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Hi, my name is Lewis Shaevel and this year I was a CIT and participated in Camp George’s Virtual CIT Program! I’ve been going to camp since 2015, and since then I can remember watching that summer’s CITs helping out in my cabin, specialty areas and having a blast around camp. Every year, I would be more excited for this one of a kind year. When I heard the news that camp was not going to run, I was devastated – but I wasn’t for long – as the virtual CIT program offered to us was the perfect place to experience this special summer.

From zoom evening programs to hadracha meetings (which helped teach us skills we need to become great staff members in the future) to talking with past counselors and specialists, I’ve been able to learn a lot from the program. With the guidance of Ali, Zara, and other staff, I learned how to run a program successfully, how to go about a normal day at camp, and how to care for the campers that would be in my cabin.

Being from the US and having the borders closed means that I haven’t seen most of my unit in person, in about a year. Seeing my friends, even virtually, made my day better each and every time I signed into my computer. Talking, laughing, and learning with my unit allowed for a feeling of normalcy to occur between myself and the rest of the CITs.

At the end of the day, I feel that with all the new experiences and information I have learned, there is one underlying idea that I can take away from the summer. This idea is adjusting to whatever is thrown your way. During the normal camp summer, many adjustments need to be made and quickly executed in order for camp to run smoothly. Sometimes the weather may change the plans for a normal camp day, or a kid/staff may be sick and not be able to participate in the day’s schedule.

Programming online was one big adjustment as normal camp programs heavily rely on interacting face to face with others. I was able to adjust to this current situation by working with my group to create a program that would be enjoyed by my fellow CITs. Also, not being at camp meant that all of us working on the program had different schedules, which often conflicted with each other. We were able to adjust and work around these barriers.

Also, working in groups during the program, while being online was another place where I had to adjust. Sometimes my computer froze, or someone’s wifi cut out or someone’s computer died in the middle of the meeting. Whether this meant Facetiming my group members or helping them troubleshoot their problems, we were able to successfully do the task/program at hand.  Through all these instances, I was able to still learn, adjust to the situation and have a lot of fun this summer.

All in all, the CIT program was a lot of fun this year and I’m grateful that I and the rest of my unit were able to learn new things and have fun, even from our own homes. While it was different than I imagined, I am so happy that I had a CIT summer and I cannot wait to be a staff for the upcoming 2021 CG Summer!

– Lewus Shaevel, CIT Summer 2020