Will I fit in?

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    I have been speaking with the director of a camp in New Hampshire that has a Jewish emphasis. I was wondering if anyone else had worked at a Jewish camp in the past, and if they felt out of place. I just dont want to show up and feel like I dont know what is going on during the summer. Anyone have any input? Thanks!
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  3. 6 Comments so far...

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    Many of the great camps on the East Coast serve a primarily Jewish population (there's a rich history of summer camp for these families). For some camps, Judaism is a big part of camp life; for others, it's incidental. If the camp is interested in hiring a staff member who isn't Jewish, in my experience that means they will be welcoming. They may have many non-Jewish staff members, especially if (like most camps) they hire counselors from overseas.

    I don't think anyone would force you (or even want you) to participate in rituals you weren't comfortable with. On the other hand, the staff and children will be excited to explain any parts of their faith that interest you. Jews don't try to convert people (occasionally individuals may, but it's one of the tenets of the faith), so you wouldn't need to be concerned with that.

    If you decide to work at one of the many wonderful Jewish camps in New England, I think you'll be really lucky. If you like, give me the name of the camp, here or by private message, and I can ask contacts in that area for an impression of "how Jewish" the camp is. Let me know!
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    I am not Jewish and have worked for a Jewish Camp for 3 years now. There has never been a time that I felt out of place. It took some getting used to a Kosher kitchen. That means no pork and also no meat and dairy served together. But with every weekend off, I got everything I wanted!
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    Quote from orangeplum
    I have been speaking with the director of a camp in New Hampshire that has a Jewish emphasis. I was wondering if anyone else had worked at a Jewish camp in the past, and if they felt out of place. I just dont want to show up and feel like I dont know what is going on during the summer. Anyone have any input? Thanks!

    I also have worked at a jewish camp.... in calif.... and i'm from nys.... and non jewish....

    Noone cared, or pushed anything on me..... they were always willing to explain anything.... they did want me to participate in the grace type of stuff before and after meals.... a brief song... but nothing major.... and they were very respectufl of letting me get off camp to go to church/worship services for my own faith.
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    As fate would have it, I just spoke with a fellow RN who worked at a Jewish camp in New Jersy for one summer. Her complaints were focused not on Faith but with the "brats" that attended the camp. From what she said I garnered that the children were spoiled, pampered and undisciplined. She told me that she would not want to do this again.
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    Eeeek... well there are bratty kids and there are non-bratty kids, but I don't think their Jewishness has anything to do with it one way or the other, anymore than I would say black kids are bratty or white kids or Christian kids.

    Like other posters said, there is a wide range of Jewish camps, with varying levels of observance, serving different socioeconomic groups. What's true about one Jewish camp is not necessarily true about another. The best thing is to find out information specific to the camp you are applying to work in.
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    I work at a jewish camp for over 5 years in in the hills of Torrington CT and love it. Friday hight services are more friendship. have fun at camp


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