Friendships My Jewish Sleepaway Camp Has Brought Me

June 3, 2024
Ashley Feder

Torrance, California, United States

Class of 2026

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At the age of eight years old, I went to my first year of sleepaway camp at Jca Shalom. I was excited to brave my first time away from home for a long period of time but was terrified of making friends. To my surprise, I met a girl who shared the same childish interests as me, Sarah. We instantly became inseparable for the whole summer but didn’t have any form of communication outside of camp. 

The year passed by and my excitement for camp grew as I had a friend I was excited to return to. I saw Sarah again and we ran up to each other in a big hug. I hadn’t seen her for a year yet our connection and bond still stayed the same. The following year we finally got phones and exchanged socials and numbers so we could stay in touch. Being able to stay in touch outside of camp strengthened and grew our friendship even further.

When quarantine started, to stay in touch with everyone from camp, we would FaceTime almost every day. I spent a lot of my time with Sarah but also to my shock became close with someone I never thought I would become close with, Savannah. Me and Savannah started FaceTimeing all day every day, talking about camp, life, and everything in between. Camp brought us together and was the thing we would talk about most. Over the years, returning to camp and hanging outside of camp has brought my connection and bond with both Sarah and Savannah even closer than I ever thought it would be. They are truly my family and I don’t know what I would do without them. 

I’m eternally grateful for the connections and friendships that have blossomed because of Camp Jca Shalom. My friendships with Sarah and Savannah have shaped me to be the best version of myself I am today. Because of them, I’m able to have people I can fully be myself around, people to help me better myself, and people who are always there for me no matter the circumstance.  

Ashley Feder is a BBG from Torrance, California, who is Argentinian and a part of the first board as gizborit of a new chapter in PWR called Shemesh!

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.

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