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When I became a camp counselor, I was an eighteen-year-old college sophomore hoping to pursue a career in education. I was searching for an opportunity to work with kids and had little experience.
How old am I: 35
What is my sex: Woman
Figure type: My body type is slender
In my spare time I love: Learning foreign languages
Some Bunk Tales have happy endings and tell funny stories; others tell of struggle or difficulty. And those things I believe about camp live at the very center of my heart; to deny they were true for myself rendered them meaningless, entirely.
Our Bunk Tales collection offers readers a small slice of American Jewish life shared by those who have spent summers on staff. New stories will continue to be released throughout the end of August. As they started getting older and the stakes got higher, it became paramount that inclusion and collective participation be at the forefront of their experience. The Jewish community talks a lot about how formative camp is for campers; but this summer, New Voices Magazine has collected stories from camp counselors, representing Jewish camps from across America and telling stories about their summers spent on staff.
It is our job as counselors to put them in the best position to succeed. So I realized that the most important thing I could do in that moment was talk to my girls about the importance of unification. For counselors and campers alike, the intergenerational youth work that happens at Jewish summer camps is meaningful and even life-changing.
Though camp is not in session this strange summer, reflection is always in season. For every camp story told, there are hundreds left unwritten.
Bunk tales: jewish camp counselor stories project
There are as many kinds of campers and counselors as there are types of Jews, and even more stories to tell about what happens in those summer months in cabins and tents. Read counselor stories from across the Jewish camping world below!
Read the stories above. Finding my place in this global network of people and identities reminds me just how much room there is under the umbrella of Judaism.
These stories paint a wide range of Jewish experience from overnight camps across the United States. I was simply loving my job and loving my chanichimot. While campers are stuck at home, would-be counselors are heartbroken to be away -- or at the very least, reminiscing on summers-past.
Now, as the summer of comes to a close, you can read the "Bunk Tales" collection of first-hand s, telling tales from those formative summers by the counselors behind the scenes. I am not alone in being disabled, and I am able to help others because of my disability not in spite of it. Hearing those words come out of her mouth has been one of the highlights of my entire counselor experience.
Some of our authors describe describe how disability, gender, or non-traditional education paths have shaped their time at camp. During a summer season in pandemic times, many Jewish summer camps are closed for safety.
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I worked at a summer camp in Colorado this summer where one of the kids smeared his shit on the walls of the bathroom not once but twice.
It was a question that was at times accompanied by an eye roll, conveying that the appropriateness of my work as a camp counselor had somehow timed out as I approached my 5th summer.