Teens and how they engage is one of the most vexing problems facing the Jewish community. Last summer, Kayitz 2015, CRB boasted 350 teen campers in Camp and 150 older teen staff members, in an immersive, intensive and intentional Jewish community. We know that our community is successful. It works and it keeps teens connected. Camp is a healthy foundation for the next generation of emerging Jewish community leaders.
Over the past two weeks, I have had the privilege of visiting Binghamton University, Yale and University of Michigan. What an amazing three days they were! After each visit, I returned home energized and encouraged about the future of the Jewish community. Meeting with our current and previous staff on their turf, in their university settings, in 1:1 conversations or at dinner made me realize how their summers at Camp, as teens and now young adults, have influenced their very beings.
Their comments were quite telling and confirming as they reawakened my personal perspective and belief in the Ramah vision that being a camper is an important prelude to becoming a staff member. They revealed that Camp taught them to prioritize, to have patience, to associate with a variety of people, to respect and understand campers with challenges, how to analyze the severity of problems, and to persevere. Life lessons and skills are honed and cultivated at Camp!
CRB has every reason to be proud of its great staff. Together, we can influence the Jewish community and engage many teens successfully who will eventually mature into and become our world leaders.