This summer was awesome and one of the many things I did was be a Staff In Training at the Jewish Girls Retreat. I had been a camper at both summer and winter retreats and I loved it. When I got the email from Nechama Laber, the founder and director, asking me to be a staff-in-training, I was thrilled to give back to the campers. For those of you who don’t know, I am in the process of becoming a more observant Jew.

I arrived at the Retreat on Friday afternoon, right before Shabbos. I don’t know why, but I was so nervous. Shayna Mushka Saxon, one of my counselors from the previous summer, said hello to me and I immediately felt much better!  I was greeted by Head Counselor, Devorah Leah Gansburg and another counselor, Shaindel Freedman and the familiar warmth came back to me.  Mushka Schwei, another head counselor, escorted my mother and I to my bunk house. In the bunk house, I met someone I would see everyday, Dev Eber, the cook assistant. Everyone I met seemed passionate and super friendly.

On Saturday night I  was assigned my job, a blogger for the Summer, photographer, and helper wherever I was needed. I was thrilled to greet the campers on Sunday morning. I even got to help the awesome mother’s helper, Mimi Russel, take care of Mrs. Laber’s sons. I  joined the campers and staff for  JGR  camp activities and always loved being part of the staff night programs.  Everyday, I filled up the ice for the nurse and helped wherever I  was needed. I participated in camp activities, blogged everyday about camp, did physical therapy with another girl, and more. On Shabbos I helped the kitchen serve meals.

This summer experience was truly amazing! I have never worked with a nicer and more passionate group of girls and women. I learned so much over the summer and everyday I take what I learned in JGR and apply it to life!  Thank you to everyone that made JGR great! If you’re thinking about being a staff member, staff-in-training or a counselor – JUST DO IT!  You’ll be so happy you did!!