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Baco Counselor Toast 2013

Dear Baco Family,

Ever since my first summer in 2000, a year in which most of you campers were not alive yet, I have been waiting for this moment. The moment when I would be standing in front of the camp to be able to show my appreciation. I’m not sure if all of you realize it yet because you are mostly young campers, but these 7 weeks are going to be the highlight of your year. You are going to be sitting in class, playing ball in Little League, or sitting at the dinner table, and all you are going to be thinking about is doing all of that same stuff, but with your boys. Of course I’m not knocking family time because family is number one, but there is something about your Baco family that has a special feeling. These boys sitting next to you, the ones that you are going to be hugging and crying with at the busses, are going to be your best friends for the rest of your lives.

Besides your boys, look around you. If you are sitting in a ring with a row behind you, take a second and turn around. Look at all those guys behind you. Those guys are going to be your counselors, role models, and are the leaders of camp in the future. Take advantage of this second. Every counselor in camp would love to be in the inner ring looking at the older guys, seeing what is ahead of them. Because before you know it, you are going to be where I am standing. If you have no ring behind you, look ahead. See all of the campers who are looking up to you. All of those faces you see looking right back at you are the people you will be counselors, role models, and leaders for. You are being given the opportunity of a lifetime. The opportunity to impact each and every one of their lives. To give them encouragement, confidence, and as Mel said in his sermon, to get back up and never stop trying. And from where the counselors stand, we see all of you and all the campers we impacted. Let me tell you, it is one hell of a feeling to know that when I look at all of you, I know camp is headed in the right direction. You all will carry on the tradition, value and Baco Pride this place has.

Now from my perspective. My 14 summers, 28 months, 2 years, however you want to say it, could not have been done without what camp has to offer. The face that compared to other camps we may have less campers. I see that as our advantage. It lets us have a unique quality of knowing every camper. I truly believe there is no place in the world that people actually know everyone, care more about the person next to them than themselves, and call someone else besides their house, their true home. We could all bet that a bad day at camp (which never happens) is better than the best day at home. It is because when you are here, you can actually be yourself. You are not putting on a show. You have no filter. We all channel our inner weird, funky, awkward selves. I cannot thank all of enough for being the weirdest and funkiest people I have ever met.

Thank you to all of the counselors for being the best most fun people ever. We are the heart that pumps the energy though each and every camper. Thank you administration, Greg, Danny, Mickey, Rick, Robyn, Shlomit, Bruno, and Bob. This place could not run without all of you working your hardest. Thank you Rosner and Noach for being there to teach me the ways of camp and bringing out the best in me. Thank you Forner for always giving me guidance, advice, and always a great laugh. People always say laughter is the best medicine, so thanks for keeping me healthy. Now, thank you campers. You guys are the reason this place is so special.

Thank you Waiters of 2013, for giving me a second waiter summer. You guys are amazing, and I know the camp will be in great hands with you leading it one day. I can’t wait to see that.

These last two are close to my heart especially.

Thank you to Chief and the rest of the Waiters of 2007 who aren’t here. We have had the best times together, and every great memory I have has been with you. Thank you.

Thank you Mel and Ruth for being like grandparents to me. Giving me all the morals of life. If it weren’t for you, none of use would be sitting here listening to my hoarse voice ramble. As I speak for the staff, we thank all of you for everything.

This has been yet another sick summer.

We love you, I love you, now lets have some fun.

Baco Pride

-Ben Vallon, Waiter 2007


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