Last summer was my first time ever being a sleep-away camp counselor. In the past, I’ve worked at camp, but never as a sleep away camp counselor. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. My friends who had been counselors here the year before told me about this amazing camp, so I was on board and ready to go.
As camp started approaching, I became nervous, not really knowing what to expect. The idea of NCSY Camp Maor was intriguing, but I didn’t know what it would actually be like.
As the programming started, I realized how unique this camp was. I realized that the girls who come here are getting a special opportunity that they may not get anywhere else. They can come and show off their talents in a frum, non-judgmental environment.
Being a counselor for 12 teenage girls definitely had its struggles, but seeing the girls grow and perform at the end of the summer made every challenge worth it. I was able to connect with kids who loved the performing arts, which I happen to love too. The kids who come here have some amazing talents and it’s amazing to watch them perform and do what they love.
While deciding what to do this summer, I kept coming back to the idea of returning to camp. Something was pulling me back. Being a counselor last year and being an NCSY regional advisor, I gained experience with working with teens and I would be able to be a better counselor and I was excited to return.
I made the right choice in coming back to NCSY Camp Maor. With the experience and knowing what to expect, I could jump right into the program. Last year, I was too embarrassed and shy to participate in the activities with the campers so I just sat on the side and witnessed the talents. This year, I took the opportunity to be involved in the activities and get to grow and learn from the professionals myself.
Seeing how much the campers, and the camp itself has grown in the past year is inspiring. I’m shocked every day of camp by the level of talent when I see these girls perform. They are all so amazingly talented in their own ways and it’s beautiful to watch. These girls grow into themselves in camp and discover new talents they may have not realized they had. Girls can come to NCSY Camp Maor and be themselves completely. It’s such a unique opportunity and it’s been a pleasure working here for the last two years and I can’t wait to see what more comes from NCSY Camp Maor.
Racheli Brakha is a second-year counselor from Memphis, TN. We’re so happy that Racheli joined us again this year, and hope that we get to spend more summers with her in the future!