Essay On Camp Young Judaea

Camp Young Judaea is home, it is a community that has embraced me since I was a young child. Every summer I attend this amazing place and take in the entire camp experience, the good and the bad. Camp is where I grew up and learned many things, and I couldn’t imagine my life without it. The people that I have gone to camp with are some of my best friends, and the counselors are always there for us. The activities are always fun, and whenever we start cheering, singing, or just plain shouting, we become a close community.

Every day at camp we are woken up and we walk from our bunks to the dining hall where, after raising the flag, we go to breakfast. Meals are very important at camp since they come with some very important traditions. Although the food isn’t that great, sometimes downright disgusting, meals are always something that every camper looks forward to. At every meal we are greeted by the roar of campers and counselors alike as everyone sings songs, bangs food trays on tables, and dances. Each meal starts with everyone saying a prayer, and after that what follows can only be described as pure and utter chaos.

Waiters scramble to bring food to the tables while administrators yell out announcements into a microphone as they try to be heard over the kids cheering after learning that we won the soccer game against the neighboring camp. We all yell together and laugh together during meals, and they provide a good time to simply sit down instead of running around, as we do for most of the day. Even though the dining hall is maybe a little intimidating, it is still a place that brings the whole camp together. Next, one activity at camp that gets everyone excited is the sports events.

We play in tournaments against different jewish camps all over the North East. These events give us a chance to meet people from the other camps, but it also lets us be united in our camp pride. Whether it is a home game or an away game, we always are rooting for our fellow campers, and we always cheer our team on. Many of the games end up being boring for some campers, so a lot of campers use this free block to hide in the bunk and sleep, but even the bored kids always come out to watch the end of the game. We have teams for every age, and many sports.

From archery, to soccer to risbee, Camp Young Judaea has an excellent sports program. Another fun thing at camp is the electives and activities that you can sign up for. Camp has a very wide variety of activities to choose from. Some are non-active, like arts and crafts, some are on the lake, like kayaking, and some are pretty unique, like camp’s very own music studio. These activities take up most of the day and you have each one that you sign up for every other day. One problem I have with the activities is that the only way to sign up for them is by getting in a long line, and by the time you get to the front, they might have ran out of spaces.

Because of this, it is hard to get the activities that you want, especially if they are popular. One of the best electives at camp is paddle boarding. Paddle boarding is when you stand on a board, much like an oversized surfboard, and you hold a canoe paddle and paddle out into the lake. Paddle boarding is a great activity because of its versatility. With a paddle board one can explore and look around at all of the wildlife near the lake, or have a “battle” with another camper where the two campers try to push one another off the board, or a camper can simply lay down in the middle of the lake, and maybe do some yoga.

This elective, along with many others, really make the camp experience and are extremely enjoyable. One very important part of camp is the counselors. They are in charge of the campers, and although they are the responsible ones, they are also very friendly. The counselors at camp closely resemble an older sibling, one who takes care of you, but still has time to party with you and have fun. Some counselors can be a little too strict, or not as engaged with us. Some really don’t form the personal bond that others achieve.

The counselors that do find the balance between responsible and fun are always there for you, and you can always count on them to cheer you up. Many of them are still kids at heart themselves, and campers always find them pulling pranks on eachother and the children. These almost adults are both our guardians and our closest friends. The last, and most important part about camp is the friendships made there. My friends at camp are my family, they are my sisters. I can call one of them at 3 o’clock in the morning and they will answer back to talk with me and help me with whatever I am going through.

After living very close to them for several months out of my life, they sometimes know me better than my closest friends at school. There are memories with them that I wouldn’t tell to anyone, those memories are our private secrets, and some of the best moments of my life. Thinking back to camp, and all the good times I had, it cancels out every fight I’ve gotten into with the bunk next door, and every sweaty, overheated, boring Saturday I spent with nothing to do in the bunk. All of those hot days with no activities, those were the best days because I spent the entire afternoon holed up in the bunk with the best friends anyone could ask for.

I would do anything for my friends, and I know they are always there for me. Camp Young Judaea, even with the occasional issue, is a place where I can go and spend my summers having the time of my life. Every day I am overwhelmed by the friendship and community, and also all of the fun I have participating in different activities. Whenever I run into someone, even a stranger, that has been to my camp, I immediately have something in common with them, and this camp is something that I think is part of my identity, and my culture. I love camp, and I wouldn’t have my summers any other way.