Perlman Leadership Council: A Unique Opportunity
Kayla Sullivan began at Perlman in 2011 as a camper, now celebrating her 7th year at camp. She can’t wait to return for Summer 2018 as a fourth-year staff member.
Coming to Perlman as a third-year staff, I didn’t know what to expect. When the time to decide whether or not to go back to camp came around, my group of camp friends and I were split. While some decided to get internships, travel, or go down other paths, I knew camp was something I was still interested in. At the same time, after being a counselor for two years, I knew I wanted my experience as a third-year staff to be different.
So, when Candice and Rachel approached me, Cary Block, Jess Beris, Annika Seiden and Debra Feldman about the Perlman Leadership Council (PLC), we were intrigued. As we were all between 19 and 20 years old and therefore not eligible for leadership positions at camp, PLC became an opportunity for us to be the bridge between counselors and leadership staff. They explained to us that we would still be counselors in bunks, but we would each have a specialty area around camp, have meetings with different visitors, and get to spend a weekend in Washington, D.C. with the full-time team and each other. This, for me, was the selling point of coming back. I still had the opportunity to do what I loved and spend another summer at my favorite place in the world, but with a higher leadership position.
Our retreat in Washington, D.C. was a blast. We were given plenty of time to spend time with each other and see the city, but we were also able to reflect on our time at camp and what we were looking forward to for our upcoming summer. Over the course of this weekend, we each made an action plan of what our summer plans were. Jess and I picked helping with Candice’s Middot (Jewish learning) classes because working with children is something that we are both interested in for the future. After leaving the weekend together, we all had an idea of what we wanted to get out of the PLC.
Over the summer, we were given the opportunity to lead staff-wide discussions, meet with almost every visitor that came to Perlman, have conversations with Rachel about what we thought needed improvement, meet with Stefan about resume building and the future of camp, and help out with Jewish programming. In addition to this, Jess and I were able to shadow Candice to create and execute programs relating to Jewish studies.
The PLC made coming back to camp for a third year an easy decision for me. I feel as though it prepared me to move up as leadership staff, and gave me skills that I will take with me far beyond camp and I am so thankful for that.