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Jacobs Camp Magic

Leading up to my first summer as a camper at Jacobs Camp, I was nervous and fearful of what a summer without my family would look like, yet I was thrilled to begin my journey as a camper at Jacobs Camp. After my first year as a Maskilim 1 camper in 2011, I returned every summer through Chalutzim (the oldest unit) in 2017. Through my time at camp, not only was I given the tools to be more independent and learn more about what it means to be Jewish, but I also had the chance to form valuable friendships and experience things that I did not have the chance to do anywhere else but camp! 

Coming from a small town in Louisiana with not many Jewish kids my age, it felt so surreal to be surrounded by so many other Jewish people and because of camp, I left each year with a stronger connection to my Jewish identity.

As a camper, I thought I knew what it meant to be grateful for a place but I was so wrong… it wasn’t until I got older that I realized how truly magical Jacobs Camp in Utica, Mississippi is. Beyond the fun evening programs, the wacky dress days, and all the other magical moments, camp gave me the chance to grow in a safe and nurturing place and because of that, camp will always have a special place in my heart.

I am so honored to now work alongside such a dedicated group of staff members, and we now have the chance to create that same nurturing camp world for our campers that brought me back year after year. Throughout my time as a staff member this summer, I’ve seen the Jacobs Magic being made by staff allowing their campers to dress them up for lunch or staff staying up after their campers go to bed to create banners, and other wacky activities. I feel so lucky that I have the chance to capture each moment for our camp community alongside my amazing Media Team.

This past Shabbat, I found myself sitting with some of the Chalutzim women of my year, scrolling through old photos on Campanion and reminiscing on all of the priceless memories that we made while at camp. Although camp may have an end date, the magic of camp never ends. Once you experience that Jacobs Camp Magic, you’re hooked and no matter how many years it takes for you to come back, entering through those gates feels just as magical as it did the first time. 

The magic isn’t in the amazing facilities we have, rather the magic comes with our amazing campers, the magic is created by our phenomenal staff, and the magic is maintained by our donors and the year-round team. “It takes a village” is a saying that rings so true, and we are so lucky that our village is one-of-a-kind in creating memories that will forever be engraved in my heart and yours.


About the Author

Allie Nork

Allie Nork was a camper from 2011-2017 and returned to camp this year as a first-year staff member. She is currently the Summer 2023 Director of Marketing and Hospitality and enjoys capturing all of the #jewishjoy around camp.