Hi, my name is Eli Sol and this summer I was a CIT at Camp George. I’ve had an ideal 8-year camper experience, and I’ve had the pleasure of learning and looking up to countless staff members over the years.
For those of you who have been to camp, you know that camp generations (from campers to staff) are much closer together than ordinary ones. Because of this, camp traditions have a much easier time being passed down. For example, throughout my whole Kochavim summer, my counselor Eli Silverman used to play Kanye West’s “Good Morning” every morning at 7:30 to wake us up for breakfast. Because of how much I respected Eli as a staff, and how much I grew to enjoy waking up to that song, it became a valuable camp experience for me. Because of that, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll play that song to wake up my campers next year.
This “L’dor Vador” experience is part of what makes camp so great, and it doesn’t just apply to music. This summer as a CIT I learned how to effectively program for campers and CITs alike. When I was thinking of programs to run, and when I was participating in the programs of my peers, I noticed a pattern. Program ideas are usually recycled from events that our favourite staff ran, and we remember enjoying as campers. This is natural of course; we assume that what we enjoy, others will too. However, this is actually a way of passing down camp traditions not unlike my wakeup song.
Classic EPs like stones, jeopardy, gaga, and kids court; Shabbat Walks like visiting Old Ski, cabin talent shows, and trivia dives; even campwide events like airbands and maccabiah: These are all camp programs that have been passed down, in some cases from the very beginning in 1999.
Every year the CITs at Camp George have an opportunity to program for each other, and for camp-wide activities. This year, though virtual, was no exception. I had a chance to program a few events myself, and to participate in the events of my peers. This summer I learned to appreciate the effort my staff put into their events, and see how much they have affected us. When I run my next scavenger hunt, to me it will just be another search program, brought to you by the countless staff that have influenced me. But to the campers participating, it will be so much more.
-Eli Sol, CIT 2020