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Fun Takes Work

Rachel Bachrach

They come from cities two hours away and countries twelve hours away. They work as directors, cooks, nurses, and lifeguards. And when the summer is over, they go back to their homes, their jobs, and their daily routines. Meet the women who make camp possible.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Shavy Berger of Brooklyn, New York, first went to sleepaway camp when she was in fifth grade. She had been spending the summer with her family in a bungalow colony, but then she spent a Shabbos at a camp where they knew the director. On Motzaei Shabbos, she called “home” to her bungalow. Crying a little, Shavy asked her mother to pack up her stuff and send it over.

“I miss you, but I want to stay in camp,” she told her mother. “It’s a lot of fun!”

Fast-forward forty-six years. Mrs. Shavy Gross is now the head counselor at Camp Hedvah in Liberty, New York, the same place she had been a camper. And a waitress. And a junior counselor, a singing head, a scenery worker, a head counselor … and the list goes on. She has been at Hedvah, in her words, for “umpteen years.” It’s had its ups and its downs, but she really loves the experience.

Mrs. Gross is not alone. Year in, year out, countless women leave home for summer camp. They come from cities two hours away and countries twelve hours away. They work as directors, cooks, nurses, and lifeguards, to name a few. And when the summer is over, they go back to their homes, their jobs, and their daily routines.

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