Last year was my first year in BBYO. I was so apprehensive about joining because I was afraid of talking to people and branching out, but I joined anyway. At first, it wasn’t what I was expecting. Everyone was so nice, but I wasn’t that active because I barely knew anyone. Fast forward to spring term, I branched out a little bit more and found a few friends in my chapter, I even decided to run for my chapter board and was elected Sh’licha for the Fall term of 2022.
Throughout my time last spring, I learned more about BBYO and heard about summer programs. A girl in my chapter told me she was going to something called Camp BBYO, and I decided to sign up because at least I’d know someone.
What I didn’t know was how much it was going actually changed my life.
The day before the session began I was frantically texting my mom telling her how much I didn’t want to go and was so stressed that I thought I would want to go home. But she knew I would have the time of my life, so no matter how much I persisted, she forced me to get in that car the next day to drive to the airport.
We got to the airport and my three friends and I, who all decided to go together, were sticking together in a small group, scared of talking to people. It was that moment when I first discovered that I should branch out more. I thought to myself, It’s only 10 days, who knows what could happen. Before we even got on the bus to head to the campground, we already made friends with half the people there. By the night we got there, our entire bunk became so tight-knit and comfortable with each other.
Looking back on my time at Camp BBYO, I realize how much it changed me as a person. Even after I got back I had people I was barely even friends with telling me how much more outgoing I became, as well as regionally/internationally active. At regional events now, I’m always talking to someone, and I find myself making friends with new people almost every time. It was such a big change for me and it made me a better person than I could’ve thought.
With summer program sign-ups beginning to release again, the excitement is building up knowing I’ll be able to go back to the camp where I had made some of the best memories, and getting ready to make future ones too.
If Camp BBYO taught me anything, it was to not hide away and be comfortable with being myself. Once I learned that, I had no problem talking to people. I learned that you should always say hi to people and branch out, even when you’re afraid; the worst thing a person could do is ignore you, and even then, is that really a big deal? My entire mindset changed after attending Camp BBYO, and I’m forever grateful for the memories that I made there, and for the ones to come.
Sarah Begun is a BBG living in Cherry Hill, New Jersey who plays bass guitar, and lacrosse.
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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