Probably the hardest thing about coming to camp is knowing that one day, after all the fun has been had, we all eventually have to say goodbye at some point. And that’s no fun at all.
The last week at camp has gotten me thinking about the past nine years I’ve spent at Camp Ben Frankel as both a camper and staff member. Lots of memories were made with my cabin mates, counselors, co-counselors, fellow staff members, campers, and myself. Every single person I’ve interacted with at camp has influenced me in one way or another, and they’ve all contributed to the desire for me to want to come back to camp year after year. A little secret about me: I hated camp my first two years. I started camp the summer before 6th grade and wrote my parents letters constantly telling them how I hated camp and how I wanted to leave and never come back. Yet for some reason, every time I left camp, I immediately wanted to return to my CBF family. Ever since my 7th year at camp, I would tell myself that it would be my last year and that it was time to move on to the next new experience. But of course, I was always driven to return to my summer home. I guess camp has some sort of magical powers that lure you back in year after year. Thank God for those powers.
We always talk about how wonderfully magical camp is, but in all honesty, it isn’t magical at all. We don’t love camp or like our cabin mates out of nowhere. The excitement of counting down the days until the start of the next camp season doesn’t just fall out of the sky and into our brains. Everything we feel about camp exists because of how hard the counselors and campers work at having an amazing summer filled with tons of memories. We create our own fun, our own memories, we act as goofily as we can to make each other laugh and happy. We aren’t afraid to be ourselves at CBF, and I couldn’t think of a better place to continue to make memories at than at Camp Ben Frankel.
“My favorite memory at camp was when we performed our cabin presentations because We performed a play that I wrote a year ago and it was really fun!” – Brianna Snodgrass, The Early Birds, 3rd-4th grade girls.
“Me and my cabin enjoyed raiding the 7th, 8th, and 9th graders. We scared them half to death!” – Leo Weinberger, The Green Grass, 4th-5th grade boys.
“Our cabin decided that one of our favorite memories was a super cool water fight we had! Our cabin split up into two teams (Team Moose and Team Captain) and splashed each other using our water bottles and water balloons. Overall it was just a really fun experience.” – The Golden Rulers, 5th-6th grade girls.
“My counselors told me to write down my favorite memory from the camp season, but I couldn’t do it. They were all just so utterly amazing thanks to my counselors and cabin mates! But if I had to choose one, it would be spending so much time with my friends in my cabin who live in different states and countries. We played Risk, went to Castle Park, and had a great time bonding with each other.” Adli Jacobs, The Rich Boys, 6th grade boys.
“On Angry Puppy we did a cuddle puddle and we stayed up all night and talked together. It was so fun!” – The Fly Catchers, 7th grade girls.
“My favorite camp memory was being able to go on Angry Puppy for the first time. It was really fun hanging out with everyone all night.” – Yoav Galer, The Three Things, 7th grade boys.
“On one of the first few days of camp, our cabin did some bonding activities by asking questions like ‘What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?’ to playing a more special heartwarming game where our counselors would say a statement with our eyes closed, and the cabin mates tapped who they thought best fit the statement. Both activities helped our cabin bond and get closer. From there we we had paint fights, spa nights, tie dyed, and baked egg-free cookie dough. Though we’ve had our ups and downs, our cabin managed to grow and stick together. It has been an amazing journey for our cabin and we hope that all of us will come back next year so we can spend another summer together.” – The Honorable, 8th-9th grade girls.
“This year at camp, I read Torah on shabbat several times. It was an amazing learning experience that I could have only enjoyed at Camp Ben Frankel.” – Sam R., The Strong, 8th-9th grade boys.
We really never can say goodbye to our beloved Camp Ben Frankel because the memories of being there stay in our hearts forever. All we can do for now is thank God for another wonderful camp season, and reminisce about the memories we made this summer. 11 months to go… let the count down begin!
-Tadpole, Media Specialist