27 ways Jewish summer camp and Israel are practically the same

Written by
Jennifer Greenberg

Whether you’ve realized it or not, attending Jewish summer camp and living in Israel go hand in hand. Camp provides an extraordinary experience that no one on the outside can understand, yet no one on the inside can explain. Living in Israel brings back that exact same feeling. Still not sold? Check out these facts common to both Maine summers and Israel:


1. There’s no such thing as “too much” ice cream.


2. Having mysterious insects crawling around your apartment is nothing new.


3. Bug juice and Fuze iced tea are interchangeable.


4. You can wear shorts and a t-shirt to work - also, short shorts and ripped jean shorts are in. 



5. You literally walk EVERYWHERE.


6. There’s no wrong time to wear Tevas.


7. There will always be some residual sand in your sheets, no matter how many times you wash them.


8. You are most in your element when on a Kibbutz (communal dining, shared bunks, and cold showers are your jam).


9. While your friends freak out about the bats on King George Street, they’re nothing you haven’t seen before – you’ve shooed them out of a bunk of screaming fifth graders.


10. Multiple tan lines.


11. You’re well aware of the importance of drinking three glasses of water at every meal.


12. Clotheslines are a towel’s best friend.


13. You are accustomed to the sound of horns as an alarm clock (even if in Israel, it’s cars honking and at camp, it’s trumpets playing reveille).

14. You’re the first to set up your tent at InDNegev, Midburn or any desert festival.



15. Just when you thought Maine stargazing couldn’t get any better, you camp out in Mitzpe Ramon and realize you couldn't have been more wrong.


16. Showers? Who needs them, you’ll be sweaty right after anyways.


17. The mere abundance of friendship bracelets in a single cabin is on par with those found in the Shuk.

18. You’ve mastered the art of “rest hour”…now translate that to an entire weekend.

19. You count down the days until Visiting Day, excited to show your parents what you have accomplished.


20. No one thinks twice if you walk down the street in a onesie…or any eccentric costume attire for that matter.

21. It’s easy to unplug in Israel (not because your counselor took away your cellphone, but because the WiFi sucks).

22. “Lazy Saturdays” are universal.

23. All exercise is better enjoyed outdoors.


24. Careful! You could meet your future husband at any given time.


25. At camp, there’s canteen for midnight munchies. In Israel, there’s AM:PM.

26. No body of water is too gross.



27. You’ll meet someone once and feel like you’ve known them forever.

Written by Jennifer Greenberg, serial camper, CIT, and counselor.

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