What is Your Favorite Place at Camp?

February 7, 2010 by , under Letters from Staff.

By Drea Lear

In a recent newsletter to our staff, we asked “What is your favorite place at camp? And what makes it so special?  As to be expected their answers varied tremendously, but each with their own passion and sincere dedication to our Dear Old Herzl!  So for all you Alumni, grab a cup of tea (tea is for staff only), send a kid to get the mail and Chanut, and settle down to read these letters from recent staff during your own personal Minucha:

“I really don’t have a favorite place at camp, but I have a cabin that has a lot of memories for me.  Double cabin #5.  That was my first cabin as a camper, that was my first cabin as an Ozo and my sister’s last cabin as a camper before she died.  So basically that physical cabin has a lot of monumental memories for me.  Except that cabin doesn’t exist as of right now.  But camp for me is not about the places.  It’s about the people and where memories with those people take place.” – Paulette Crohn

“My favorite part of camp is the Ozo Mo.  For so long I anticipated what it would look like and I couldn’t wait until I could finally see it.  It may not have been what I was expecting, but it turned out to be just what we needed.  We had so many amazing memories in there as not only Ozrim, but also as friends.  It will always be a place special in our hearts!” – Molly Yarosh, Ozo 2009

“I knew the answer right when I read the question.  TevaLand.  I can’t even find the right words to describe this place.  Most people just think it is a piece of land that is infested with very large spiders, baby mice, and millions of ticks.  Although this may be true, there is so much more to it.  It is the place to look at stars, find yourself and really appreciate Herzl Camp nature for what it is.  This piece of land has given me so much and made me a better person today.” – Sara Waller

“One word: waterfront.  My response may be somewhat cliché, but the waterfront is a place where I developed throughout my years at camp.  Back as a Ha’atid camper, I was subjected to swimming lessons because of my “blue swimmer” status.  Flash forward a few years and I worked my way through the water to become LGT certified during my B’yachad year.  As an Ozo and Madrich, I loved to teach waterfront chugim and always found a way to relax on the water.  Plus, I developed some serious skills when I had to drag the lake (not fun, but a moment to learn).  To sum it all up, I would have to say the waterfront is the Herzl location where I grew as a person.” – Zack Zaban

“While I am a big fan of the Mercaz, my favorite place is at the picnic tables.  Right after you hear you are in your tzrif you head out to grab a cookie at the picnic tables and that is only the beginning.  Whether its for a Thursday cookout with your Tzrif or for B’yachad avodah to learn how to use an electric drill (or which Tzrif you’ll end up painting) or the location where you lead your first chug, or, of course, Friday lunches and singing your program’s song…it’s a place where we’re always doing something exciting (and together).  It’s special because they’ve always been right in front of the Ulam, every one of my summers at Herzl and I know there will always be a spot for Shabbos introductions for many Fridays to come!” – Marissa Arnold

“My favorite place at Herzl Camp is the Ozo Mo.  Yes, it is gross and it smells but the Ozrim are such a vital piece of Herzl Camp and so many of the memories and great things that we created came out of the Mo.  There is also a deep history of the Mo because many ozrim just like us spent their summers in it and it is truly a special place.” – Adam Stillman

“My favorite place at Herzl Camp is the dirt road.  I know that sounds stupid and my answer might sound cliché but it’s true.  I can’t think of a place that I like more than another, so the dirt road connects me to all of camp.  It takes me to my favorite place to eat, the Chadar, my favorite cabin, Bet, etc.  The dirt road also leads me off the beaten path, providing me with dirty feet, forcing me to stop at the water pump which I swear is piped directly from the Arctic Ocean.  Most importantly the road gives me memories.  I don’t know what camp would be like without all of the camp dressing in white on Friday evenings walking around the dirt track in a caravan.” – Noah Eisemann

“My favorite spot at Herzl would probably be the brand new Ozo ’09 Shabbat Shed.  Over this past summer I spent a lot of time coming up with the idea, building it, designing it, and painting it. I made many memories with Ozos Emily Silber, Matty Kaplan, Hannah Berc, and Andrew Lifson.  My old skills were put to the test and I gained new skills as well.  The Shabbat shed is now a part of the new Herzl and will be there for many years to come and I was part of that which a fabulous felling.  I now feel like a part of camp.” – Marissa Gedis

“My favorite place at Herzl Camp is the Ulam.  It’s where I’ve participated the most, some of my most vivid memories take place.  I was in Pinocchio in Ha’atid Bet 2003, I was in West Side Story in Kadima 2006, and then of course the Ozo play.  It’s the place where I spent much of my time both as a camper and on the “other side”.  It makes me happy to recollect.” - Ilan Gordon

“This took some thought as I am a big time Herzl lover…but…I would have to say the small spot in the Chadar where hundreds of Herzl girls have stood, arms intertwined, lighting the Shabbat candles every Friday night.  Those few square feet of linoleum are walked on and overlooked all week long, and then seemingly transformed for a sacred and peaceful few short moments.” – Zoe Stern

“My favorite part is Strawberry fields.  It is an often unknown part of camp where the woods open up to a huge field with beautiful flowers all around with a random, big tree smack dab in the middle.  We spent a lot of time where when we were in Teva Trek and it’s awesome.” – Josh Klane

“My favorite place in camp is “One tree” or “the septic field”.  One tree is one of the more exclusive parts of camp where a large number of people have not gone, or spent time.  The huge open field only contains one tree in the middle.  This mysterious tree is a great way to start or continue Herzl traditions (ex. You can call it the Herzl tree, attach a deep meaning to it for the campers, or simply just star gaze in the field).  As, said before it is exclusive since not a lot of people go there, this makes it that much more precious and important.  Overall, One tree is an amazing part of camp which might be overlooked. It is a great place to take campers to for L.O. or a chug.” – Josh Savitt

“My favorite spot at camp would have to be the weight lifting area. I spent many chugim there and had so many great memories, it always seems to brings back a good time.  But really any place at camp is my favorite because you are at camp so what could be better!” – Hannah Berc

“My favorite spot at Herzl Camp is Tzrif Alef and Bet and the shmir site outside of it.  When I reflect back to Ozo Summer, which was my favorite summer at Herzl Camp, the main thing I remember is first session when we were living in our Ozo cabins.  At night during first session is when I feel our ozo group first bonded.  We had many funny experiences together that united us.  In the girls cabin, we talked, laughed, and joked around and it made us come together.  It strengthened our bonds and our trust with one another.  Once we moved out of the Ozo cabins, we didn’t see eachother as much, but our memories were still there.  Those nights were some of the best times I have ever had, especially because it was with the 2009 Ozrim.” – Jamie Bonk

“My favorite place at camp is Teva Land.  The reason I love Teva Land is because Teva summer gave me a new insight to life and to camp.  As an Ozo this summer it was comforting for me to be able to go back into the woods and re-live my previous year.  I learned many things my Teva summer and I will never ever forget it!” – Elisa Edelstein

“I love the Mercaz!  It gives me a sense of peace and you can go there when you need a few minutes away at camp.  There’s beauty, incredible stars at night and always fresh air (which there is not in my other favorite/safe place in camp).  Also, I feel so connected to Judaism when I’m at the Mercaz because that’s where a lot of my Jewish learning began.” – Tracy Altman

What about you?  What’s your favorite place at camp??

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