By Ethan Stone, Former URJ GUCI Camper and Counselor
When people say that GUCI is a place where you will make friends for life, they really mean it. It’s incredible to me that I almost never see my camp friends, but they’re still some of the most important people in my life. They were all incredibly vital to my childhood and helped me grow into the person I am today. I am so fortunate to have been surrounded by so many powerful influences throughout my time as a camper and a counselor, and you don’t even have to go through eleven years of camp like I have to see what that looks like.
I started camp in the summer of 2006. As a first-year Shoresh camper I was originally shy and reserved. That is until I met someone named Rayne who became my best friend that summer. We had so much fun and grew incredibly close. After that first summer however, I never saw her again. Unfortunately she switched sessions and then stopped coming to camp.
Fast forward to this summer – it is my first summer away from GUCI in eleven years and I’m getting ready for an internship in Washington D.C. I’m flying out a day early because the flight was cheaper, and I needed to find a place to sleep that first night, so I reached out for a place to stay on Facebook. Rayne, who I have not seen since we were campers, is now living in D.C. and offered to give me a place to stay. It is experiences like this that I think demonstrate how your GUCI friends will always have your back and will always support you, even after so long.