The Hebrew word for bridge is “gesher.” Now the word bridge, in my opinion, has two different meanings. A bridge can either connect two different things or aid in moving over something, such as a body of water. The Gesher year of camp, in my opinion, fits both ideas of the word bridge.
My nine years at Jacobs Camp as a camper were hands-down the best times of my life. All of my closest friends and dearest memories come from my summers attempting to fit all my friends on my top bunk (big mistake) and crying from trying not to laugh when our counselors made us have silent rest hour. Because of the amazing summers gifted to me by my friends and the staff, I knew I wanted to be on staff.
The day that staff applications went live, I think my heart skipped a beat from how ecstatic I was. I was driving home from school thinking of all the things this summer would bring me. Little did I know, this summer would be a rollercoaster that I never want to get off of. I remember getting home and having my group chat of my friends from Chalutzim lighting up my phone like a wildfire. Everyone was asking who would be at camp this summer and making sure they didn’t look “too eager” if they applied on the first day. Next thing I know, I had been added to a brand new group chat, “Gesher 2018.”
My phone was bombarded with messages from the group chat, along with messages from current counselors making sure I was doing the Gesher Program, and telling me how it was the best summer of their lives. I filled out the application and hit send, as my heart raced. A few days later, I received an email from Joshua saying I had an interview. Reading the email gave me so many emotions, everything from joy to “How in the world am I actually old enough to be on staff?” Needless to say, my interview went great, and I soon received an email saying I was accepted.
Weeks passed and all I could think about was the eight weeks I had been waiting for. Suddenly, school was over, and I was driving to camp. I was greeted by friendly faces, old and new, and the words “Welcome home.” I said hello to all my friends and was quickly emerged into orientation. Next thing I knew, I was welcoming my own campers home.
My first day on staff was a blur, but it was the most joyful and amazing blur ever. I had already formed relationships with my campers along with my fellow staff members. That evening, I was approached by Anna, Katie (Gesher Director), and Leah (Director of Marketing and Hospitality). I was asked to be the Media and Marketing Intern for the summer. This was such a shock to me considering I knew absolutely nothing about media on a professional scale. I was scared, but my nerves were quickly calmed when I saw how excited the marketing team was to have me and how helpful they all were in helping me adjust to my new role.
I previously said that this summer is like a rollercoaster, and sadly all amusement parks must close at the end of the day. I have counted my time here not in the days, but the smiles on my face and tears from laughter. With the short amount of time at camp left this summer, I’ve come to realize that I truly love camp. Although I’ve known this for years, my love for the 39175 is true and unparalleled.