Kol HaTnua - Voice of the Movement Summer 2018: Yozma at Sprout Lake by Yael Asofsky

By Sharon Schoenfeld

Yozma. I still quite honestly have no idea if anyone knows what the word means. Trust me, I googled it and everything. But I have a pretty good idea of what it looks like.

Who can count the days they hugged a camper close as they wept their worries away? Who can count the amount of laughs erupting from the bunk when somebody wore underwear on their head or attempted an Israeli accent? Having experienced all of these moments as a camper was one thing, but to watch other kids have them under your facilitation is the most rewarding form of hard work. From planning activities for the kids to telling them slightly-embellished stories, the look on their faces while they watch their counselor in amazement is more valuable than any tangible currency.

Yozma definitely presented its challenges, but each one was met with a reward. For example, I had the challenge of filling a surprise hour without starting every sentence with the infamous, “let’s play a game”. It can be so intimidating to view yourself as responsible for the summers of these kids, but Sprout Lake is Sprout Lake and they’ll have fun no matter what. The only thing anyone needs at Sprout is a sense of belonging, and at a place like this, nobody needs to ask to fit in.

I look back on Yozma as one of the biggest growth experiences of my life. It was the first time I was really put in a position of responsibility for other people, and every last moment was intense and pressured. However, the pressure was met with stellar rewards; it is safe to say making a kid smile is sweeter than any apple turnover!

~ Yael Asofsky is a 12th grader from Charlotte, North Carolina

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