I am lucky enough to have a unique vantage point from which to view the magic of G.U.C.I. As the parent of two campers—I hear how the magic is made for them summer after summer. From my children I learn of best friends and swimming twice in one day and struggles up the Migdal. I hear about how dessert is served every day—instead of just on Shabbat as it is in our house. I am told of counselors who help with wet swimsuits and nail polish on Shabbat who sing and dance along side and who sit and listen. Through my children’s stories I know magic is created.
I also see the magic created and sometimes, I am fortunate enough to be a part of creating the magic. This is my second summer on staff as the staff consultant/inclusion coordinator at G.U.C.I. While I am here at G.U.C.I. I have the honor of working closely with the counselors who create the magic for our campers. I see them urge campers up the Midgal and I hear them celebrate for every camper as he reaches closer and closer to his goal. I watch them dance wildly (and sometimes join them!) with our campers every song session—and I watch them sit and sing quietly beside a camper who isn’t able to jump and dance yet because she’s a little overwhelmed at the song session. I listen as they teach our children during shiur, Jewish educational programming—I marvel as I listen to them help my children and the other children make the connections between what we read in the Torah and learn from the rabbis to their everyday lives at camp and at home. I am moved when I sit at campfire on Friday night and I watch a sleepy camper rest his head on the shoulder of a counselor and see the counselor put a strong and caring arm around him.
I am fortunate, indeed, to have this perspective. From my children, I hear the results—the end product of all the hard work of staff. My children talk of GUCI year round—because of the powerful and inclusive experiences they have there. They live the magic of G.U.C.I. I also get to see all the of work that goes into those end results—the late nights, the paint and tye-die, the staff who get up in the middle of the night with campers away from home for the first time (or the fifth!), the silly costumes, the Yom Sport spirit…I get to watch and be a part of making the magic.
I couldn’t say which of those experiences is better—but I know that as long as there is G.U.C.I., there will be G.U.C.I. magic; and as long as there is G.U.C.I. magic, my children will be a part of it.
Staff Consultant/Inclusion Coordinator