A Nostalgic Visit to Camp
One of the best parts about starting a new job is the opportunity to just listen—to spend time meeting people, building relationships and experiencing the true power of how Jewish organizations enrich lives. Every time I’m out of the office experiencing the programs JUF supports, I am reminded about our collective impact.
In that vein, I very recently had the pleasure of visiting ‘Z’ Frank Apachi and Elaine Frank Apachi Day Camps. I saw hundreds of happy children in every direction enjoying all the activities and adventure of Apachi, while (little did they know) building their own first communities.
My visits to Apachi were especially nostalgic for me. I was a camp counselor for six summers and my visits immediately took me back to those amazing summers, memories of my campers and the friendships we, as counselors, made. I tell young people all the time that being a camp counselor prepares you for any career. The best camp counselors, like so many I met last week, know how to communicate with the kids, their fellow staff members and parents. They learn to be extraordinarily giving, knowing that they need to bring their “A” game every day. The best counselors are flexible, resourceful, creative and of course, always fun.
As I think about my new leadership position at JUF, I know that my time as a camp counselor contributed to my journey to this point. I am proud to work alongside so many dedicated, passionate professionals, including Stacey Skolnick, the Director of ‘Z’ Frank Apachi, with whom I grew up. Taking time to see, and experience, the true work of this community is priceless. I am thankful every day for the opportunity.
Lonnie Nasatir is President of the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago.