Josh Kaufman is a Junior in High School. He was a Pio of 2016 and will be a SIT of 2017. Josh, his siblings and his dad all have grown up at Perlman!

Why am I Thankful for Perlman Camp?

By Josh Kaufman

At this point, I am more than just thankful for camp. Having spent some amount of time every single summer at camp, whether it was as a staff kid in bunk zero, or as an actual camper. Each and every moment at Perlman has been and still is a blessing. Camp has given me so much in this time, that saying that I am thankful for camp is a woeful understatement. In summer 2017, I will be a SIT, and, of course, I am counting down the days until June 25, 2017.

My family has been deeply rooted in camp since the 70’s when my dad was a camper and he then went on to become a staff member. His love for camp is what led my sister, my brother, and then myself there.

I can confidently say that the only thing Dr. Andy Kaufman loves more than camp is his wife, and even that is a close call. My dad’s thriving passion clearly flows through my entire family’s veins, as we all have our most fond memories and happiest times at BBPC.

Since my dad could never stay away from camp for a single summer, he eventually became one of the camp doctors. He first did this in 1997, before I was even born. Once I eventually came around, I too could not spend a summer away from camp; at first this was obviously involuntary, but, as soon as I could walk, going back to this special place in the middle of nowhere became a necessity.

There is so much to learn at camp. How many people have you met that did not go to a camp know how to put on a harness, light a fire, hop the entire dining hall, and know all of the proper table banging queues while singing the Birkat? It is pretty much a guarantee that the only people you know who can do all four of those not only go a summer camp, but they go to B’nai B’rith Perlman.

In addition to the more obvious skills that camp has given me, camp has also given me social skills. Being stuck on 400 beautiful acres in the Pocono Mountains with the same 250 people every summer teaches you to be amiable and comfortable with everything.

When around people who do not grow up at camp, I notice very small things in these people’s reactions that would not phase a Perlmanite. For example, after spending summers at camp, there is a certain comfort level that camp teaches us to have while interacting with others, such as confronting others when necessary.

Camp, altogether, is a magical place, even more so than Disney World. Anyone can understand Disney World, but only a special few can understand camp, why it is so important, and what makes it so special. It is impossible to explain to “outsiders” why it is ritualistic to get covered in mud and then jump into the lake on Mud Day or to sing in front of all of camp during Putting on the Hits. None of those “outsiders” will ever understand why being a Maccabiah captain is a big deal. They just do not get it, and we don’t expect them to.

If I wrote all of this and then continued to say that I do not live “10 for 2,” you have every right to call me a liar. Camp for both many others and myself is genuinely our second home. Camp is the home many of us would prefer to be at.

I am so thankful for all that spending my summers at Perlman have given, including family memories in the doctor’s bunk with my dad, any of my years as a camper, my entire Pio summer, the lifelong friends I now have, and all that has yet to happen.

Thank you Perlman Camp, I am thankful for you.