The Road to Discovery Leads Back to BB Camp
- By Barb Gordon
I was a long time BB Camp staffer for many years in the 70’s. I learned some basic skills there that allowed me to discover something in me that made me feel worthwhile. I was really good at being a counselor and developing relationships with other people young and old. Teamwork and loving your peers and campers like family was one of the best feelings I had ever had.
After college and my time at camp, I traveled with my mom to Israel. Not once or twice but 3 times! My mom loved Israel and had lived there as a young girl in the 1930’s. Needless to say I fell in love with Israel also. In 1973 I was lucky enough to join a group of young people from all over the United States and live on Kibbutz Ramot Menashe in Israel. This was another adventure in the discovery of ME. Some of the people in my group were really homesick, but because of Camp I was developing relationships with people and thriving in the cooperative farm lifestyle that was very much like camp itself. A few less chickens and cows, but still like camp. My family of friends grew stronger.
After Israel I was 22, and did one more summer at camp. Then I married my camp boyfriend and knew it was time to find a career. Luck again landed me a job in a place that was also a lot like camp, but much more serious. The young people who came to live in this camp like setting were abused. Their lives had been a nightmare. It is there that I learned how invaluable my ability to develop relationships was. I also learned what resiliency and courage was, and I experienced again how important it is to work as a team. My co-workers were my life line and vice versa as we did our best to help those fragile humans. Camp brought me to my career.
In 2001 one I had connected with Michelle Koplan who was in the beginning of her career as BB Camp Director. We hit it off and I decided to return to camp on my vacations from my “real job” , I realized I was feeling a little adrift, my kids were grown and I was searching a little for ME.
The stars aligned and here I am again, back at Camp. The place that started me on the road to discovery, the place that taught me that developing relationships with people can positively change their lives and mine.
What’s your story?
B’nai B’rith Camp Executive Assistant and Registrar
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