2020 has been a crazy year so far from the fires in Australia to COVID-19 to the recent protests for racial equality and justice. Like most people, I was disappointed to hear that camp was not going to happen this summer. I was looking forward to my first year being a counselor and to being with people that I care about. Though I was disappointed, I knew that our camp community could get creative to find ways to make some aspects of the camp experience happen from home.
Starting with HSJ 365 we were able to participate in online hangouts and Shabbat song sessions from afar. These interactions helped to alleviate the sadness and disappointment in not being able to go to camp. Over the course of the last couple of weeks, I alongside several other would-be councilors have gotten the opportunity to work with the Nachshon Project to receive some online counselor training and lessons on creating programs for campers. We will be putting this training to use in the upcoming weeks by providing online programs for campers.
I think that the resilience and adaptability of the camp community is a wonderful thing. We are lucky enough to live in a community that supports us and adapts to the conditions that we live in. Unfortunately, there are so many people right now who live in a country that is designed to work against them. Having benefited from an understanding and adaptive community I think that it is absolutely necessary that we fight for and stand by people of color in their pursuit of equality and justice. As Jews, it is one of our values to help and support those around us, and now, more than ever is a time to do so.
Miles Bilbe is from Austin, TX and was set to be a first year counselor at camp this summer. He has been a lifetime camper at Jacobs Camp and is set to attend Warren Wilson College in the fall.