Camp YavnehCamp Yavneh
October 08, 2021

Kol Yavneh: Ari Kwitkin-Close (K’16)

Author - Camp Yavneh

When I think of the phrase: “full circle” I think of Camp Yavneh. Nothing better explains the magic and beauty of Yavneh more than those two words.

In my eyes, what makes Yavneh so special is the fact that people are there for life. This past summer was year 12 for me and I had the privilege of being rosh sport as well as a counselor for Ma’alot. While every year on staff has been amazing, this past one was a bit more special. To gain an understanding of why, we are going to jump back to 2016 when I was in my Kerem summer. While in Kerem, you get assigned a bunk to watch over and be responsible for a couple times every week with one or two of your bunkmates. It is a great way to give Kerem a chance to get some leadership experience while also forming friendships with campers in younger aydot (groups). The two bunks I got to work with were in younger Kfirim (now known as Gefen) and Leviim. The campers that I had in Leviim were first year counselors this summer and I was able to watch them grow into leaders and amazing counselors throughout the summer. There is truly no other place like that. On top of that, the other bunk of campers I worked with when I was in Kerem were the Kerem campers this summer. If you think that is cool wait until this next piece…

As a Ma’alot counselor, a big thing on our minds this summer was Ma’alot and Gurim buddies. This is a program in which a Ma’alot camper is paired with a Gurim camper and the idea is that the camper in Ma’alot can be a mentor figure and a friendship can be formed. When I was in Ma’alot, I was paired with a Gurim camper and we clicked quickly. We would catch up every so often throughout the school year and always say hi to each other at camp. This summer he was in Kerem and the Kerem member who was assigned to the bunk that I was a counselor for happened to be him. It was nothing short of magical to watch a person who I had grown up with truly step up and be an amazing leader.

While this experience may sound amazing, it is the status quo at Camp Yavneh. Anyone you speak to who has been around camp long enough will have a very similar story and each one will make you realize the same thing: there is truly no place like Yavneh.