Hi! My name is Brenna and I’m a 14-year-old girl from Maple Grove, Minnesota. I have been going to Herzl Camp for almost 10 years now (counting Family Camp, of course).
Over the past decade, Herzl has truly become my home. I have made life-long friends, family, memories, cheers, and shtick! I was introduced to Herzl by my parents, who hoped to pass down their love for camp to my siblings and me. They both were campers, and my mom went on to become an ozo and waterfront staff.
In the past year, I have been eagerly awaiting my time to come back home. And spending a lot of time working hard to get there. I mean, come on, it’s going to be my B’yachad summer! The thing is, camp is expensive. Since my twin sister and I are both hoping to attend for 6 weeks, I wanted to make it easier for our family to have the opportunity to send us to camp. B’yachad is $6,335 which, for both of us, adds up to a total of over $12,500.
To help, I thought up a plan to make and sell string arts to friends and family to raise funds for our upcoming summer. And that’s just what I did. After my Kadimah summer ended, I couldn’t wait to go back next year. I needed something to do to distract myself from missing my girls from Tzrif Dalet, and everyone else at camp, too. I knew I enjoyed making string arts and I wanted to know for sure that we would be there for summer 2020.
In just a short time, I had plenty of family members, friends, camp counselors, and co-workers asking, “Hey! Could you make this?” or “What about this design?” After hammering through a list of orders, I was thinking about what to do next and talking to many different people about it. I turned to my own Kadimah camp counselor, Ran Biran for advice. Ran is one of Herzl’s Israeli staff members and it was her first year at camp this past summer. Over the course of Kadimah’s 5 weeks, we bonded over the canoe trip, Israeli dancing, inside jokes, and being competitive in sports.
While chatting on the phone with her, she shared an amazing idea. She knew I loved Herzl camp so much, and she also knew I’ve made Herzl string arts before for gifts like candle sharing (a common tradition where campers and staff create meaningful gifts, trade t-shirts, or share polaroid pictures within cabins, and within the two oldest age groups in camp). She suggested making them for Herzl camp so they can use them somehow. I loved the idea! I soon made plans to meet with Drea about the idea.
Currently, I am working hard to fulfill the order for Herzl camp string arts. In the past, each one takes about 1-3 hours, and I have sold them for about $20 each. We are planning to use these new string arts to recruit new campers at events, and send to people who consistently give major contributions to the scholarship fund. I am very happy with what we have decided on and am very excited to keep working!
My motivation for this project is all of the amazing people I’ve met from the Herzl community, the once in a lifetime opportunities I’ve received, and, of course, the Herzl magic. I wouldn’t have close to the same inspiration I do now if I hadn’t been brought to camp when I was a little 5-year-old. Silly, meaningful memories that pop in my head everyday make me excited to come back to my happy place and make new memories for myself, and for others. Also, it makes me excited to reunite with my best friends from around the world and meet new people. I am excited to share my passion and work with the Herzl community! Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, so I can share my story with you!
With lots of love, Brenna