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Aaron Selkow

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Preteen boys playing basketball on an indoor court

When I became a Jewish summer camp professional in 1994, I lacked most of the skills and experience needed to do my job well. That’s not self-deprecation or false modesty. That’s a fact. Luckily, I received great support and mentoring and am a voracious learner – and lately, as I’ve been thinking about what allowed me to survive such an inauspicious start, I came up with one asset that made a big difference.

Basketball.

I started playing basketball at age 5. I grew up in a rowhouse in Philadelphia less than 100 steps to the courts, and I loved to play by myself, with...

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I’ve spent 32 summers at Jewish summer camp since 1975, and I’ve enjoyed a fulfilling career working as a camp professional since 1994. For me, camp is a consistent source of inspiration, growth, and joy.

But the average person looks at camp through a different lens than I do, if they look at all. Even those who spent time at camp in their youth miss all of the amazing dimensions of camp that someone behind the curtain gets to see. How can someone who’s not a camp director learn what it’s really all about?

All we need to do is watch Wet Hot American Summer.

Released...

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