by Shoshana Bedrosian, former Crane Lake Camper
Instead of coming back to camp last summer, Shoshana spent three weeks coaching soccer for underprivileged children in Cambodia and Vietnam through a program called Sports for Social Change. The organizations’s co-founder and program director is Sylvia Murray, Shosh’s former camp counselor at Crane Lake who recommended her for the program! Here, Shoshana reflects on the experience and how her years as a CLC camper prepared her for the experience.
Being in both Vietnam and Cambodia was eye-opening and allowed me to gain knowledge on the world around me. I’ve always wanted to travel and learn about culture so this was the experience I had been waiting for for my entire life.
My need for traveling and learning about culture all stemmed from my experience at Crane Lake. As a camper, I was exposed to some of the most fantastic people that shared their experiences with me and inspired me to want to learn more. Meeting people from all over the world at such a young age at camp, allowed me to gain insight on how others live and how to accommodate and be open to all.
Sports for Social Change is a program that is centered around community, encouragement, friendship, and soccer. As a coach, I was able to work with children from both Vietnam and Cambodia and teach them something I am so passionate in, which is soccer. Although it was difficult coaching sometimes due to language barriers, most of the campers understood what I was trying to convey when I used my body language. This program not only allowed me to learn about both cultures and my campers lives, however, I was able to learn about myself by forcing myself in uncomfortable positions.
I felt very experienced and prepared going into the program as a coach because I was exposed to all of this at such a young age at Crane Lake. Looking back on my years at camp, I am so fortunate that I was able to attend camp for 7 years and allow myself to grow and find myself as a person. Camp taught me the camaraderie, the community and the kindness I needed for Sports for Social Change. While in Southeast Asia, I had to work in groups constantly and being able to live and do daily activities with my friends and bunkmates at camp, allowed me to be so successful when I met people of different cultures and backgrounds of mine.
Shosh Bedrosian is a proud member of Olim ‘012. You can read more about her summer coaching in Cambodia and Vietnam in this article.