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My Return to Summer Camp in a Pivotal Time

Not long after October 7, I got my very first job. A few months into working, I realized the setting I was in was not for me, and that by the time summer rolled around, I knew I had to work in a camp setting.

For more than a century, summer camp has been a staple of Jewish joy and pride. When I got older, my summer experiences expanded to a Jewish teen tour shortly before high school and, eventually, BBYO summer programs. After each experience, I would come back feeling more Jewish and more immersed in new backgrounds and experiences.

I realized that after October 7, working in a camp setting would be so important for me because of how important camp is to American Jewry. With antisemitism increasing at a rate like wildfire, I knew it would be the right choice for me to be leading the future generation of the Jewish people. Always being in Jewish spaces and surrounding myself with Jewish friends has only allowed me to feel more Jewish. The more we get hate for being Jewish, the more pride we feel.

Having never worked with kids, I ended up getting the position of a photographer. I love  photography so much and don’t have much experience photographing people, so this ended up being the perfect fit for me.

In my first week of camp, I have noticed that I have improved for the better. I noticed that I am more productive, happier, and self motivated. Every day, I have come into work excited to perform my duties as a photographer and ensuring a fun time for everyone, campers and staff.

I realized after October 7th when I was working at a dog groomer, I didn’t feel it was the right setting, I knew I needed to work at a Jewish camp. I realized that there was no better time than now to return to Jewish summer camp, and I am so glad I made the choice to work at a Jewish day camp this summer to ensure a brighter future for the Jewish people.

About the Author
Perri Schwartz is an activist and writer based out of Atlanta, Georgia. She is a 2021-2022 alumnus of the Young Judaea Year Course gap year. She interned with the Israel Daily News Podcast while on Year Course. She is also on the autism spectrum and is super passionate about making the world a better place. You can follow her on Instagram, @thezioprincess.
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