The Easiest Hello, The Hardest Goodbye
This post was written by Elyse Friedman, Camp Chi Counselor
My parents decided to send me to Camp Chi because they wanted me to join a Jewish community and make Jewish friends. I remember going to the bus stop my first summer and not knowing a single person there. I was scared, nervous and didn’t really want to go. Somehow my mom got me on the bus and off we went. The bus arrived at Chi and I was welcomed by cheering and dancing and immediately felt at home. After meeting my cabin mates, I soon realized that I had entered into one of the greatest communities I could’ve been a part of. Year after year, I look forward to that welcoming more than anything else. To me the “Camp Chi Magic” that so many people talk about is simply the community.
In the “real world,” there always seems to be unspoken rules. It could be anything from an outfit that shouldn’t be worn or a person who shouldn’t be included. Those things just seem to disappear once you enter the gates of camp. You could walk around completely covered in paint or with a tutu on your head and no one thinks twice about it. Dancing on tables and singing at the top of your lungs during meals is a completely normal occurrence. At camp there’s an unspoken rule that any and everything is okay and fun. No matter who you are or what you’re interested in, the camp community will be there to welcome and support you. Chi has introduced me to my best friends, and I know that they will be there for me no matter how much time passes.
Ten summers later, I can say that my parent’s decision to send me to Chi has been one of the greatest things to ever happen to me. Being a counselor now and greeting those nervous first time campers is an incredible feeling because I am able to show a new generation of campers what the Camp Chi Magic is truly all about.
Elyse Friedman is originally from Minnetonka, Minnesota. This summer she is a counselor in Tsofim, the 6th grade village at Camp Chi. She attends University of Pennsylvania.