Meet Returning Counselor: Shayna Lopp
A second-generation camper and staff member, Shayna joins us from Atlanta, GA for her eighth summer at Camp Judaea.
Growing up and attending camp with her sister, Lindsay, Shayna knew she would one day return as a staff member. Her father, a CJ alum, encouraged her by telling her how fun and accomplishing it is to be a staff member. Evidently, Shayna agreed, as this will be her fourth summer working at camp!
“I come back to CJ because it is my summer home. I’ve made so many memories and friends at camp, and I like to see the campers grow throughout their CJ experience.”
While not at CJ, Shayna studies Education at Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL. She enjoys playing soccer, basketball, and being a sister of Theta Phi Alpha.
Meet Returning Counselor: Sarah Selcer
Sarah, originally from Puerto Rico, grew up in Parkland, FL, but spent her summers with her brother, Alex, in Hendersonville, NC at Camp Judaea. CJ is in her blood, as her parents are both alumni who attribute their meeting to Camp Judaea. The Selcers’ connection to Camp Judaea is so strong, in fact, that Sarah’s brother’s Bar Mitzvah was held at Camp!
Sarah is excited to arrive for her third summer as a staff member and cannot imagine a summer without CJ. She loves returning and being able to provide her campers the same amazing CJ experience that she had as a camper.
“CJ is my second home! It has helped shape me as a person, my Jewish values, my Jewish identity, and my love for Israel!”
Sarah enjoys spending time with her family and friends and being outdoors—at the beach or running. Don’t be alarmed if you hear her fellow staff members refer to her as “Giggles,” as Sarah always has a smile on her face.
Since last summer, Sarah participated in a gap year program called Kivunim during which she lived in Israel and traveled to many places all around the world which are rich in Jewish history. When camp ends this summer, Sarah will attend American University in Washington, DC to study International Relations in the Middle East.
Meet Our Rosh Ropes: Gadi Djangoly
We met Gadi last summer when he was a ropes course staff member. We are thrilled to welcome him back as the Rosh Ropes (Ropes Director) for his second CJ summer.
As a camper, Gadi attended Blue Star. As he saw on social media that his former camp friends were returning to camp to become staff members, his camp memories inspired him to, one day, work as a counselor. He contacted Tom Rosenberg, who he knew from Blue Star, and fell in love with CJ through their conversations, pictures, and videos on the website. He knew it would be the perfect fit. The decision for Gadi to return to Camp Judaea this summer was made easy because he had “the perfect summer” with us in 2015.
“The staff members were great and motivated, and the campers were hungry for excitement. The Ropes activity area is one of the most challenging activities a camper can do at camp both physically and mentally. Helping a camper achieve his/her goal, whether it’s going down the zip line, climbing to the top of the hard wall or just simply to face their fear of heights, gives me the best feeling.”
Gadi admires Camp Judaea for its constant devotion to Zionism. He intends to incorporate as much of Israel as he can into the Ropes activities. On the Migdal (tower) there is a full-scale map of Israel that the campers will be able to climb in order to locate and reach specific cities. He is also a fan of using Hebrew vocabulary like hevel (rope) and casda (helmet) to help the campers learn.
Gadi is originally from London but made Aliya to Raanana, Israel when he was sixteen. His hobbies include running with his dogs, playing guitar, and Krav Maga. He served in the elite Israeli Paratroopers from 2011-2014. Over the last year, he has been living and working in London as a personal trainer and outdoor boot camp instructor specializing in functional training.
“I like motivating people. That is why I became a personal trainer, and that is why I am returning to CJ: to help motivate the campers to achieve their goals.”