Reunions and Resolutions
It’s here, the end of December and we can officially say we’ve entered the lull. That point in the year where reality sets in that the summer is over, and the 2013 season isn’t quite close enough to feel within reach. By now, most of us have shared all of our favorite memories of camp at least a dozen times with anyone who will listen, we’ve broken our habit of stacking and passing up at the end of family dinners, and we’ve made the transition from water skiing to skiing the slopes.
I take comfort in the fact that we are approaching the New Year, a time when I can officially proclaim that I go to camp THIS year. There is a sort of peacefulness about this time of year, because it’s the point at which I really begin to grasp the summer months, reflect on them, and embrace the memories of the summers past. Here in the winter office, I have already begun to look ahead to the next summer. I live for the anticipation of the months leading up to camp because it is my opportunity to savor the excitement as I plan and organize for the upcoming season.
For me, the anticipation and eagerness to return to Tel Noar has been in the back of my mind since I left in 2011. My one year hiatus from the people, the place and the ruach that defines CTN, has left me eager to return once again to the incredible place I call my summer home. It’s almost January, and I’m already daydreaming about campfires and canteen; about late wake up on Saturday mornings and sitting arm in arm at Shabbat services with the people who are more like family than co-workers. With the January 5th Tel Noar Winter Reunion fast approaching, I can’t help but feel that excitement in the pit of my stomach. In little over a week we will be reunited with counselors, bunkmates and best friends; poring over our yearbooks, an incredible compilation of our memories from a summer that seems just out of reach. For just one, all too short Saturday evening, we’ll dance and skate and enjoy our time together as a community once again. Like we never left, we’ll quickly get right back in step with our camp friends, a testament to the quality and strength of the relationships formed at camp, and just one more reason I am so grateful to be a part of Camp Tel Noar.
Over my 15 years with the Cohen Camps, my transition from camper to counselor to year-round staff seems like a blur. My camp experience has shifted from missing my own parents to sharing my experiences with prospective parents; from idolizing my counselors to recruiting and training the next generation of leaders at camp. In many ways, my role has changed, but the core passion and love for camp has remained the same. I still believe that Color War is the best three days of the year, that grilled cheese and french fries are a delicacy, and that there is no better feeling than waking up next to your best friends on a rainy camp day. Camp has shifted from a summer activity to a career, and for me there is truly no greater joy than watching the first cars rolling into camp on Opening Day.
With 182 days until camp and a New Year ahead of us, my goal for 2013 is less of a resolution and more of a dedication to my continued commitment to Camp Tel Noar. I believe deeply in the mission of Jewish summer camp and in providing all CTN campers, and the staff who shape their future, with an unforgettable summer experience. I look back on the invaluable lessons I’ve learned, and friendships and memories made along the way, but more than anything I look forward to all of the future summers I hope to spend with the new generations of campers on the shores of Sunset Lake.
Thinking summer thoughts,