What if we could screen campers in order to accept only kind kids into our special community? Since that’s impossible (in 2021 anyway), our team strives to create a culture of respect: to be thankful, to care about each other, and to accept everyone as they are. A member of our community who lacks kindness will have trouble fitting in, part of why it’s hard to find an atmosphere quite like ours outside of camp.
I was reminded of the subject of kindness when the CYJ family recently lost a loved one far too soon. Everyone knew Jodi Braham to be witty and fun but more than that, she was kind, making everyone comfortable and feel welcome. In Young Judaea, we speak about dugma ishit (a personal example). The countless stories about Jodi have reminded me that no one set a better example of kindness than her, and I am committed to model that same level of kindness to our staff and campers.
When you appreciate others, kindness follows, which is something that we will be sure to teach our campers. I would like to thank the year-round staff of CYJ for partnering with me on this crazy roller coaster ride to an amazing and fun summer: Johnathen Abram, Matthew Bohannon, Brad Campbell, Lauren Laderman, Dane Nighswander, Danny Ross, Ali Septimus, Heather Taylor, Iris Toth, and Sam Wallace, I appreciate your dedication and your flexibility to make Summer 2021 an experience that no one will forget.
Don’t forget to pack your smile and kindness. I know I won’t.
See you soon,
Frank H. Silberlicht, Camp Director