It had been 3 years since I had set foot on Camp Young Judaea grounds as a camper. Segel 2012 left my friends and I on a excited note for camp, and the hyping up the notion of coming back as a counselor one day. What’s it like on the other side? What’s it like to be the counselor, rather than the counseled? Well, I’m beyond excited to say I had the chance to find out this past summer, which was the best camp experience to date.
Camp started out similarly as it did when I was a camper; seeing old friends, making new ones, and enjoying everything that camp has to offer (like bagels for Staff Week, sorry campers). What was new is that I was the one in a position of authority. I was (partially) the one calling the shots and making the plays. The kids looked up to ME, and I had to make the best decisions to benefit THEM. And that’s what I aimed to do during First Session 2015. Enjoy camp while helping my campers enjoy it as well. I can’t put it in words how much I learned about myself and matured a significant amount in only three weeks. How could such a profound enlightenment happen in such little time? Leave that to CYJ, everyone. It really was a training program as the CIT moniker states, yet it was self guided. You have the tools to explore, learn, and understand the role of being a camp counselor without any pressure. As the camp Shira book reads, “Uf Gozal, Chatoch Et Hashamayim…”
So, what do the CITs of 2016 and beyond have to expect when they sign up? To break it down in simple terms, this is what to keep in mind: You’re going to have a LOT of fun, learn a LOT about yourself and how you deal with certain situations, understand what being a camp counselor truly is with zero pressure, and get the tools to help you become more mature while understanding why you looked up so highly to your counselors and hopefully, have your campers look up to you just as highly.