Over the summer I attended CLTC 1, 2022. The 12 days I was there truly gave me the best memories in BBYO so far. Here is a list of some of the reasons I loved it so much. While it’s a top ten list, they are in no specific order.
#1 Meeting New People from Across the International/Grand Order
While this may seem like the common response to why people loved it, it’s the most realistic answer. While CLTC ended in June and it’s now October, I still talk to many of my friends on a daily basis, even if time differences sometimes make it harder to communicate timely.
#2 Getting Closer with People From My Own Region
Coming from a smaller region, I thought I wanted to go to CLTC alone, not knowing anyone. This didn’t work out and I ended up going with 2 girls who are on chapter board with me. One of our regional staff members was also on the Leadership team for our session. It was very helpful to have people I knew at CLTC and come in previously knowing people and traveling with them.
While spending almost two weeks living with roughly 14 other girls, we spent a lot of our time laughing with each other. Some of the conversations we had were unforgettable memories that will stick with me forever.
#4 A New Wardrobe
After having senior lives in 2021 & 2022, I have obtained a full selection of BBYO merch. Advice from older members in my region was to bring as much as you can to CLTC to trade. I brought a ton and traded with my friends for almost anything you could think of. This included: T-shirts, Long-Sleeves, Sweatshirts, Sweatpants, Jerseys, and more. And I do constantly wear them.
#5 Comparison to Other Chapters/Regions
While at CLTC, we did many activities where we talked about our home chapters/regions. We talked with people who have similar & different situations. We shared our strengths and weaknesses and gave others strategies which were helpful ideas to bring back home.
#6 Leadership Opportunities
At CLTC, almost everything can be turned into a leadership opportunity, from being chapter of the day, to committees, to cabin arguments and everything in between. CLTC was a judgement free zone, where I felt comfortable in trying new things, including using my leadership skills. After helping plan and lead certain experiences, we were given feedback and strategies of how to best approach groups of people and how to have people listen to what you are saying.
#7 Having My Phone While At Summer Camp
Going into CLTC I had mixed emotions about having my phone. Yes, it was weird to have my phone with me, and at some times I was glued to it more than I would’ve liked. The spotty internet helped me stay off my phone and in the moment but allowed me to take pictures & videos periodically. Looking back I have hundreds of photos separate from what was posted from the photograph. My camera roll and Snapchat memories captured so much that happened as a way to preserve the memories for as long as possible.
#8 The Camp is a Circle
On the first day we were given a light tour of the camp. With it being a new and unfamiliar place it was hard to remember where everything was. The most important thing we were told is, “Everything is a Circle, just follow the main path that curves and eventually you’ll find something you recognize”.
#9 Mock Chapters
Mock Chapter meetings were a time of day where it felt like we had a lot of downtime and fun but at the same time were learning important leadership skills and discussing things related to our home chapters/regions. One goal my mock chapter had specifically was to sit next to someone new one night at dinner, if everyone participated in this, we all would be rewarded. While this helped us reach out to make new friends at CLTC, this skill can also be applied in our home chapters/regions to meet new people, and in our everyday lives.
#10 Disposable Cameras
While I said this list wasn’t in any order, my disposable camera was my absolute favorite thing that came out of CLTC. I was inducted into my chapter in 2020. The program was themed something relating to capturing memories through pictures. We were all given disposable cameras, and when CLTC rolled around I still hadn’t touched it. After getting the pictures developed back home, I looked at some and couldn’t even remember when they were taken. This shows how important pictures are and how well they capture memories. They preserved some of my favorite things that I couldn’t even remember on my own without being prompted. I can’t even describe how much I love the outcome of the photos I took.
Rachel Wolf is a BBG living in Cleveland and she plays softball and loves to hangout with her friends.
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.
NTO’s Michael Balis shines as an active member of his Jewish community as well as a starter on his high school football team.
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