By: Zara Zweig, counselor
I have been coming to Camp George since 2009. I went to camp for 2 weeks, with my friends Chaya and Daliah, that first summer. I am going to be honest with you, I did have a good time but I didn’t have a great time. At the end of my two weeks my mom asked me if I wanted to go to camp again the next summer. I told her that I wanted to go but to only sign me up for 2 weeks again. The next summer was great! I remember very clearly my parents coming up on Visitor’s Day that second year. My dad said, “Zara are you coming home in 3 days or are you staying for the rest of first session?” I quickly blurted out that I was staying and then I led my parents around the camp making sure they told every single person from my counselors, to the office staff and the Directors that I was staying. I wanted to make sure that everyone at Camp George knew that I was not getting on the bus in a few days and was staying for the remainder of first session.
One of the main reasons I had such a great time that second summer and wanted to stay at camp was because of my cabin staff. I had two outstanding counselors that summer, Deborah Pearl and Hayley Sakwa. These two counselors were outstanding!!! They made me feel loved and cared for and they also ensured that we all had a great time and enjoyed all that camp had to offer. They were positive and enthusiastic and really demonstrated what a great counselor is all about. Over the years I had many great counselors and from each one I learned something important about what it takes to be the best possible counselor. So, when I became first-year staff in 2016 I couldn’t wait to put all that I had taken from those before me into practice. The first year was tougher than I thought; being a counselor is hard work and a great deal of responsibility!
So, I couldn’t wait until last year. With one year as a counselor behind me, I was ready for the summer of 2017! I knew what to expect and I felt experienced and prepared to tackle the challenges and joy of being a great counselor. 2017 didn’t disappoint!!! I had an amazing cabin of campers. I really enjoyed being with my campers. I enjoyed hanging out with them. I enjoyed sharing my love of camp with them. I enjoyed leading by example and participating in all activities. I enjoyed helping them, listening to them, supporting them, comforting them and taking care of them. As well, I had the privilege being asked to be a CG Games Captain. I was Captain of the Blue Team. It was an amazing honour to be asked and I absolutely loved having the responsibility, along with my Co-Captain, of leading my team into battle. Being a CG Games Captain allowed me the opportunity to lead a quarter of the entire camp. I was able to interact with staff and campers with whom I normally didn’t spend a great deal of time. I was able to travel all around our absolutely gorgeous camp grounds, on my trusty bicycle, and cheer on my team members in all the various activities. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and it really highlighted for me that the ruach at Camp George is truly special! Each summer the staff and campers create something special at Camp George. We create a place of belonging, a place of inclusion, a place of fun, a place to try new things, and a place to make new and long-lasting friendships.
I am coming back to Camp George this summer as a third-year staff member. I know that 2018 will be just as awesome as every other summer at camp. So many parts of this summer will be familiar and the same as previous years. That is why so many people who have been to Camp George talk about camp being our “home-away-from-home”. At the same time, I know that this summer will be different than other summers. Each summer has new campers and new staff and each year the Camp George community creates its own unique identity that is special to that summer only. I am already counting down the days until it is time to go to camp. I can’t wait to feel the comfort of the familiar but I also feel the anticipation of what is new. Each summer provides us all with a safe place to continue to grow and learn. Each of us is a better person after a CG summer! Here’s to 2018!
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