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Happiest Place on Earth

Camp Kalsman is like Disneyland. It’s my happiest place on Earth.

I often say that Camp Kalsman saved me.

The summer that my parents got divorced was also my first summer attending Jewish summer camp. That was ten years ago now, and the friends I made that summer are still a part of my life today. The love of Judaism and Jewish Identity I began forming that summer, have grown and flourished ever since that initial spark. But most of all, that summer ten years ago I found a home at URJ Camp Kalsman. Camp became the place where my comfort, passion, and happiness reside, and this is what makes Camp magical for me and for many other people.

For me, the Magic of Camp has taken many forms. When I was a camper, my magic was spending a few weeks a year in a bubble where I was happier than anywhere else. In this space I was participating in programs, encouraged to make friends, supported by my counselors, and above all, I was living in a safe space.

When I was a counselor, my Camp Magic was spending entire summers making the magic for my campers. It quickly became my passion, more than any other passion during the year, to help give my campers the transformative experience that camp had given me.

Today my Magic of Camp is guiding my staff in how to make Camp’s magic happen. My Magic is watching the passion ignite within them as they create connections with our kids.

And my Magic will always be getting to call Camp Kalsman home.

Leah Beck has been attending camp for 9 summers, and this will be her 5th summer on staff as a Nitzotzot/Nemerim Unit Head. Leah’s favorite movie is Beetlejuice.