Daily Newsletter – Turning the Corner

Good morning Friends of Capital Camps,

The Leadership Center is my favorite place in camp. My campers, the CITs (Counselors-in-Training), have lived here for the past seven weeks. The walls are covered with plaques and murals painted by the oldest campers at Capital Camps for the past three decades, with hundreds of names written across them. As I look around the room, and sit here writing this letter to you, I can’t help but think back to my own experience as a CIT, living in this same building, having the absolute time of my life. Capital Camps has truly changed who I am as a person, and I am honored to have been a part of that experience for this year’s exceptional group of CITs.

The CITs have dedicated their entire summer to being at camp. They began their summer in Columbia, South Carolina, a place where many of us had never been, repairing flood damaged homes for complete strangers. They gave back to people they had never met without expecting anything in return. The experience in Columbia led back into their six weeks at camp, working with younger campers, providing them the magic they gained here as they grew up. Their counselors created unforgettable memories for them, inspiring them to call this place home. Now, they have committed themselves to doing the same for the next generation of Capital Campers.

I have been thinking a lot this summer about gratitude. Every morning since I first started here in 2006, we sing Modeh Ani together as a camp community. It was not until this summer that I took the time to think about what this prayer means. All too often in the early mornings of camp, I am not the least bit grateful to be awake. I am standing on the plaza, wanting nothing more than to be back in the comfort of my bed. Modeh Ani is all about being grateful for simply waking up in the morning, and I have come to take it a step farther. I not only am happy to be present in those moments, but could not imagine myself anywhere else in the world. I have had the most magical, unforgettable, incredible summer here, and it is all thanks to the CITs. They inspire me every day to think deeper about who I am and the way I choose to see the world. I am so grateful that each one of them loves this place the way I do, and that they have chosen to spend their summer here at camp.

Last night, the CITs graduated from their training program. They are moments away from leaving their camper days behind, and the word “grateful” does not even begin to cover how fortunate and happy I am to have led them through their final camper year. They are warm, empathetic, hilarious, fantastic individuals, and I cannot wait to see what amazing counselors they become. From the building that is covered with the names of people who mean so much to me, from my camp friends growing up, to my sister, to many of my campers, I leave you with a quote from the 2017 Counselors-in-Training.

“Started 8 now 17, Benjamin through CIT. It was our time, now it’s yours. 2018, we’ll be your counselors”

Hannah Jerison

CIT Coordinator

p.s. Congrats to the Red Team for winning Maccabiah!!!