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Olivia Hirshorn: Still Singing Along to the sound of Songleader Boot Camp

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When I first found out I was going to Songleader Boot Camp, I was initially hesitant. All I knew was that I would be attending a five day songleading conference in St. Louis. But when I arrived at Union Station, my perspective changed. I was immediately greeted with warm hellos and hugs from the fellow Springboard teens. This first interaction and fun filled train ride perfectly set the tone for the next five days. Every day, I had the chance to meet a wide range of people, all from diverse backgrounds and interests, who all shared a commonality; a love for music and Judaism. Every day was action packed—filled with seminars, spontaneous jam sessions, and meaningful conversations with individuals. Coming in knowing very few people, I left with  a new best friend and community that became family to me. The most powerful moment of SLBC took place in the Blackbox theater. It was Havdalah and everyone who attended the conference was huddled together, standing in a large circle. With new friends and educators on both sides of me, I felt like I had found my people. We all sang in harmony, the sounds of many voices coming together as one. This experience and conference not only allowed me the opportunity to form new bonds, it helped me find myself and my true values. Not only am I already planning on attending this amazing experience next year, I am now top 12 in the Jewish Star competition! Stepping into the unknown to attend this conference was the best decision I ever made. I still ride the SLBC high with an uplifted spirit and soul. 

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