Blog  How Strangers Become Cabinmates

How Strangers Become Cabinmates

By Max Frankel, URJ GUCI Counselor

As a first year counselor, I am thrilled to begin my newest venture at GUCI where I started my original venture- in Garin, Cabin 11. I came into camp knowing one person, which seemed daunting to me as well as to my parents I’m sure. My counselors did for me what I will do for my campers arriving tomorrow, greet them with a shining smile and welcome them to the best summer of their lives. Tomorrow morning I am going to have 15 boys ranging in age from 7-9 walk into our cabin with a whirlwind of emotions in tow. From the minute the boys enter the cabin, we begin to form relationships with the camper as well as to link campers together in mutual interests. Once all out campers have arrived, we start by using ice breakers to make them feel comfortable with us as well as with the other campers.

I understand completely that some kids grow and mature at differing paces so me to expect that all campers are going to become complete best friends with each other is mildly unrealistic, but we work to ensure that the kids feel comfortable and safe with each other first and foremost, and then we work on creating the lasting friendships. Garin was the year I came in with the most insecurities and worries, so campers who experience these feelings will be assured that they aren’t abnormal or unique for having these feelings, as I have had them and so have numerous other campers in GUCI.

As I begin my first session as a counselor, I will work to ensure that when my 15 campers enter the door tomorrow morning, they will end up having the summer of their lives, making lasting friendships, and will want to come back next summer.