My URJ Involvement Year-Round – Emma Haras
Hi, my name is Emma Haras, and I will discuss why I love camp. I can’t even begin to write about how much I love camp and all it has done for me. This will be my ninth summer at camp, and I know for a fact that there will be many more to come. Camp is my second home, my home away from home. I truly wish I could live there all 12 months of the year. I was a CIT this year, and it was the best experience by far. I have known all these people in my unit for years, but I never felt more connected with my unit until this CIT summer. It was truly the best summer of my life. I see my cabin almost every weekend and the overall unit at least once a month. The connections you make at camp last forever. The memories you make at camp are ones you will never forget. I still remember the first day I went to camp, really nervous, when I was in Nitzotzot, and my staff members gave me the biggest hug as I stepped off the bus, and I knew this was where I belonged. Camp really brings you out of your comfort zone, makes you try new things you never would have thought of, and creates a safe space for everyone to feel included and welcome. My advice for anyone reading this is that if you have not signed up for camp, sign up now, and if you are debating whether to come back, then the answer to that is yes, come to camp as long as you can.
I have never felt more connected to Judaism than at camp. Spending time at camp doing Jewish learning, prayers before the meals and evening or night services has brought me closer and more connected to Judaism. By being at camp and learning all of these Jewish skills it has affected how I am in my everyday life. I am a proud member of Holy Blossom Temple as well as many other Camp George kids. I work there every Sunday and teach a kindergarten class, and on Monday, I am on the teen youth board as the Programming Vice President. Every Monday teens from my shul meet up and as the programming VP I have to be able to be a leader and plan programs. I learned many of these skills at camp by making my tent, starting a fire, planning programs for the whole unit and leading and being a captain of Maccabiah. Being at camp definitely has inspired me to connect way more with Judaism and take on leadership roles at my synagogue.
Written by: Emma Haras