About the prompt: We asked each Peer Ambassador to share with us a pivotal moment in their Jewish journey, what being a Peer Ambassador means to them personally, and what value speaks to them. Stay tuned over the next few months to hear from all of the Peer Ambassadors.
Check out Alexa's blog post below as she shares about her experience at JCC Camp Chi and how important it is to her to be a great role model for others
This past summer at JCC Camp Chi was my SIT (Staff in Training) Summer, and it was my first summer where I was able to see the staff side of camp. Throughout my summers at camp, my number one priority was having a good time. This is pretty normal for a camper though, as the reason most people come to camp is for great memories and new friends. But, this summer was when I realized there is so much more to camp and it was a pivotal moment in my Jewish Journey.
For 3 weeks of my summer, I was put into different cabins to help out and learn how to be a staff member. My first week with a cabin, I was with Tsofim, or 6th grade. As this was my first week with a cabin, it was my first week ever seeing camp from another perspective. That week was a super influential week to me. There was one girl in particular that made me realize the importance of listening and being there for my campers. She struggled a lot with mental health issues, just as I have in the past. I was able to relate to her and help her through what I thought were just small things. One time, she really needed a bandaid, and she started crying to me that no one was paying attention to her. I found one for her, and told her if she ever needed anything she could come to me. I think this really stuck with her, and on the day she had to go home, she hugged me sobbing and told me I was the best SIT ever. This made me cry as well. It was my first true experience understanding the impact counselors can have on campers. Seeing camp from the other side, I realized how important it is to be there for your campers and give them the best summer possible, so they can have a home away from home through camp. This guided my Jewish journey because I could see first-hand the impact I can have on others through patience, love, and the little moments.
As a Peer Ambassador, I cannot wait to keep helping others and my community through what I learned as a SIT. Being a Peer Ambassador is important to me because I am able to connect others with programs that can also impact their Jewish journey. I cannot wait to give that little push to others, and see the reward of watching them grow into amazing Jewish leaders in our community. Community mindedness is a super important value to me because it creates connectedness in times where people may feel disconnected. By knowing what is needed in our community, we can create a community of understanding, passion, and little (or large) acts of good.
About the Author: Alexa is a junior at Highland Park High School, where she participates in the school soccer team, and uses her love of editing to help with the school news. She is a passionate member of the Camp Chi family, which helped form her Jewish identity and find her passion for bringing together and bettering her community. She uses her passion in Jewish programs such as Chi Town Connection (CTC) and JSC General Board.