My name is Andrew Shaffran and Camp Towanda has been the place I call home for the past 8 summers.
I still remember sitting on my bed during rest hour on my first day of camp as a Jet. I sat there crying hysterically and refusing to leave the bunk. My counselors had to send the rest of my bunkmates to the afternoon activities without me. It wasn’t until I was offered to either join my group at the activity or have a little meeting with Bob that I finally stood up and let myself begin enjoying camp. I never would have thought that the day would come where I would be a Club boy standing at the front of the field house, reading my sermon, and never wanting the summer to end.
Camp is unique in that there are very few places where you live under the same roof as 23 other kids—kids that quickly go from strangers to best friends and best friends to one brotherhood. Without Camp Towanda, I would be a very different person than I am today. I used to think everyone was crazy when they said that our age group would become best friends by our Club year, but now that I have finally gotten here, I couldn’t agree more. I would like to thank my Club brothers for being by my side summer after summer and for never failing to make me laugh.
Camp has given me an opportunity to become close with people I wouldn’t have necessarily gotten the chance to elsewhere. Now, these same people are some of the most important in my life.
When I was growing up I was extremely shy and never wanted to put myself out there. But camp has encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone. Camp Towanda has made me a better person and I will always be thankful for that.
Lastly, I want to say to all of the Jets and Debs sitting in the front row, even though Club and Dorm summer may seem so far away—be yourself and cherish every moment here because it will be over before you know it.
Thank you and Shabbat Shalom.