The Meaning of Camp: A Staff Perspective

By, Eva Bogomolny

As an eager 4th grader, I stepped on the grounds of Camp Wise for the very first time expecting to stay for one-week as an Echad camper. Within the first 48 hours, I marched up to the Camp Director asking her to call my parents to extend my time and stay for the entire session. Eleven years later, I can say that my initial instinct about camp was nothing less than accurate and it was love at first sight.

My name is Eva Bogomolny and I am currently a Sophomore at The Ohio State University, studying Early Childhood Education. This will be my fourth summer on the Camp Wise staff team and I couldn’t be more excited to be taking on my new role as Noar Programmer.

One night, this past summer, I was on night patrol and the loudest thunderstorm I have ever experienced occurred. Knowing that my 14 year old, 8th graders, were supposed to be going to sleep, I sprinted back to my cabin. When I walked in, my campers were scattered about and concerned, not in any state to be getting ready to go to bed. Knowing that the next day was filled with exciting programming, I quickly thought of the best way to make them feel safe and comfortable despite the storm. Having each camper return to her bed, I began to walk around the cabin and led a guided meditation. During this time, I instructed the girls to think of happy memories from the session thus far and I also challenged each of them to think of how they could not only improve the rest of the session for them, but also for another person in camp. It was a really special moment to spend with my campers, and it was a conversation that we will remember for a long time.

If you haven’t been told already, there is such a thing as the “Magic of Camp Wise.” Each day, I wake up and have the opportunity to make the present day even more fun, fulfilling, and enriching than the last. Each day, I have the opportunity to guide my campers through overcoming their fears and learning new skills, witnessing their growth, and watch as they create beautiful new friendships, encouraging them to become the best that they can be. Each day, I am able to foster a cabin and larger community in which I get to see people fall in love with something I love so much (camp!). While the magic of Camp Wise is hard to make tangible, it surely exists and everyone who drives through the gates will soon feel it too.

Eva is a long time Camp Wise camper and staff member. She is excited to return to camp this  summer as a Village Programmer.