The Miracle That I Call Camp

Marti Kogan, finished her fourth summer at camp. This year she will be in the Oldest Bunk on Girls Side. Along with her four siblings we are so grateful to have Marti a part of the Perlman community.

By Marti Kogan

The initial bus ride to camp was terrifying because I didn’t know what this place I would be living in would look like. I didn’t know what these girls I would be living with would be like. I didn’t know if I would like all these variables over which I had no control. Countless thoughts and pictures ran through my head as we bumped over road after road. As the bus ride went on I felt more homesick, but that would soon go away. When the bus got close to all the geographical features that would lead me to a place I’d soon come call home, the bus started to get louder and rowdier. Everyone started to scream, but I was quiet because I was still new to the Perlman family. The bus engine started to push its way up this big hill; eventually, we reached the top and I could see the gates. I took in the sign which showed me I was finally here and my heart fluttered. Someone came onto the bus to get us even more excited than we had been before. When I was taken onto Doug’s field and I saw my bunkmates and counselors, I knew this would be an experience like no other.

These strangers who I had just met were so nice and welcoming. I was astounded that I was away from my parents and that this was going to be the place that I would be living in for eight entire weeks. After meeting everyone we went to lunch and once again I was overwhelmed by the welcoming atmosphere. Little did I know that these girls would be my sisters forever, that they would be there for me even when the times got hard and when snow came falling down, even when we can’t physically be in front of each other. When we went to the bunk for the first time and I started to bring my huge duffel bags into the bunk, I started to reach out to other girls. At first, I didn’t know that I would be disconnected from the world: I soon learned that. We had opening ceremony that night after unpacking, showering and dinner. We sang songs that I learned fairly quickly. People started a campfire and we roasted marshmallows and kept singing songs and bonding. This was the start of a life-long connection.

There are too many incredible features of camp to list.There is the bonding of everyone no matter the age. The various activities and programs that change every night and year. Camp-wide get togethers, outings and activities. College day, which is color war, but with four teams that are the final four teams for college basketball. Camp trips where you go on an adventure outside of camp for a whole day. Of course then there is, Maccabiah which means color war in Hebrew. The best four days at camp which are so much fun and so tiring. It lasts for four days and everyone is so into everything for these four days. You can’t forget about the amazing skies at night and the amazing lake we have. When you take a moment at camp to just take a look around you and take in where you are, it makes you feel part of another community. You are never alone at camp there is always someone there for you and around you. When camp celebrates every year you come to camp. They call each name one by one even though it seems embarrassing it makes you feel wanted and proud.  This is the miracle that is camp. From the little moments between campers to the gigantic campus-wide events, the atmosphere that exists at Perlman is like no other. At camp, miracles happen every single day. It is for these miracles, big and small, that I am eternally grateful. These are the reasons why I am a returning camper hitting my 5th summer with the Perlman family.