Summer Lovin – Rachel and Beth

Rachel & Beth

Camp Mountain Chai

How did you meet?

Rachel and Beth, known as “R-Shy” and “B.Cap”, met at Camp Mountain Chai on the first day of staff training in the summer of 2012. Rachel was returning for her third year on staff after taking the previous summer off to study for graduate school. Beth was returning for her second summer on staff.

During the summer of 2011, Beth heard from many of her friends that she reminded them of Rachel. After spending a day off with her friend Dave (who happens to also be Rachel’s brother), he predicted that Beth and Rachel would be best friends one day. During that same summer, Beth heard that Rachel was trying to return to Camp Mountain Chai during final session as she had just finished taking the GRE. Beth was excited that she might FINALLY have the chance to meet this person named “R-Shy” face-to-face. Unfortunately, love was not written in the stars that summer as Rachel did not end up coming that last session in 2011. But we finally met in 2012 when Rachel checked Beth in at the welcome table!

Was it love at first sight?

Beth remembers walking towards the check in table, with her twin sister and closest friends by her side when she saw Rachel for the very first time. Beth’s face felt flushed, her heart began to race quickly and she had a smile on her face. Rachel could sense that Beth was nervous, but was very excited to meet her. Beth recalls our first moment together, when Rachel said “hello,” and feeling as if the world had stopped for a moment in time. The noise of the 80+ other staff surrounding us disappeared. It was just us in the middle of the San Bernardino National Forest. There was this inexplicable magnetic pull that drew us towards one another. After weeks of friendship, we officially started dating towards the middle of the summer.

What happened between you when camp ended that summer?

When the summer of 2012 came to an end, Rachel flew back home to North Carolina to start Graduate School. Beth flew back to Toronto to continue her Undergraduate studies. After spending the past nine weeks at camp together, we knew that what we felt for each other that summer was real. We decided to try a long-distance relationship between Canada and the United States. Over the next seven years, our love for each other only grew. In the summer of 2016, we both proposed to each other at Joshua Tree National Park, a place that became our special spot as we spent many days off camping there. We married in January 2018, yet were still living in different countries. After many years of long distance love, Beth moved from Toronto to San Diego in April of 2020 to join Rachel. We both work full time for Camp Mountain Chai and are finally living our happily ever after!

Has camp influenced your relationship?

100%. At camp, the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like months. Beth always knew that the person she would marry would be someone from camp. Camp is a unique setting and we got to see all aspects of one another — how each of us handled conflict, dealt with stress, interacted with kids, how creative we were, how adaptable/flexible we were, how engaging we were with others, and so much more. Camp has always been our place: the place where we could be our authentic selves, the place we would reunite each summer, and the place where we fell in love. We feel very grateful for the love, support and connections we have made at Camp Mountain Chai. Our camp friends will always be a huge part of our family.

If you’re planning to have kids, will you send them to camp?

We plan to have kids down the road and definitely plan to send them to camp as it has had such a tremendous impact on our lives. We would not be the people we are today without summer camp!