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The Circle of Camp – Liza Goldstone

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The Circle of Camp – Liza Goldstone

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Liza Goldstone is a 3rd Generation Towanda-er; her parents met at Towanda; Stacy Glass and Jayson (1978-86); and her Grandmother, Dale Sokoloff, attended in the 1950s and 60s and her sister, Ava, attended 6 summers too. Liza just completed her 9th summer at Camp Towanda as a DORM GIRL and eloquently presented this sermon during the summer.

The world is made up of many shapes — squares, triangles, rectangles.  Here at Camp Towanda, circles can be found prominently. A circle symbolizes unity, wholeness, and continuation.

As we step off the busses on the first day of camp, we enter the circular camp “bubble” and environment — a place that promotes individuality and independence as well as teamwork and friendship.  Inside of this camp bubble, we are offered so many incredible opportunities and it is so important to take advantage of all of them.

Both Girl’s and Boy’s campuses are laid out in a circular shape without corners.  Coincidentally, my favorite place on camp, The Grove, is also arranged in a circle.  Ever since my first summer, I have loved sitting in The Grove to read and write letters and to also appreciate the sights and sounds of camp. This is also a place where groups come together whether it be before intercamp games or during freeplay.

There is even an “o” in the word “Dorm” that represents the circle of sisterhood and oneness that Dorm girls achieve during their final summer as campers as well as all of the summers leading up to it.

Many aspects and activities at camp have molded me into the person I am today. Through participating in camp plays, I have gained the confidence to truly be myself. Also, because we switch up bunks every summer, our circle changes its order and new friendships are encouraged.

Another one of the many valuable skills I learned at camp is the importance of challenging myself, always remembering that I have the support of my 17 Dorm sisters and 17 Club brothers. At the beginning of the summer, I looked up at the O & A Giant’s Ladder and thought “how could anyone get to the top of that?”  But, I recently challenged myself and, even though I was very scared, made it up each step alongside one of my Dorm sisters using trust and teamwork. When I eventually stood on the top, I looked down at the sea of smiling faces below me and realized that I can accomplish what I set my mind to with help from my circle of friends and family.

So, I challenge each and every one of you to live each day to its fullest potential and to do things that are a bit out of your comfort zone because it is these things that will make you grow.

I am so grateful to Mitch and Stephanie for being my summer Mom and Dad and to Amy, Lisa, Bob, and Michael for always being there with endless support and smiles.

I would also like to take a moment to thank my 34 Dorm sisters and Club brothers for celebrating my happiest moments and for sticking by me with unwavering support when I need you most and being the most important part of my circle.

Whether sitting with our age groups at Sunday night barbeques or gathering around a campfire, the unity and oneness created by the circle of the Dorm and Club as well as those of other age groups encourages new memories to be made and bonds to be strengthened.  And now I’ve come full circle — starting as a shy and quiet Double Deb in 2008 into a confident and excited Dorm girl in 2016.

See you as an LIT in 2017,

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