The Canteen is a tribute to all things Jewish sleepaway camp. Hosted by the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC), this blog is written by campers, alumni, parents, and camp professionals and is a place to talk about parenting, camp fun, projects, crafts, recipes, and more – all tied back to Jewish holidays, traditions and, of course, camp!
Caryn and Zach Alpert
When/how/where at camp did you meet?
Caryn and I originally met at CYJ MidWest in 1997. We were in the same age group, but naturally, we didn’t speak to one another until the following summer when we went to Camp Tel Yehudah in New York, and then came back to finish the summer at CYJ (we didn’t talk much then either!)
Was it love right away?
Not so much. While we happened to be in the same age group, participating in the same activities, we kind of ran with different crowds.
What happened between you when camp ended that summer?
Long distance. It wasn’t even a question; we knew that we were going to be visiting each other often. I was in school in Milwaukee, WI and Caryn was in school in Boston. I made the trek out to Boston almost once a month, and she was in Milwaukee or Chicago once a month. It was tough, but we were great on the phone, via email, and texting.
Do you find that your time at camp has influenced your relationship/marriage/family?
Absolutely. As we went from being campers together, to staff members together, we learned each other’s strengths and weaknesses. For many relationships, starting your time together at home, in the safe confines of your dorms/apartments/parents homes gives you little opportunity to see how a person reacts to adversity. At camp you learn quickly how a person handles adversity, like, getting a chipmunk out of your cabin at 2am.
Will you send your kids to camp?
Absolutely. Eytan is 5 and already gearing up for Ofarim (he already knows which bagel song is his favorite). Lilah is almost a year, but she’ll be quickly following her brother.