Author Archives: Evan Taksar

Evan Taksar

About Evan Taksar

Evan Taksar is originally from Los Angeles, CA and currently finds herself in Boston, MA. She graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a B.A. in Political Science and Jewish Studies. She is currently pursuing an M.A. in Jewish Professional Leadership and an M.A. in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies through the Hornstein Program for Jewish Professional Leadership at Brandeis University. She spent 15 summers as a camper and staff member at Camp JCA Shalom in Malibu, CA and considers camp to be the most formative Jewish experience thus far in her life. Summer 2014 is her first summer as the Chizuk Fellow/Judaic Programming Director at JCC Camp Chi. Her favorite activities include: eating as many grilled cheese sandwiches as possible, tie-dying, singing Danny's Song at the top of her lungs, and going on adventures.

Six Words

06.18-21.14 Jewish CampsDo you think you could sum up your camp experience in just six words? If not your entire experience, what about a summer? How about a session? I’m sorry if it sounds like a pretty impossible task. (To be honest, I completely understand.) After all how do you sum up weeks (or years) of memories in just six words?

You see I pose this question to get at a larger question … how do we tell stories at camp?  How do we use these stories to build friendships? One of the absolute best things we do at camp is help kids build friendships with one another. Same thing goes for our staff too … ask any counselor why they come back to camp summer after summer, and rarely will they say the food. Sometimes these friendships burn hot and fast for a summer, and sometimes they last an entire lifetime. Regardless of their longevity, how our kids create these friendships is almost as important as the friendships themselves. Staff, counselors, specialists … friendships are what keep everybody coming back to camp summer after summer.

However these friendships don’t just magically appear out of thin air. We create them by sharing stories of ourselves. This can be really difficult for even the most seasoned camper and staff, let alone new ones. Last week I wanted to get our supervisors thinking about the importance behind sharing stories, so I asked if they could sum up one of their camp experiences in just six words. This particular project, which is based off the Six Word Memoir on Jewish Life project from Reboot and Smith Magazine, takes an inherently Jewish concept (asking questions and telling stories) and re-imagines it in a way that would challenge even the most Twitter-savvy person.

Some of them were funny, “New Facebook Profile Picture. Shabbat Shalom!” Some of them were personal “Felt Invisible. Cried. Found A Home” and all were in some way universal “Here For Summer, Home For Life.” 25 supervisors participated in this program, and I felt like I got a glimpse into a hundred different camp stories. All it took was six little words. What’s yours?

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Posted on July 3, 2014

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