What This Summer Was

  • At the start of this summer, I spent some time reflecting and writing about where we were supposed to be. I did my best to express the sadness of a summer we all felt the lose of in different ways, while also aiming to be hopeful about how all of us in the Tevya community could draw strength from each other to make the best of an opportunity that nobody expected or wanted.

    As the summer unfolded and the daily reminders of camp events continued to pop up in my phone notifications, it was easy to visualize of an image and path of what should have been happening at camp at any given time. At times, it was hard to see through these camp daydreams and focus on the reality of this summer. I tried my best to not get lost in what should have been, and to make the most out of what was so I could look back and be proud.

    While we still have our Final Shabbat on Friday at 6pm led by BTC ’20 to help us close our summer (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82208962399), we can’t let today go by without acknowledging it. Today, Wednesday, August 19th, was supposed to be Closing Day of the 2020 Camp Tevya Season. It’s natural to reflect during moments of transition, so here I am again, reflecting. As the summer comes to a close, I can look back on what this summer was and say one thing for sure: I have honestly never been more proud of the Tevya community.

    When I think about this summer, I’ll think about Oles laughing their way through a Dutch Auction, counselors leading hilarious games of Mad Libs, a Siagel Social that campers and staff got to share with each other and their families, and bunkmates talking the night away with their counselors on Zoom. I’ll think about the Cohen Camps community Pride Shabbat, Bigs connecting with Littles, rounds of Tevya Jeopardy, incredible Mah Midat Hashavuah videos filled with special guests, 5 full weeks of Kadima training and growth, and counselors from summers past taking the time to connect with campers in meaningful ways. I’ll think about the greater Tevya community of alumni, family, and friends stepping up to help us return financially strong in 2021, and almost daily Facebook posts from an alum sharing camp memories that engaged generations of alumni. I’ll think about our community growing and connecting in new ways, families making memories they wouldn’t have had the chance to create, and parents going to great lengths to support us and their children. The memories created this summer won’t match those of any other summer, but the familiar camp ingredients were there throughout, along with some new ones, to create one unforgettable (and hopefully never repeated…) summer.

    Lauren and I want to give a very special shout-out and thank you to all our Bunk Counselors and Staff who stepped up and led Bunk Activities and special Evening Activities this summer. We have so much appreciation and gratitude for your dedication to help keep campers connected to each other and to camp. We can’t thank you all enough, and your campers will remember the effort you made years from now.

    The goal of each summer is to make it the best summer ever. It’s a lofty goal for sure, but it ensures that we’re always growing, adapting, and challenging ourselves to make Tevya the best possible version of itself, both in spirit and in adherence to our values. We all know what this summer was supposed to be, and now we know what it was. As a Tevya team, we have our work cut out for us to ensure that next summer is the best summer ever, and we are 110% up for the challenge. Until then, keep supporting each other, finding the silver linings, and responding to challenges in ways that make yourself proud.

    With Tevya Spirit,

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