Tips For The INTL Shabbaton

3 years ago The Connections Staff 1

Going to the CTeen INTL Shabbaton for the first, or even second or third time can be the most exciting and nervous feeling ever. Not knowing what is going to happen or who you will meet can be nerve wracking, trust me, I know. Sometimes just throwing yourself into the unknown can be exhilarating, but if that’s not your thing, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of the Shabbaton.

  1. Put Yourself Out There

I cannot stress this one enough. Talk to people! Ask them where they are from or what their favorite part of the Shabbaton is. Asking them where they’re from or their favorite part of Shabbaton is a great conversation starter. The people you meet at the Shabbaton are all united under the common ground of being proud Jews, not many times in your life will you be in a room with hundreds of Jewish teens so take advantage. The people you meet at the shabbaton could become lifelong friends that you end up messaging and visiting later in life. Plus, it’s really cool to go back home and tell people you have a friend from another state or country!

  1. Be Yourself

This is something you hear everyday, but sometimes it can be hard. Sometimes it feels as though no one understands what it’s like to be the only Jew, but at the Shabbaton, you are not alone. You have the support of hundreds and these are the people you will keep in your life forever. Surrounded by a group of teens who are all connected through such a strong bond gives you the opportunity to be who you truly are. Be the most you that you can be at the Shabbaton and you will have the best time. 

  1. Live in the Moment

While you should definitely take pictures and videos to remember your favorite moments, I definitely suggest living in the moment. Dance to the songs, have conversations, because once you leave you will be sad you missed even one second. Living in the moment will offer you the opportunity to get the most out of the Shabbaton and give you more to tell your friends about when you get home. 

  1. Learn Everything You Can

You will learn so much about yourself, Judaism, and life in general at the Shabbaton. CTeen makes sure that every Rabbi, Rebbitzen, and speaker has something important to share and it is up to you whether you decide to embrace it. Going into the Shabbaton you may feel like you don’t know enough, but don’t worry there is someone else in the same boat and there is always someone more than happy to help answer any of your questions. Never be afraid to ask a question.  You learn something new everyday and at the Shabbaton, in only a few days, you can learn more than you ever thought you could.

  1. Be Open

At the Shabbaton, you are going to meet people you never thought you would meet and learn things you never thought you would learn. Be open to it, it may just change your life forever. The person that you just turned to and started a conversation with could change your life in a transformative way, the Rabbi you asked a question to could give you the answer you have been waiting for. You have to be open to new ideas or you will not reach your full potential. 

Simply, just, enjoy it! Everytime you go you will meet new and old friends, make more amazing memories, and find an even deeper understanding of Judaism and yourself. Make the most out of every year because pretty soon you will be in college and that’s when every friend, every memory, every lesson will come in handy. Have the best weekend ever! And as Dr. Seuss once said “don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”