5777 — A Year in Review

If you had a time machine and tried to tell me everything that was going to happen over the last 12 months, I would have had one word to say to you: bullshit.

I sit here today in a state of reflection as I look back on the past 365 days. What a year! It was a year with a lot of firsts, plenty of surprises, and a ton of growth.

My year would not have been the same without the love and support of my tribe. A huge thank you to my family, my friends (new + old), my mentors, colleagues, and everyone else who stood with and against me. Thank you for making 5777 an incredible year! I have no idea where I will be a year from now, but I hope that I’ll still be surrounded by such incredible people. You all reinforce my notion of Your Tribe Affects Your Vibe.

Learning was an unmentioned focus for me this year. I didn’t set off to learn anything, but I learned a lot about how I work, whom I want to spend time with, and what I want to do with my life. You see, life has always been, and will forever remain my favorite teacher. I learn most effectively when I’m watching and learning from my own and others’ actions.

My biggest regret of the last year was not volunteering more time to help with the 2016 election. And while I certainly campaigned and voted, I truly believe I could have done more. This year was a wake up call for me. I will not make this mistake again.

However, potentially my biggest failure is that I did not fail enough. This tells me I need to take more risks in the coming year.

Yet still, this year I…

  • I graduated from college! After what seemed like forever, I finally received my Bachelor’s degree. School wasn’t my thing. It never will be. But I did it. And I’m really damn proud!
  • Together, with the help of friends and family, I was able to raise enough money to send two deserving children to camp this summer. Thanks to everyone who came to #LaughForSCOPE!
  • I started teaching Hebrew School again. I like to brag and say that my class is known as the “fun class”. I’m happy with that claim because I truly believe that in education we need to start meeting our students where they are.
  • I started my own business! Born out of my love and passion for summer camp, I created Camp Blueprint — a team building facilitation company. I am having a blast reeking havoc in professional offices by playing camp-style games with grown adults. If you know of an organization that could use some #UnprofessionalDevelopment, give me a holler!
  • I moved! I love my new apartment and the new New York Office. I enjoy hosting guests, so please take this as an open invitation to visit!
  • I stopped drinking Diet Coke and spending money on Starbucks. And then, I started again. Sometimes it’s okay to have a vice.
  • After an amazing summer at JCC Maccabi Sports Camp, I am excited and energized for the off-season. I am looking forward to furthering our mission and taking on new responsibilities as we prepare for our 5th summer.

Needless to say, a lot has happened. Some good, some bad, and yet I feel upbeat about where things are heading. The year we are departing was filled with much sorrow. This country faces a grave test of its values, and suffering has come to millions of people around the world.

As we move into a new year, in this difficult time in which we live, it is my hope that we all use each day, each moment, and each breathe to better ourselves and the world.

“If you‘re not going to be any better tomorrow than you were today, then what need do you have for tomorrow?” — Rabbi Nachman of Breslov

We are all spiritually connected as humans. And every single one of our actions, sooner or later, will affect the quality of life for our neighbors.

Will there be difficulties going forward? Of course there will be! But one thing I’ve learned this year is we are much more capable of engaging our problems than we realize.

I wish you all a happy new year and an awesome 5778. L’shana Tovah!

Xo! Yours in camping, Brent.