Blog  URJ Summer Program Experience: What I Learned at the Kutz Camp

URJ Summer Program Experience: What I Learned at the Kutz Camp

This summer, a number of NFTY-MAR teens participated in a variety of URJ Summer Experiences. We asked a few teens to share with us a highlight of their experience and how their summer will help impact their year in NFTY. Below is a blog post, written by Zoe York, who attended the URJ Kutz Camp.  Registration is now open for Summer 2017!


I went into this summer not knowing how it would be. I was nervous that I would not have as much fun as I had in previous summers at URJ Camp Harlam and way back in the day URJ Camp Kalsman. I was freaking out in the week or so before the session began because I did not know what to pack and I was about to go on an airplane for the first time.

Looking back on it now, I am not sure why I was nervous about Kutz.

While at Kutz, I met many amazing people. Everyone whom I talked to while there impacted me positively in some way and I am thankful for that.  All of my bunkmates were great and everybody bonded quickly and was friendly with each other. Bunk bonding was always super fun whether we were watching Lilo and Stitch, painting or just together. I was scared that I would not make any friends while at Kutz. I reconnected with an old cabinmate from 2008 and 2009, when I went to Camp Kalsman. I also reconnected with old friends from Camp Harlam. I made new friends from all across the United States, Canada and Israel.

Going to Kutz was one of the best choices I have ever made. I took part in the Leadership Academy Major. Spending a month focusing on leadership might not sound fun to some people, however it was extremely fun and impactful. I came out of the major as a better person with both tangible and intangible skills that I have used not only within the Jewish community but within my own personal life now. While at Kutz, I also had various new opportunities and took many risks that I am glad I did. I had opportunities to help lead a camp wide program which was a major success and climbed the tower many times. I hope to bring the skills that I learned back into the NFTY-MAR community.

As I reflect on this past summer, I wish that it had never ended. It was an amazing summer and I do not regret any part of this summer as I had such an amazing time, made some of my now closest friends, grew as a person and learned so much.  From sitting in the Beit Am to New York and to Maccabiah, every moment of this summer was amazing and life changing. Every memory I have of this past summer is positive and will stay with me for a lifetime. Going to Kutz for a summer is an life changing experience that I highly recommend.