Kol HaTnua - Voice of the Movement Summer 2018: Hadracha Plus by Zoe Jurmann
By Year Round Programs
H+ was a very interesting experience for me . . . to say the least. I had heard from the people who did it before me that it is a very draining and challenging experience, but still an all around rewarding and amazing month. For me, H+, or Hadracha Plus, was one of the toughest months of my life that I will always be grateful for. The month started out with daily themed leadership training sessions such as child development, or the leadership hierarchy in camp.
Everyday was filled with discussions, fun activities and special guests from around camp. Every night we would come together in the Gazebo and spend 15 minutes journaling about what we learned that day and how we can use it to our advantage or how it made us feel. Knowing that we had such a huge impact on shaping campers lives was kind of scary at first. We were scared of messing up, or saying the wrong thing at the wrong time; in time we learned that when it truly comes down to helping campers, the training really prepared us and helped us.
The amount of self discovery and self reflection that we did took a toll of me at first. Because there were only nine of us in the program, it felt as though the spotlight was always on us. But in reality, because we were such a small group, we were stronger than ever. Knowing that there were eight other people who were going through the same experience as me, who had their own struggles, experiences and takeaways made me feel closer to my friends and to the program as a whole. When the third week came, we were spending every minute of every day with our campers, except our hour off of course.
I loved my campers so much. Because they were 11-12, they were a little bit more mature and easier to talk to then some of the other campers. I bonded almost instantly with most of my 12 girls, others took a little more time, but by the end of camp I was very close with all of them. Watching my co’s in action, and spending almost two and a half weeks learning, training, and discovering who I am helped me feel closer to the place where I spent my summers growing up. It helped me learn just how much each and every child is cared for and the impact that we have as madrichim and as influential teens. Although it was one of the most mentally challenging and toughest experience of my life, it was also one of the best and one that I will be forever grateful for.
~ Zoe is an 11th grader from Woodbury, New York and is the Pirsum (social media and communications) programmer for the LI NYC Mazkirut (Teen board).