Originally from Munster, Indiana, this is David’s fifth summer at camp and second summer on staff. Though the age of a third year counselor, David spent last summer in boot camp for the U.S. Marine Reserves. His first summer on staff was as a Machon counselor in 2012, and he’s extremely enthusiastic about his role this summer as an Atzmayim Job Coach. He’s been enjoying getting to know and spend a great deal of time in and outside of camp with the Tikvah Vocational Program participants. What are you most excited for this summer?
I’m most excited about the progress I’ve seen already in the Atzmayim participants, and how many opportunities they have for success here.
What do you see as your role as an Atzmayim Job Coach this summer?
My role is 90% supervising—the participants plan almost all of their own events and my job is to facilitate their meetings and planning. The other 10% is to support them at the job site and in day-to-day life at camp.
Why did you decide to return to camp this summer?
I chose to come back to camp because it seemed like life was moving really really quickly, and Ramah is the place to move a bit more slowly and get your head back on straight.
What’s your favorite part of your job so far?
My favorite part is definitely just day-to-day interactions with the participants. There’s never a dull moment and they’re always making me laugh.
What is your favorite place in camp?
I would have to say that it’s the Machon Point. It’s the best view and the perfect place to just sit and think.
What was your favorite summer at camp?
My favorite summer was definitely my Nivo summer. For me, it was when every aspect of my life did a complete 180. Ever since my Nivo summer, I think I’m a better person and look at things in a different light.
Share one story from your time as a camper.
I think it was in Nivo summer when somebody in our aidah was leaving right before our Nivo-Machon softball game. We all made and wore armbands with our friend’s name on it who had left. I think that really epitomizes the relationships people build here.
What do you do during the year?
I’m a student at Wabash College majoring in Political Science, and I’m a member of the U.S. Marine Reserves.
What does it mean to be in the Marine Reserves?
It means that you’re willing to do what’s right no matter who’s looking and whether it’s the hard or easy thing to do. I’m an infantry rifleman, which means we’re the combat guys. I train every month—and for an extended period in the summers—with my unit; we’re always capable of being called overseas if need be.
Why did you decide to join the reserves?
There are a million reasons, but the one that kept me most committed was that people always told me that based on my living situation and my family, that I didn’t need to be in the military. I wanted to join so that other people who normally may need to join could keep their choice to join the military.
What does camp mean to you?
Camp to me is a home. It’s somewhere you can always come back to no matter how far the world takes you or how much it changes you.