Leah, Brandon, & Bailey

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By Leah Bordman, Staff & Camper for 15 Years

Camp friends are the best friends. This could be one of my Six Word Memoirs, which are “a simple way to engage and inspire anyone and everyone to get to the essence of who they are.” (sixwordmemoirs.com) Fifteen years spent at camp (so far) have literally shaped me into the person I am, I’d say, in more ways than any other experience has.  

My summers at camp helped me to discover my Jewish identity, and now I’m a Jewish professional.  

My summers at camp have given me opportunities to try things and fail and try again and again (like speaking in front of a group, writing programs, and handling challenging situations with children and peers.) 

My summers at camp helped me through college, pointed me toward scholarships and fellowships, and shaped me into an educated adult.  

My summers at camp kept me safe during times in my life when I wasn’t doing okay. 

Leah & Brandon’s Wedding at Camp Kalsman. September 2021.

And my summers at camp introduced me to some of the greatest people I know. Mentors and friends that are woven into the fibers of my being. Seriously – a lot of incredible people. Some of them I talk to multiple times a week, and some would drop everything to help me even though we haven’t spoken for years. I feel lucky every single day for the relationships that I get to have because of my time spent at camp. 

I met my husband while working at camp, and those summers gave us a strong foundation to build our life upon. We even got married at camp, and we plan to raise our children on this foundation of Jewish summer camp as well. When I write that “camp friends are the best friends,” I’m not saying anything unique or unknown among summer camp people. I’m simply attempting to summarize something profound – to make the point that above all else, camp relationships are strong and enduring. I can rely on them, and I feel grateful for that.