This post was originally published on the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta’s website:
by Nina Leff, Kochavim Camper 2017
Even though this was my second summer at Camp Coleman, I just want to say that nobody should ever have any worries about being new at camp. It’s the friendliest place in the world and the counselors make it easy for you to jump right in. There were nine girls in my bunk, mainly from North and South Carolina, Florida, and two from Atlanta. We clicked really fast.
Before camp, when it was Shabbat, I’d say, “Oh, it’s Shabbat.” But at Coleman, Shabbat is really special. It’s like, “Shabbat, YESSS!” Everyone wears white, we eat tons of great food for dinner, and then after services there’s a huge song session with dancing. Some of our best times were at cabin meetings, after song session. We’d go back to the cabin, sit in a circle with our counselors and talk openly about how the week went, and what we could do better.
My friends at school say, “I can’t believe you were away for a whole month, weren’t you homesick?” I tell them, “You’re so busy at camp, you honestly don’t miss home.” Camp makes me feel like I’ve grown a lot. My Mom says it’s made me more independent and confident. I learned to play volleyball, which I’ll definitely play at school this year. I learned a lot of Hebrew songs and prayers, and I know what they mean.
Both my parents went to Jewish camp and I’m so glad they were able to give me this experience. My One Happy Camper scholarship from Federation helped make camp possible. My sister is only in second grade, but for sure she’s going to Coleman. It’s amazing!
Learn more about One Happy Camper grants and needs-based scholarships for Jewish overnight camp.