Reflections from the Shores: Featuring our CITs (Part #2)

Kawaga Family,

As I hope you read yesterday,  our CITs enjoyed a special, week-long canoe trip into the beautiful wilderness known as the Boundary Waters. It’s an annual coming-of-age experience for these boys in their final year as campers, shaping them for their future at camp and in life.

We asked several CITs to give us a single word that summed up their experience, along with a highlight and a lesson.

We also asked a couple of staff members to chime in.

Here’s Part 2…

Be Kawaga,


CIT: Benny Taxman

One Word: Breathtaking

Highlight: Arriving at our campsite every night and reviewing all of the hard work we put in that day.

Lesson: I learned about the bond that my fellow CITs and I share. Everyone looked out for each other and cared about each other.


CIT: Andrew Herman

One Word: Determination

Highlight: Sitting on the beach with my group, watching the sunset/moonrise, after a full day of canoeing, playing the “association game” and chilling with my group.

Lesson: Appreciate the little things. Be able to work with others to complete tasks. Lots of hard work leads to a great reward. Support each other.


CIT: Jay Adams

One Word: Rewarding

Highlight: Seeing the other group while trying to find a campsite and instantly start “rage” paddling to see them.

Lesson: I learned to appreciate things that I would otherwise take for granted, I also learned about the unity and love our CIT group has for each other.


CIT: Jacob Nitsun

One Word: Surreal

Highlight: When we were looking for a campsite during a windy and gloomy day, we were bickering and really not getting along, but we stopped at the side to gather our thoughts and just ended up laughing. It was a complete 180 in mood and forgot everything bad that had happened and came together instead.

Lesson: I learned the true importance of teamwork and how acting as a whole is essential to success.


CIT: Noah Herzog

One Word: Incredible

Highlight: Talking around the campfire after working and grinding all day then getting into great conversations.

Lesson: I learned that canoeing is much easier when you work together as a group and communicate while doing it.


CIT: Bradley Gottlieb

One Word: Perseverance

Highlight: After we found our campsite, we set up camp and ate dinner. After dinner, we got back in the canoes and watched the sunset. It was the most beautiful sunset I’ve ever seen.

Lesson: I learned that hard work really does pay off. After a hard day of canoeing, we got to relax and banter.


CIT: David Leshem

One Word: Breathtaking

Highlight: One day we had to get out of the water because we heard thunder. After an hour of waiting, we decided to get back on the water and push towards our goal. That night we had a great time sleeping on a campsite in Canada.

Lesson: I learned how close and cohesive out CIT age group is. After a week when we were divided in two groups, we were all super excited to see each other.


CIT: Reid Steinmetz

One Word: Eye-opening

Highlight: Watching the sunrise and sunset with the boys and seeing how close we are with each other.

Lesson:  How to keep a good/positive attitude no matter what.


Counselor: Zach Cohen

Having the opportunity to go on Boundaries for a second time was amazing. My first trip was as a 16-year-old CIT, surrounded by my best friends, without a care in the world! During this trip, I was a counselor — responsible for the safety and overall experience of the campers. For example, instead of sitting in a canoe trying to guess the time based on the sun’s location, I needed to closely track our location and progress, to not only keep everybody safe, but ultimately delivering on giving our CITs the trip of a lifetime and memories to last forever.

I learned that as a counselor this trip is so much more than bringing a group of boys even closer together and learning great leadership/teamwork skills. It is a real opportunity to make a lasting impact on a camper’s life, providing them with the insight they may need to be a responsible, great staffman (and person in general). And most importantly, leading this trip allowed me to show our CITs what it truly means to be a Kawaga Brave.

Because at the heart of the Brave is Kawaga, and at the heart of Kawaga is the Brave.

Thank you, Ty, for an unreal opportunity and for all the memories that will last a lifetime.