It just never spoke to me to live in a makeshift jungle for a month or more.

Lvnsm27 said...

Actually this was a day camp. And so you get to go home every day.

Sara said...

I wish I had gone to camp...and I still want to work at one someday, see what it's like.
I really wanted to say a million thank yous for linking me!I'm so excited, and you were the first, so I can't even tell you how great that is!

Lvnsm27 said...

you're very welcome :)

FrumGirl said...

Oh my gosh you have to go to Israel! Please try... and the Birthright way is really very good, from what I hear. Israel is an adventure no matter what, it will change your life... GO!

Josh said...

I was a 7 time summer camp counselor. It was a lot of fun, although I didn't have many bonding stories. Maybe because it was a non-frum camp. It is definitely a job for anyone who would like to raise their own kids somebody. You know, try it out with somebody else's.

And as far as Israel- HELLO!! Free trip. Even if Israel wasn't a spiritual place, did I mention that it's free? This offer doesn't last forever. There are numerous Frum birthright trips, through Aish, Chabad, and other groups. I'll bet you can even get one that'll give you some pool-side time. Don't let this opportunity pass you by!

Lvnsm27 said...

LOL, you're right. I should go. Hopefully I will soon

Shlomo said...

The best summers of my life were spent working as a camp counselor. I always took on the youngest groups because they were the most fun and most rewarding to work with. I learned more from those kids than I did my own teachers.

Whether it was learning, swimming, breaking camp rules together, writing songs for color wars, etc., those summers were the most rewarding days of my life so far, and if I could turn back time just once, there is where I'd go.

Lvnsm27 said...

sounds very nice :)

The Rabbi's Kid said...

you so have to get yourself over to Israel ASAP. It is a gift from Hashem, and an experience like no other.

A Frum Idealist said...

Without question you need to go to Israel. There is so much to see, so much history. You will step off the plane and feel something you have never before felt in your life.
Your counseloring experience also sounds amazing. I had numerous friends who did counselor in that type of camp, and as you put it, the reward was much greater than just monetary.

Lvnsm27 said...

The earlyist time I can go is in the summer. Maybe I'll go then, bli nader

Lost said...

aaahhh i can completely relate! i worked @ one of these camps this past summer and the bonds between counsl and campers.. wow. the last day of camp was a crying fest all around. Try to get the feeling back! Israel, fine, Israel is an experience. But special needs kids..tis the most uplifting, unbelievable job you can/will ever have! Go to to HASC this summer, if you were a guy, i would tell you to get your butt over to Aishel. These camps hold the advantage of being a sleepaway experience, where incredible bonds can be formed. Big advocate right over here! :) Best of luck

Lvnsm27 said...

yeah, it's deffinately something