This was written by Hannah Jay, who was a previous camper and is now a staff member.
My Sci-Tech story begins when I first heard about Sci-Tech in the winter of 2013. I had never gone to a sleepaway camp before, so I was understandably nervous. However, Sci-Tech seemed to be the perfect combination of my love for science, technology, and my Jewish practice and culture.
So, I came to Sci-Tech during the third session of Pioneer Summer. I learned so much about robotics, met many wonderful friends, and felt a growing community that pulled me back summer after summer.
Throughout my four years and eight sessions at camp as a camper, I experienced five different workshops, countless chugim and Shalectives (which you could probably add up if you felt so inclined), and met so many more friends. I learned how to code websites and in Java, create live-action and animated clips.
Most importantly, I learned who I really was.
When I reached my last session as a camper, I was devastated to leave. Camp is my home, and I did not want to leave that behind. Luckily, I did not have to, as I came back as a Machon (Counselor-In-Training) where I worked with campers and learned how to be a counselor. I’m so happy I could come back to my home away from home and start to provide the feeling that camp gave me to other campers.
The next summer I was on board to come back as a counselor until COVID-19 hit. It was hard hearing the news that camp would not be happening – this was a camp I was waiting years to become a counselor for. Of course, I knew we could not return to Byfield and run camp safely. Thankfully, we found a way to make camp possible, albeit in a different form: Virtual Academy. There, I helped lead intensives, worked with Minecraft and Midrash, and led some programs during Sababa and Shalective periods.
This summer, I was finally able to come to camp as a full-fledged counselor. I’ve been running chugim, helping out in workshops, and doing my best to make Sci-Tech feel like home for my campers.
I hope for my Sci-Tech experience to be cyclical. My goal is to help kids see camp the way I did as a camper and I do now as a counselor.
And, being here is helping make my dream come true.