Machonikim Assemble!

Investing Passion into the Camp Experience

I’ve always loved Sci-Tech, and getting to be a Machon is a way I can give back in a way that supports both me and those who are making Sci-Tech their home for the first time. Our actions throughout the summer drive the experience for campers and shape who we all become and the camp experience we share together.

As a Machon, it’s been so eye opening to see what staff do behind the scenes to make our summers so amazing. Being able to help and work hard ourselves for our campers is a great opportunity. I’ve grown so much as a Machon, and I’ve already helped so many campers grow. Whether it’s discussing a mutual interest in books with campers when they feel there is no one to talk to, or helping a camper become acclimated to an environment they didn’t think they would like, I really have helped so many people this summer.

In the chug I ran, Sci-Tank, we taught campers how to draft a proposal for a mock project they would like to create. They would pitch it to us, the sharks, a board of mock supporters who provided constructive feedback. We went through the various steps of developing a proposal that would make it great.

When I was in Sci-Tech’s 2020 virtual academy, I participated in an intensive very similar to this chug. Sharing this program at camp, which I already had practice and fun with, is a great way to teach campers about some of the most important aspects of science and technology. Leading Sci-Tank felt like a culmination of the Machon training I have had thus far, and I can’t wait to give more wonderful experiences to campers this and future summers!

Max K, Machon, from Middleton, MA

Learning, Teaching, and Inspiring Jewish Life at Camp

When I was a camper, I had such amazing experiences here at Sci-Tech. They were my motivation for becoming a Machon – providing this experience for a new set of campers. I want them to fall in love with this community the same way I did, and I’m so honored to be part of this team making the Sci-Tech experience so great.

I never thought about how much goes into every single piece of camp, like weekday song sessions or Shabbat services. Even as a camper, I always respected counselors for what they do, but now as a Machon, I respect everyone here so much more. Everyone cares about what they’re doing for camp, especially now that I see the other side of the equation. 

J-Life, as a camper, was not very apparent to me. I would always read a book or craft friendship bracelets during Shabbat services rather than taking the moment to recognize how special the Sci-Tech community is, especially during a time like Shabbat. I never thought it was for me, but now as a Machon, J-Life is one of the best experiences I have participated in.

On the J-Life team, I have really enjoyed writing iyyuns and drashes. I have taken these aspects of Judaism that I never thought I could connect to and make them part of the camp experience, enabling others to recognize how incredible this Judaism is.

My five years here have allowed me to conceptualize that 6 Points continues to be amazing from this new perspective as a Machon. I really hope to return as a counselor in the future because I want to continue coming back to Byfield.

Poppet Brouillard, Machon, from Vernon, CT

Captivating Audiences with Stage Sciences

Sci-Tech is crazy. No, seriously. It’s crazy how much you get out of merely being here at camp and along for the summer. Sci-Tech manages to create opportunities unlike anywhere else. 

I have returned #BackToByfield for the eighth time this summer. I love it here, and I could not imagine spending my summer anywhere else. This year, I am no longer a camper but now taking on a new chapter as a Machon. I am a songleader with the J-Life team, and I’m working with the Communications team for social media and photography.

Ever since I first became a camper, I always wanted to be a member of staff and give back to this unique community here at Sci-Tech.

This session, one of the programs I am running is the Stage Sciences kinesthetic. I’m teaching the core mechanics of captivating a crowd and engaging an audience. Campers go on stage in a brave space and practice public speaking and various forms of performances, including improv, stand up comedy, and musical theatrics. My goal in running this program is to inspire the next cast of young leaders from this amazing camp I call home.

Sam Bruckner, Machon, from Needham, MA

Programming & Logistics, it’s Fun and Games!

Becoming a Machon is a great transition between youth and adulthood. I’m getting outstanding job training, and we’re learning so much about how to interact with kids and find the balance between respect and fun. I’m learning self-advocacy and patience with working in difficult situations with campers and fellow staff. The counselors I work with are so understanding, and it’s been a great opportunity for growth.

I missed my ninth grade year, but I was always planning to come back. I knew for a fact that I wanted to wear an orange staff lanyard. I really love working with kids! I’m really interested in neuroscience and psychology, and I’m learning how to work with campers who have a variety of developmental differences from each other. I’m adapting my work and also seeing how I can apply it to the real world as I learn life skills.

Going into the summer, I expected PROLO (Programming & Logistics) to be a lot of running around, setting things up, and making things happen, but that’s only the logistics side of it. I also spend so much time with arts and crafts – I was cutting up cardboard and painting it earlier today, and though I’m not in a workshop, this is tangible, and I’m contributing to the overall camp experience. I thought it would be a lot of talking about what would happen, but I’m actually active in the moment and seeing everything come together.

Preparing for Quest Day has been so much fun. We’re enjoying this opportunity to create a campwide program. Unlike helping out in the workshops, I’m not confined to the workshop periods – PROLO helps all around camp with spur-of-the-moment assignments. I love this kind of collaboration because it’s the way I work. Oh wait, it looks like now I have to go give a 10 minute warning for this program we’re in right now!

Fia Galperin, Machon, Brooklyn, NY