“Awesome Starts Today.” This slogan is prominently displayed on the back of the Gesher staff t-shirts and is a daily reminder that “awesomeness” is a state of being, a conscious choice. As William Shakespeare famously wrote, “to be or not to be, that is the question.” Clearly he was anticipating Gesher Summer Camp when he penned this iconic line.
My restless mind jarred me awake at 3:45 a.m. with that rare clarity we only experience when we come out of a deep REM slumber in the middle of the night. As I lay in bed, previewing the following morning, one thought kept replaying in my mind: How can we take this concept of awesomeness and make Gesher even greater?
As I continued to toss, turn and wrestle with sleep, I struggled for an answer to this question. Suddenly, it came to me. The campers! They are the key. Not only are they the whole reason that we do what we do, but they are the true experts on “awesomeness.” So, Monday morning I went to camp with a singular purpose in mind—to discover what makes Gesher so rewarding in the eyes of our campers. Here are a few things they came up with:
“Every day is a new day at Gesher, where you have the chance to meet new people and make new friends.”
“Every day at Gesher is a special day with a different theme.”
“Every year I look forward to all of the new activities.”
“I love having fun every day with my counselors.”
“…I am really excited for the chugim (choice activities).”
“Why is Gesher so awesome? I guess it’s because you are only a kid once!”
One 10-year-old camper said, “Everything about Gesher is awesome. There is not one single thing I can choose and that is why I come back every year.”
Now that the campers have identified for us some of the ways in which they enjoy camp, it is our mission to improve upon these first impressions and expectations to find more ways to make them even more “awesome.”
By Scott Lantzman, Director