I come from the land of Hobbits and rings, hailing from a solid 14-hour flight away, the land of New Zealand. More specifically from Auckland, the “big city”, well big for New Zealand at least. I’m a recent graduate from University and worked as a software engineer while applying for Beber.

I heard about Beber the same way many of the international staff do, via CCUSA. The agent I was working with told me they had found the perfect camp for me and my application got sent through. A few weeks later I was chatting to Michael on Skype and got the job.

Beber wasn’t as huge of a culture shock as it could have been. I have done similar stuff in New Zealand working in a Jewish youth movement, so the singing and the energy and the quirky traditions were all things I had a similar experience with. The scale of Beber, however, was an entirely different level from what I was used to, so many people! Living in bunk was also a different experience, but one I really enjoyed you get to really know your co-counselors and campers, especially when you’re with them for a whole month. Beber aligned fairly closely to my Judaism, I see myself as a cultural jew who applies the philosophies in Judaism (or at least the ones I know) to everyday life, similarly to Beber’s main pillars. I really enjoyed the Saturday services, I enjoy Saturday services when I occasionally go to them back home as well, but the Beber ones felt very active, there were a lot of good songs to sing and the extra skits that happen throughout were generally entertaining. I was a specialist at

I was a specialist at Beber, during the day I worked as a lifeguard and swim instructor. Being a swim instructor was surprisingly fulfilling and it’s amazing what techniques come back to you from childhood, teaching kids to swim in a streamline by pretending their hands are sandwiches or telling them proper hand techniques by telling them to pretend to scoop ice cream, lots of food metaphors for some reason. I also taught under water hockey as a hobby, it’s not a very well known sport but it is an incredibly fun one which the kids and staff both enjoyed a lot.

I’m incredibly glad I got the opportunity to work at Beber and I’m looking forward to round 2 next year.

~Jarryd