Camp Kawaga Blog

Every Saturday we have our traditional Kawaga services. The best part of the service is one of our great Kawaga staff writes a short “sermon” typically focusing on what camp means to them, or something they have learned from their personal camping experience. We will post our staff member’s sermon each week.

Please enjoy first year counselor Jack R’s sermon:

Shabbat Shalom!

My name is Jack R for those of you who don’t know me, this is my 9th year at Camp Kawaga, and my 1st year on staff.  As a camper, I genuinely loved balling up on the Omni, tossing a 16 inch, and playing “King of the Court.” I was able to enjoy these activities without concern of any worry of responsibility.  Today, I’m going to reflect on how different my life has been since becoming a counselor, and how great being a counselor is. I’m able to participate in the same activities I did as a camper, however my entire mindset has changed. Instead of worrying about myself and making sure I have fun every single day at camp, it is now my turn to provide an environment in which campers can enjoy themselves and create lasting memories. My role has completely flipped at camp, and I’ll be honest, it feels weird. That being said, I love being on staff.

Now I’ve only been on staff for one week. In that time, I’ve learned more about how to work other people than I could learn in 10 months at home. You see, on staff, we all work as one giant team. No one person can run camp on their own. But, if one counselor decides to slack off and lose motivation, then camp suffers. This is why responsibility is key at Kawaga. As a counselor, I am responsible for six 12-year-old boys. My job is to ensure that they, along with every other Brave in camp, have the greatest summer of their lives. Taking on this responsibility is a life changing experience for all staff members. Never have I had kids come to me for help. Never have I been in the position to directly influence the minds of young boys in a positive way. For the first time in my life, kids do come to me for help, and I do have a direct influence their lives. I couldn’t be happier about it.

The best part of being a counselor is seeing the results. When I see the senior ball team come together and act like leaders on the field, I am proud. When I hear my Chip/Sioux league team do a huge Hitsu after losing, I am proud. When I see fellow staff putting smiles on kids’ faces, I am proud. There’s nothing better than creating incredible memories for campers. More importantly, there’s nothing better than camp.

My message for all of you is to appreciate your cabin counselors, as well as make the effort to get back on staff when it is time. Your time as a camper is unbelievable, but your time as a staff member is priceless. Give back to camp what it gives to you. Put yourself in the position to create lasting memories for kids, just as those who came before did for you. Return on staff. It is one decision I guarantee you will never regret. Thank you!!!