Humans of Jewish Camp: Molly Wernick
Molly is the Assistant Director of Community Engagement at Habonim Dror Camp Galil.
Where did you get your start?
I started as a camper at Camp Galil. My very first morning at camp, I woke up early and found two boys in my age group playing soccer. When asked if I could join, the boys said I could play against them. And I did. And I won. I knew that I had found a most special place.
What is the best paper plate or superlative award you ever received?
At the end of each summer, counselors at Galil write a Last Will for the season bequeathing items or jokes to each camper—something like a zipper so you and your best friend can actually attach yourselves at the hip. For three consecutive summers I was given “Rosh Galil,” which is what we call our youth camp director. The way my counselors believed in me gave me the courage and confidence to eventually take on the job for real!
What’s your favorite spot at camp, and why?
The basketball court! As a camper, I spent so many nights sitting at the center of half court because from that spot, I knew exactly where to find the Little Dipper in the summer. It was always still warm from the sun at night, so I loved laying there with friends and having heartfelt conversations.
Tell us about someone who impacted you while you were at camp in a meaningful way.
I worked with the same group of kids for several summers at Galil. I still call them “my kids” even though they’re in grad school, getting married, etc. They instilled the belief in me that I’m someone worth looking up to. My desire to never disappoint them has been one of the biggest sources of fuel for my own ambition.
Why did you want to work for a Jewish camp?
The world is in dire need of empathetic, creative, and empowered people who know they can do good. Jewish camp is the incubator for our future change makers and I want to do my part in giving the next generation the skills they need to build a better world.
What’s something people might not know about Jewish camp that you wish they knew?
Camp counselors are the BEST hires for any workplace. The skills gained working on a camp staff — like teamwork, effective communication, conflict management, operations, and innovation — happen thousands of times per day at camp.
What makes Jewish camp so special?
It’s where kids are allowed to become themselves.