Growth – צמיחה
The lesson that keeps on giving
by Lauren Scott
Why do I continually choose to return to camp? I wrestled with this question throughout college whenever I was asked how I’d be spending my summer. While my peers sought out more “academic” pursuits, I spent at least part of every summer at camp. People may have questioned my choice, but as I reflect on the four core pillars of Ramah, growth is what brought me back year after year.
From a literal standpoint, Camp Ramah is where I have grown up. I have spent at least part of every summer at a Ramah camp since I was six. My camp friends have known me longer than the majority of people in my life. Camp was the most consistent aspect of my childhood and adolescent years and returning every summer felt like coming home.
Between the transitions of graduating high school, a year in Israel on Nativ, and beginning my undergrad experience, the consistency of camp gave me something familiar to look forward to. Camp is a safe space, somewhere where I know who I am and how I fit into this community. It is a place that encouraged me to grow and adapt between these different chapters of my life.
Each summer offered me new challenges and taught me new lessons. With each new role I took on more responsibility, pushed myself creatively, and felt more challenged than ever before. Those experiences gave me more life skills than any internship I could have had. They also gave me professional skills that can be applied across multiple settings.
As a cabin counselor I learned how to turn an idea into a full day of engaging programs. As a rosh eidah (Division Head) I’ve learned how to balance being a leader with addressing the needs of my staff and my campers. In every single one of my medical school applications I have referenced the life skills I have gained from camp – the importance of being a dugmah (role model), confidence in my capacity to lead, and the ability to stay organized when leading a large group, .
Ramah is about finding yourself, finding your strengths and finding your community. Taking the lessons I have learned from my camp experiences and being able to apply them to my life outside Ramah – that is the real growth. It is a lesson that keeps on giving, and this summer I hope to help others find their own.
Lauren Scott is a senior at Brandeis University where she majors in Health; Science, Society, and Policy and minors in Judaic Studies and Psychology. This will be her 12th summer at camp and second as a Rosh Eidah.