By Jon Gordon: Head Song Leader
It’s hard sometimes to verbally explain what makes Sci-Tech different than an average Jewish camp. The obvious answer is living on Governor’s Academy and the high-quality facilities (and of course, the food!). One could also talk about the intense focus on science and technology the permeates all aspects of camp life. Workshops, meals, and evening programs are all based around STEM concepts. All of these things make us different, but I believe that the thing that truly sets Sci-Tech apart is the staff.
I have had the privilege of working at a few summer camps over the last decade; but when I think of Sci-Tech, I think of some of the most dedicated, passionate counselors, instructors, and leadership. What made my first impression of Sci-Tech was a discussion with our Director, Jayme Dale Mallindine. I was amazed by her genuine passion, not only for STEM education but also for Jewish camping, and that’s what made me want to come to Sci-Tech. When I first arrived for the leadership retreat, I was immediately surrounded by amazing, caring, and intelligent professionals. Each one had a plethora of ideas about how to make camp the best it can be.
I then was introduced to our Mishlachat, the team of Israeli counselors who have trained for three months before camp so they could be with us. I am always reminded of bravery when I speak with them. They chose to drop everything and come to a different country, work long hours with children, and not know a single person here. They are not only knowledgeable about their field, but also some of the most honest, talented, and kind people on camp.
Then the rest of the counselors arrived, showing me the future leaders of the camping world. They give me hope, not only for our future camping but for the future’s future. These people will mentor, tutor, and guide these campers into being productive and talented staff members, igniting their passions for camping, Judaism, and STEM.
This team is what makes Sci-Tech truly one of a kind. They are supportive of each other and are always willing to help one another in making the best summer possible. They are kind to their fellow staff and most importantly, to the campers. They show such patience and understanding, and I can’t help but be impressed by them.
With staff like this, I am quite sure we can handle anything.