How the 40th Made Me an Alumni — By Aaron Cannon
I haven’t ever considered myself an ‘alumni’ before. It’s a funny term. Maybe it’s because my college didn’t have a division one football team. Maybe it’s because I’ve only been out of school for 5 years and I don’t think I’m high on the list for donations quite yet. Maybe I just don’t want to feel old enough. I’m technically an alumni, but I have yet to think of myself as a real part of an alumni community.
But as I counted the 72 steps (I think I got to 73…) and entered the Dining Hall on Friday evening, the butterflies, those same ones that plagued me on that first day of camp a decade and a half ago, sank into my stomach. I was back.
It was pretty much a whirlwind after that — Shabbat dinner and Israeli dancing, wakeboarding on the lake, evening at DD’s, volleyball, ultimate, ‘Shabbat ball’ (basketball), group trips to the shower house, barbecue outside the gazebo and probably more song sessions than we knew what to do with. We philosophized on the Blue Swing. We devoured BBQ chip -filled burgers by the gazebo. We did everything. But it wasn’t just that we were at camp — we all were at camp with each other. We had returned to the place we grew up with all the people we grew up with.
Somewhere in there, between scarfing down Elegant Farmer grilled cheeses and recounting the good ol’ days to current staff members, I realized that this was my alma mater…this is my alumni community…I am an alumni.
So while the face of camp continues to grow and change—like new buildings, better facilities, an awesome new aqua park obstacle course—it really doesn’t feel different at all. I still get those butterflies while coming in, I still wonder where the Wheel Chair Mary steps go, and I still feel like a true part of the Beber Camp community. Wait…scratch that…Beber Camp alumni community.