All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten Garin
Goldman Union Camp is a magical place that pushes kids out of their comfort zones toward being more independent, outgoing, and in-touch with their personal identity. The beauty of it lies in the secret of this growth— fun. The campers grow while cheering on teammates on Yom Sport, singing wacky songs after lunch, and hanging out in the cabin. The decision to send a child to camp puts them on track to learn and improve upon valuable life skills their peers may not develop for years. Here are a few lessons GUCI campers take home with them on closing day:
Cleaning and Organizational Skills Every camper makes their bed, organizes their belongings, and helps their peers clean the cabin daily. All cabins participate in chore charts with tasks ranging from holding the dustpan for their friend sweeping to getting food from the kitchen at the start of meals. The allure of The Golden Broom Award pushes the kids to do their part and more, working together toward a common goal.
Teamwork GUCI kids encourage each other climbing the Migdal and Etgar, reading their service part in front of camp, while playing sports, and watching Project. Counselors and peers both directly and inadvertently teach healthy competition and being a team player by demonstrating passing in soccer during sports rotations and leaving their colors behind when coming into the cabin during Yom Sport.
Confidence Coming to camp for the first time can be daunting, especially for younger children. This kind of discomfort yields growth in many forms: the courage to walk up to a fellow camper and initiate conversation, the self-security to attend a chug they wouldn’t normally try, pushing through stage fright to deliver a hilarious joke during “The Gravy Song.”
Inclusion A myriad of individuals from various backgrounds interlace to create the GUCI community; this diversity instills a great sense of pride. Campers have activities with those both in and out of their cabin and unit. They will make friends from various socioeconomic circles, ethnic backgrounds, ability levels, and ideas and practices of Judaism. Polar opposite cabin mates will double over laughing at each other’s jokes. A couple Gezah campers will approach a Garin girl sitting out of song session and invite her to join them.
While these important lessons are masked by gaga games and bunk night, the skills learned through them are monumental. Discussing and debating Jewish ideas in sicha groups during shiur teaches how to articulate complex ideas and calmly defend opinions to others. When college rolls around former sleepaway campers usually experience an easier adjustment and substantially less homesickness than their non-camper counterparts. The interpersonal skills learned from putting down tablets and phones for a month are unparalleled and becoming more important with every iOS update. Sending a child to GUCI ensures a summer of fun and lasting memories. Sending a child to GUCI ensures a well-rounded, compassionate, and independent life.