Friday Night Sermons: Evan & Jillian

As many of you know, the tradition of Friday Night Services has always been a part of our weekly life at Camp Towanda.   It is a time to reflect, grow and share as a family.  Last Friday, we had two campers from our oldest age group, the Club and the Dorm, share what camp has meant to them over the years.   For these campers, Towanda has always been a part of their lives, even before they were born. Towanda runs through their families for generations and the love and appreciation they have for what it has given them, is evident in the words they shared with us.

“Towanda isn’t just a place you go, but somewhere that you are part of forever.”- Evan Seiden

evanGood evening.

Camp Towanda has always been a part of my life, even before I came here as a Jet in 2007, 8 years ago.  My grandfather, father, uncles and cousins have all taught me to believe in a place where “everybody knows your name”.  Camp is a place where you make new friends with a bond that lasts a lifetime. I am proud to say that I truly care about every one of my brothers and sisters who sit in the back row tonight.

Camp has altered my life in a way no other experience has done before.  When people ask me what I love about Camp Towanda, my answer is everything.  When you come into a new environment and you are welcomed with open arms, it’s a feeling like no other.

Most people come up here and tell their story about how scared they were to walk off the bus.  However, I was quite the opposite.  After hearing the variety of stories spanning from breakout to Wayne County Fair, I couldn’t wait to arrive. As I quickly adopted the Camp Towanda traditions and way of life, I never wanted to leave.

As I reflect on my time at Camp Towanda, it seems crazy knowing that I’ve been coming here over half my life.  It’s an honor to keep the Seiden name alive here, as there has been at least one Seiden at camp since 1998.

If you haven’t heard so already, prosper every moment because time really does fly by.  Camp is one of the best places on Earth and being a part of it is something that I say with pride.  I remember sitting in the front row looking at the Club boys in the back.  After years of anticipation, I am now one of those Club boys and the feeling is nothing but surreal.

Towanda isn’t just a place you go, but somewhere that you are part of forever.  I especially want to thank Mitch and Stephanie for being my summer parents for 8 years and counting.

Thank you and Shabbat Shalom.

“Camp is my true happy place and family.”- Jillian Horowitz

jillian1Hi everyone,

My mom never fails to remind me of the importance of a support system. How she always had that “someone” throughout her life.  Her support was always her camp friends, and they still are.  Not only am I lucky to have that same support, but also I have my whole camp family to lean on.  One of my favorite things about camp is that we’re one huge family.  We watch each other grow up, have fun and are always there for one another.

Towanda has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember and I have no idea who or where I would be without it.  Camp has helped mold who I am today.  Camp taught me how to conquer my fears, to not sweat the small stuff, that there’s no point in being insecure, and to make the best of every situation, whether it’s riding a two wheel bike for the first time, having crazy dance parties all over camp or losing your favorite pair of shoes. Camp it’s my most favorite place to be.

In the blink of an eye, I’ve gone from a quiet and scared new camper to a loud, confident and very excited Dorm girl.  Camp has completely changed me for the better and I can’t put into words how appreciative I am for that.  I now know I can cheer as loud as a blow horn, dance like nobody’s watching and put a positive twist on any situation I am in.

The memories and friendships that I’ve made over the past several years are the ones that will last a lifetime.  I cherish every single photo shoot, dance party and girl talk in the rec hall.  I can’t wait to see what else camp has in store for me because let’s face it—the Millers aren’t going anywhere any time soon! I want to continue to grow at camp and help other people develop the same love I have for this place.

Looking back at my time at Towanda has made me so appreciative for the impact that camp has made in my life. Camp has provided me with life skills that not everyone is as fortunate to have.  I would like to thank: my role model, Amy Miler [Girls’ Head Counselor] whose most meaningful title to me is being “my mom”, for pushing me to come to camp and for giving me this gift; The rest of my family that is here for their endless love and support; Mitch and Stephanie for making camp my true happy place; The Dorm of 2014- I love you guys more than anything and thank you for being my support system.  My love for camp and my camp family is truly indescribable.  If I could give you one piece of advice to everyone sitting here, it would be to cherish every second you have here because it goes by too quickly.

Thank you and Shabbat Shalom.

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