Rachel Slater completed her seventh summer in 2018.
She presented one of our Friday Night sermons.
Rachel is a 3rd generation Towanda-er.
Good evening and Shabbat shalom. I’m Rachel Slater and I am in The Dorm of 2018. Towanda has been a part of my life since before I was born, literally. This is where my parents met and my grandfather went here, too. So, without Towanda, I actually would not exist. So you could say camp is pretty important to me. My brothers started coming here even before I was born, and I see my parents’ names on plaques. So, you can probably see that I’ve been looking forward to this year since, well, forever. As someone who has been coming to camp since 2003, I can now say that 15 years is definitely worth the wait to being in The Dorm. And I know that camp will stay with me beyond this summer, and I’ll become one of those people that come back until they’re 100 years old!
However, I don’t think I will ever have a better summer than this one. Of course, I have a good time over the school year with my family and friends but nothing beats the feeling of stepping off the bus on the first day of camp and feeling accepted and that this is the place you’re supposed to be.
Most of you probably understand this feeling, and if you don’t yet, I promise you that in time, this place will feel like home, your summer home, our summer home!
Whether it’s your first year and you’re homesick, or it’s your fifth and you’re missing your home friends, there are always people here to be supportive and understanding. There are so many counselors here that have helped me and my friends become who we are, and I look up to as role models today.
As I mentioned, I have two older brothers that went to Towanda. But when I was little, I always wanted sisters. Now, I have 21 of them, who will stick with me for the rest of my life. My mom and dad met their best friends at camp who they still talk to today, and I know that my friends and I will follow in their footsteps. The amount of joy that this camp brings me is indescribable, and that’s something I can only share with my 21 sisters. No one else will understand what it’s like to be a part of this age group or better yet, be part of this Dorm. I used to be in the younger age groups and look up to the Dorm Girls, and now I am one of them and I’m so thankful to be a part of something so great.
Camp Towanda allows you to meet people from all around the country, and even the world. Even my home friends know every one of my camp friends because I talk about them so much. We all are one big happy family and this is all because of Towanda. In addition to my 21 sisters, I’m grateful to have 26 new brothers, better known as the Club Boys of 2018. I can’t imagine a summer without my sister and brothers of this camp, and people don’t understand that if they haven’t gone here.
Not everyone gets to experience something as great as Towanda, and we shouldn’t take that for granted. The saying goes that good things take time, but really great things happen in a blink of an eye. The chances of meeting people like the ones you do at camp are one in a million so I guess that makes Camp Towanda one in a million. Thanks for listening, have a great summer and once again Shabbat Shalom.