Going to Camp Tzadi was a very new experience for me in a lot of ways. This was my first summer camp and the first time I’ve ever been apart from both of my parents.
Some of the questions that I had before camp were, “What am I going to learn?” “Am I going to get hurt?” “What activities are we going to do?” “What is it going to be like sleeping in a cabin with a bunch of my friends?” and, “How is Camp Tzadi going to change my life?” I guess I was nervous about the unknown.
However, camp was a physically, emotionally, and spiritually transforming and challenging experience for me. It challenged me physically because I got to play tons of fun and awesome outdoor games and sports. It was great to work as a team to accomplish goals. It was an emotionally changing experience because before camp I was too scared to be my true self. I was nervous about getting laughed at, but camp changed that and gave me the safe space and confidence I needed. My counselor became like a brother to me, and I felt as though I could talk to him about anything. The ten days I spent at camp was enough time to help me to learn that I’m not as weird as I thought. I bonded with my counselors and built a deeper trust level with my friends. I’ve never had difficulty understanding what I believe. As I learn and grow in my faith, it makes sense to me. The teachings we had at camp really hit home and gave me a lot of things to think about and work through. However, it was the whole camp experience as a community that inspired and motivated me to pray and study on my own now that I’m home.
The songs and melodies I learned are in my heart and playing through my mind. I feel as if I’m more connected and more comfortable when I talk to God now. That feeling alone is enough to make me want to come back to camp every year.