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By Sarah Silver, URJ GUCI Camper

Home is usually defined as the comfortable place where you feel at peace, often your house. Although this is true, it is not what I personally think of when someone asks me to define the word. My definition is Goldman Union Camp Institute. my home away from home. A home is a safe place where someone feels comfortable to be their true self. Camp brings out the real me, the version of myself I am proud of. Over the past few summers I have learned what it means to be b’tzelem elohim, made in the image of God. My counselors have taught me important Jewish values that I can apply to my every day life. My friends have shown me what true trust is and how important that is to a friendship.

Relationships at camp are so different from those at home. After all, spending an entire month with your best friends tends to create special bonds. Counselors become the older sisters I never had and friends become family. The connections at this incredible place are beautiful and the ties formed between friends are unbreakable. Throughout the year I find times when my friends and I can get together, always counting down the days until we are together in Zionsville again. I can’t imagine my life without all of these incredible people, everything they do has molded me into the person I am today.

GUCI not only offers opportunities in camp, but it also offers so many opportunities for further Jewish learning in the real world. Jewish youth groups like NFTY and others are largely represented at camp and our counselors tell us their experiences they used to have.

Camp is such a magical place, I am so lucky to be able to come to my home away from home each summer.