My name is Maude Elovitz, and I am a 9th grade Gimmel camper, as of this summer. I just wanted to say thank you. As of now, I have 108 days until camp officially starts for gimmel session 2014, and I was just thinking over past years about all of the great things camp has provided for me.
First, a jewish identity. Last year, I remember learning about the holocaust, and how it deeply affected me. Learning it at school is one thing, but at a jewish camp, surrounded by the people who love you, makes it much more affective. I started thinking, and I wanted to do something in my own way that honors the holocaust. This year, on Yom HaShoa, I am participating in a day of silence, and wearing all black to honor the death of the six million innocent Jews. Also, at camp last year, I remember shabbat, and how close I was beginning to feel with my self and others. Everyone is so happy, and joyful. Thank you.
Next, relationships. For my first five years as a camper, I had been in a cabin with the same people. Every year, the same thing, the same drama, the same everything. My sixth year, I was separated from those people and to be honest, it was really scary. I didn't know what to do, or how to become friends with all of the new people. About a week in, I began to open up and look at the positives. I agree, it took me a while, but I realized, I was at Camp Solomon Schechter. It did not matter who I was in a cabin with, or who I was friends with. I at least knew and was friends with three quarters of my grade, and was fine with my cabin placement. The next year, I was also separated from most of my friends, and didn't see them as much. It was a good experience for me. I got to become REALLY close with my other friends, and now, I am probably the only person you will hear say this, cabin placement doesn't matter to me. I am open to everyone, and am extremely willing to make real friends. Thank you.
Then, memories. My favorite memory of camp is when I first got off the bus my seventh grade year. It was truly, a breath of fresh air. I remember seeing everyone after 11 months, and how different everyone looked. How different I looked to them! We all sat in a circle on the grass and just TALKED. We talked about everything. Our camp goals, our school year, boys, everything. Also, I saw my staff, and how well they worked together. Melissa Kipersztok, my seventh grade counselor, left a lasting impact on me, and she was a rocking awesome counselor. I just love camp.
Thank you Sam, Furman, all the staff, and who ever else reads this, for impacting me in your own ways. Thank you for camp.