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Camp Supplement to Jewish News March 9, 2015 jewishnewsva.org | March 9, 2015 | Jewish News | 15


Camp JCC is a wonde rf ul place to wor k! SUMMER 2015

Camp JCC: June 22 - August 14 Post Camp: August 17 - September 4

NOW HIRING…..STAFF FOR THE FOLLOWING POSITIONS Specialists: Sports, Music Special Needs Counselors • Senior and Junior Counselors •

Camp JCC offers a rich and unique day camp experience, allowing every child to explore their own interests and try new activities within a safe camp atmosphere. Engaging and supportive staff encourages campers to have fun, develop skills and form meaningful relationships. Staff members are hired for their ability to facilitate memorable experiences for our campers. Camp personnel have background checks and participate in an extensive orientation program.

Applications available at: www.simonfamilyjcc.org For more information, contact: Erika Eskanazi, Children, Family and Camp Assistant Director (757) 321-2342 Taffy Hunter, Human Resource Director (757) 965-6117 Submit completed application to:

Simon Family JCC

Attention: Human Resources 5000 Corporate Woods Drive Virginia Beach, 23462

Don’t wait! Applications accepted TODAY!

Summer Art Camp 2015

D Drra aw wiin ng g,, p pa aiin nttiin ng g,, cclla ay, y, m miix xe ed d m me ed diia a a an nd d m mo ore re!! June 15-19: FairyTales and Narrative Art from Dr. Seuss to Lichte n ste ni Ages 6-10 June 22-26: Fantasy Art and Futuristic Fun from Max�eld Parris hto Picasso Ages 9-14 July 6-10: Thomas Cole and Georgia O’Keefe Explore the Art of Nature Ages 6-10 July 13-17: Going Green with Andy Goldsworthy and Louis eNeve son l Ages 9-14 July 20-24: Le o nardo da Vinci, Kandinsky and the Art of Inve n tion Ages 6-10 July 27-31: Animation Nation: Anime and the California Sce n e Painters Ages 9-14 August 3-7: Cartoon Central: Mickey to Miyazaki Ages 6-10 August 10-14: Urban Adventurers: Diego Rivera, Bosquiat and Banks yAges 9-14

Camp Dear Readers, Summer Camp has a way of impacting campers and counselors in a way, I believe, that only they truly understand. So many children can’t wait to return each year, and the same goes for the staff and counselors. A perfect example of the phrase, “you can take the kid out of camp, but you can’t take the camp out of the kid,” is found in our article about an attorney turned camp owner. This successful Manhattan litigator traded his skyscraper view for a mountain view because he always wanted to work in a camp. Instead of simply switching jobs, two years ago he and his wife started their own camp. It’s an interesting story on many levels. We have one article on a topic that is probably as old as camp, but is only recently being addressed by professionals: how camps deal with teen sexuality. Programs are being developed and implemented to address campers’ romantic relationships by a variety of organizations. This is an important subject. Betsy Karotkin and Rabbi Jeremy Bunn Ruberg, both former camp staff members, share some of their favorite memories from their respective camps. You can just see them smile when you read their pieces. Of course we also have our annual Camp Guide, highlighting camp options— particularly from our advertisers. Just for fun, on page 24, you’ll find a photograph from JCC Day Camp at Spotswood Ave. in Norfolk. What we don’t have is a caption identifying the campers. If you know any of those young faces (or perhaps one is yours!), please contact us: news@ujft.org, 757-965-6132, www.jewishnewsva.org (click on contact) or through our facebook page, to help identify everyone. For those getting kids ready for camp, we hope this section offers some ideas, for those who no longer attend camp, we hope you enjoy the memories, and for everyone else, thanks for reading!

August 17-21: Marc Chagall, M.C. Esher and the Unlimited Imagination Ages 6-10

E nroll by May 1st or become a d’ART Center member for a 10% discount! E noll r Onlin e: www.d-artcenter.org

$200/week includes all materials and Summer Camp T-Shirt Camp Hours: 9:00 am-3:00 pm with drop-off on Plume Street 8:30-9:00 am 208 E ast Main Street Norfolk, Virgin ai 23510  Call us! 757-625-4211

16 | Jewish News | March 9, 2015 | Camp | jewishnewsva.org

Terri Denison Editor

Published 22 times a year by United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus of the Tidewater Jewish Community 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Suite 200 Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462-4370 voice 757.965.6100 • fax 757.965.6102 email news@ujft.org www.jewishVA.org Terri Denison, Editor Germaine Clair, Art Director Hal Sacks, Book Review Editor Sandy Goldberg, Account Executive Mark Hecht, Account Executive Marilyn Cerase, Subscription Manager Reba Karp, Editor Emeritus Sherri Wisoff, Proofreader Miles Leon, President Stephanie Calliott, Secretary Harry Graber, Executive Vice-President The appearance of advertising in the Jewish News does not constitute a kashrut, political, product or service endorsement. The articles and letters appearing herein are not necessarily the opinion of this newspaper. © 2015 Jewish News. All rights reserved. Subscription: $18 year For subscription or change of address, call 757-965-6128 or email mcerase@ujft.org.

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Camp First Person

From litigating cases to lighting campfires by Isaac Mamaysky

NEW YORK ( JTA)—“You worked in camp!?” My professor was befuddled. Admittedly, it’s a strange way to spend the summer after your first year in law school. Most of my classmates accepted summer associate and law clerk positions at various firms—that’s what you’re supposed to do. As a college student, I had told friends and family that I wanted to make camp into a career. After all, I had made my closest friends and formed many of my warmest memories as a camper and staff member of Camp Jori in Rhode Island, one of the oldest Jewish camps in the United States. When I began thinking about what to do after college, camp was the natural choice. But this aspiration was frequently met with the same advice: “It’s time to grow up and get a real job. You can’t work in camp your whole life.” After hearing that refrain so often, I decided to apply to law school. Three years later, in September of 2008, I started my legal career on a beautiful summery day. Upon arriving at a new lawyers’ training session in the Manhattan skyscraper where the firm was located, I found myself wondering how I had ended up in such a decidedly un-camp-like environment. Initial reservations aside, lawyering was actually quite enjoyable. The cases were interesting, the associates had an active social scene, the salary left little to be desired and, at least compared to other law firms, the hours were relatively reasonable. I even got used to the suits. But there were frequent reminders about the career that might have been. I remember my heart sinking when I walked past a sign, made by New York street artist James de la Vega, that said, “Become your dream.” Why wasn’t I working in camp? On some nights I would literally dream about camp—the smell of hot chocolate in the dining hall on cold mornings, the silly

tunes of our camp songs, the day when campers arrive. It went on like this for a couple of years, until January of 2011, when my wife, Lisa, and I took a vacation to the Adirondack Mountains. While scaling a frozen waterfall, we started talking about careers with our guide, a former pharmaceutical researcher who now owns an outdoor adventure store. When he asked what I had always wanted to do, my answer was a no-brainer: “Camp.” When he asked, “Why don’t you start a camp?” a flame was ignited. Of course, I could have worked at an existing camp, but Lisa and I had a unique vision for what the ideal camp would look like. In our personal lives, we cook healthy, organic foods, go hiking and cycling, and relish our involvement in the Jewish community, so we wanted to create an overnight camp that reflected what we see as a recipe for healthy living. For two years, while Lisa worked in finance and I worked in law, we pursued funding to launch a camp that celebrates food, fitness and joyful Judaism. My legal training turned out to be helpful in drafting the 65-page grant application that got us accepted into the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s Specialty Camp Incubator II, the program that enabled Camp Zeke to open its doors last summer. When I was still at the law firm, one of the titans of the camping industry told me that he’d met countless lawyers who wanted to become camp directors, but not a single camp director who wanted to become a lawyer. Now I understand why, and it’s not for the reasons I initially thought. Contemplating this career years ago, I envisioned carefree strolls and long coffee breaks to catch up on the news. In my mind, running a camp was going to be fun and relaxing, just like being a camper. I have come to realize that doing something you love is really hard—precisely because you love it so much. In

a recent Harvard Business Review article, “How Hard Do Company Founders Really Work?” the author, a company founder herself, observes that “nobody else [is] as concerned with solving my company’s problems as [me].” She goes on to discuss 12-hour days and the perceived inability to take personal time due to a total commitment to the enterprise. “Check, check and check,” I thought, reading. Let me give an example. After postponing time off for the first few weeks of camp last summer, I finally found a good day to take a few hours to myself. It was supposed to be simple: I would drop off some staff members to pick up rental vans—the first-session kids were going home the next day—and then I would spend a leisurely few hours off site. But when we arrived at the rental pickup place, it turned out that the rental company had made a mistake, and only three of the seven vans we had reserved were available. Needless to say, the idea of taking a few hours off went out the window. On the plus side, however, our leadership team resolved the issue in less than 40 minutes, contacting a bus company

and booking drivers for the next day. The kids would get home, they assured me. I breathed a long sigh of relief. By that evening, the whole situation was already a humorous story among the staff. This is why camp differs from starting another kind of company. While it often feels like I own every challenge, in actuality the entire Camp Zeke family—the staff, parents, campers and funders—has become as concerned with camp’s challenges as me. After all, it’s their camp too. I still have garment bags full of suits and ties from my days at the law firm. They hang neatly next to my preferred attire, a growing collection of camp T-shirts that Lisa and I had a lot of fun designing. In more ways than one, the T-shirts are so much more comfortable. —Isaac Mamaysky is the co-founder and executive director of Camp Zeke, which is funded by the Jim Joseph Foundation, AVI CHAI Foundation, the Foundation for Jewish Camp and UJA-Federation of New York. Sponsored message: Jewish camp is worth it! Discover first-time camper opportunities with One Happy Camper (up to $1,000 off) and BunkConnect.org (special rates 40–60% off).

jewishnewsva.org | Camp | March 9, 2015 | Jewish News | 17


Camp Eco-Tours for kids This is the program dubbed by The Virginian-Pilot, a Traveling Road Show and recently featured on WAVY TV 10’s Reck On the Road. For 20 years, Discover Virginia has provided exciting, educational and fun outdoor adventures for kids including: Kayaking, fishing, crabbing, swimming and more. Its professionally trained staff closely supervises each activity. These weekly adventures continue all summer, every Monday through Friday, beginning the last week in June and continuing until the first week in September. Every day is packed with new, exciting and FUN adventures. The kids come home tired and happy! Visit www.discoverva.com for information, detailed itinerary and registration. 757-721-9668.

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18 | Jewish News | March 9, 2015 | Camp | jewishnewsva.org

Larry Ward Basketball Camps

C

oach Larry Ward begins his 22nd year of running basketball camps in Virginia Beach and North Carolina. Coach Ward’s camps are highly organized to help young girls and boys better understand the game. Considered to be a true teacher of the game of basketball, Coach Ward places a strong emphasis on player development both on the court and in the classroom. Session I—June 22–26, 9 am–4 pm, First Colonial High School   Boys and Girls 7 yrs–15 yrs. Session II—July 13–17, 9 am–noon,   Friends School   Boys and Girls 5 yrs–7 yrs. Session III July 20–24, 9 am–4 pm,   First Colonial High School   Boys and Girls 7 yrs–15 yrs. Session IV August 3–7 9 am–noon,   Friends School   Boys and Girls 8 yrs–15 yrs. Full Day Camps include lunch, t-shirt and basketball. Half Day Camps include snack, t-shirt and basketball. Visit: LarryWardBasketballCamp.com or email larrywardbasketball@yahoo.com.

2/13/2015 4:10:30 PM


Camp Foundation for Jewish Camp launching four pilot efforts NEW YORK (JTA) — The Foundation for Jewish Camp is launching two pilot programs to benefit Jewish day camps, as well as two programs for overnight camps. The programs, funded with grants from various foundations, are demonstration projects that the Foundation for Jewish Camp, or FJC, hopes to expand and replicate in the future. They are a camp “accelerator,” an initiative to help camps be more inclusive of children with disabilities, a Hebrew immersion program and a “Jewish coaching” project. New Camp Accelerator, which provides consulting and funding to help establish new overnight camps, is currently working with URJ 6 Points Sports Academy West and Ramah Northern California, both of which plan to open in the summer of 2016. The FJC Ruderman Inclusion Initiative will help four camps hire and train inclusion coordinators to increase the number of children with disabilities participating there. The camps are Camp Young Judea Texas, URJ

Camp Harlam, Camp B’nai Brith Oregon and Camp JCA Shalom. Arevim Hebrew Immersion at Camp will help Jewish day camps add a Hebrew-immersion curriculum to their programming. The Jewish Coaching Project will provide coaches, cohort learning and communities of practice focused on helping four New York-area day camps define their Jewish mission and maximize the Jewish outcomes they seek for their campers and staff. “FJC believes these four grants will have significant impact not only on the local programs but also in creating models for expansion across North America,” Jeremy Fingerman, the FJC’s CEO, says. The mission of the FJC, which works with more than 155 nonprofit Jewish camps in North America, is to increase the number of children participating in immersive Jewish experiences each summer.

Summer Safari Camp Explore the world of animals this summer. Weekly camp sessions begin June 22, 2015. To sign up or for more information visit

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jewishnewsva.org | Camp | March 9, 2015 | Jewish News | 19


Camp

CAMP MEMORIES

My most favorite place Betsy O. Karotkin

B

y the first of April every year, I

by Elicia Brown

would begin to dream of won-

derful summer days at Camp Henry S. Jacobs in Utica, Miss. It was here, in this rural area of the deep South that I taught pottery for a month for many summers. Kids from third grade through high school came summer after summer to renew their friendships and experience Judaism in a way that’s unique to the camp experience. I, too, loved being a part of that deeply Jewish experience. Each day I had great fun working with the campers to make mezuzahs, kiddush cups, Shabbat candlesticks, honey pots and all manner of ceramic Judaica. I remember vividly the last nights of camp when I would be running back and forth between my cabin and the art room to keep turning up the kiln, knowing that every camper was waiting to take home the pottery they had made. All of our children went to camp there and I had the great pleasure of being able to wave to them as we passed, to hear their funny stories and to watch them enjoy Jewish camping as much as I did. And to make life complete, every summer Ed would join me for a week or two as the camp doctor. My warmest memories are celebrating Shabbat together—the campers and counselors dressed in white as the song leader went from cabin to cabin picking them up in song and dance. Coming home, the Sabbath always paled in comparison to those wonderful camp Shabbats, where singing went on and on and on after our Shabbat dinner—despite the 90–100+ temperatures. We didn’t have air-conditioning—but who needed it? We were much too caught up in the joy of Shabbat to even notice. This summer I will have the immense pleasure of seeing a granddaughter go off to Mississippi and continue the wonderful Jewish camping experience at Camp Jacobs, where her mom and dad met.

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Amid increased scrutiny and risk, camps grapple with teen sexuality

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20 | Jewish News | March 9, 2015 | Camp | jewishnewsva.org

NEW YORK (JTA)—The counselors didn’t approve, but preferred not to meddle: According to the bunk’s “hook-up competition,” each teenage girl was supposed to mark a space on the cabin wall with her name and date indicating when she had successfully kissed—or otherwise hooked up with—a boy. Naomi Less, a longtime camp consultant, was approached for advice from the camp, which she preferred not to identify. She counseled to paint over the wall. Less, a rock musician and Jewish educator as well, also suggested that the counselors “bring in someone to speak with the girls about the idea of pressuring each other to perform acts they weren’t ready for—or didn’t want to do—and to reduce the hetero normative hooking-up assumptions, as there will most certainly be girls within the bunks who will not ever want to hook up with guys because they are lesbians.” While sexual behavior and boundaries on college campuses—particularly the growing number of reported rape cases— has been in the spotlight in recent months, at overnight camps these issues tend to receive less attention, in part because teens there are more heavily supervised and must adhere to strict no-alcohol policies. Some argue that Jewish summer camps should be more proactive about how they address campers’ romantic relationships, particularly given that some statistics indicate that as many as one in three female adolescents is a victim of sexual assault. Dana Fleitman, manager of prevention and training programs at Jewish Women International, recently developed a project focused on combating teen dating abuse (materials available free at http://datingabuse.jwi.org), and believes that education should begin “early, from the time kids are young teens, long before they go to college.” The JWI program, which provides tools for adults to speak with teenagers, could easily be adapted to a counselor orientation program, Fleitman says.

Mara Yacobi, a New Jersey-based social worker and founder of JLove and Values, a nonprofit that provides sex education from a Jewish values perspective, has done staff training at several Jewish camps and has also spoken with campers. She recalls one eighth grader who stated, “This summer it was all about kissing and feeling up a girl’s shirt,” and that “Next summer it’s all about the hand job.” The comment, made during a co-ed discussion, reflected a general sense that “sexual behaviors were about achieving one conquest after another,” says Yacobi, who reminded that group that “if you are being intimate with someone, take time to remember that you are sharing this experience with a person—not an object.” Summer camps have a unique opportunity to spend time on issues that schools do not,” Yacobi says. “Spending time simply reviewing the qualities of a healthy and unhealthy relationship are the types of conversations young people are yearning to have with the camp counselors they admire.” One potential model for doing that is Tawonga, a JCC camp on the outskirts of California’s Yosemite National Park, which offers one of the Jewish camp world’s most carefully considered approaches to physical intimacy and relationships. Jamie Simon-Harris, the director at Tawonga and a former sex educator for United Against Sexual Assault in Sonoma County, Calif., leads several workshops about sexuality. The camp also starts each session with girls-only, boys-only and transgender campfire discussions about sexual identity. Later, Simon-Harris leads optional sessions in which Tawonga’s youngest campers learn how to be a good friend, the middle school-age children discuss relationships, and the teens delve into the physical and emotional components of safe sex. “They love it,” says Simon-Harris, who says she’s been told by participants, ‘Camp is where I learned to say no,’ and ‘Camp is where I knew I could be gay.’” Sam Quintana, who is 25 and a “lifer” at Tawonga, says the camp’s “sex positive”


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campers let their imagination run wild as they meet artists new and old from around the world. Campers learn to paint, draw, do ceramics, weave, work with wire and build buildings. D’ART Summer camp is taught by professional artists and Norfolk and Virginia Beach public and private school teachers. The kids have fun while improving their artistic technique. D’ART Camp opens for drop off at 8:30 am and runs until 3 pm. Campers also get out and about in downtown Norfolk exploring nearby parks during lunch and to use as inspiration for projects. 757-625-4211. www.d-artcenter.org.

approach “validates rather than shames.” Quintana, who is now on the camp’s year-round staff adds, “The sexual values I learned at Tawonga have been incredibly transformative. It’s about the ability to relate to other people and treat other people with respect.” Tawonga’s extensive examination of sexuality may not feel appropriate in all camp settings, particularly its “hugging and kissing with all clothes on” credo, which Quintana describes as a way to defuse “pressure to be in a relationship.” Sheira Director-Nowack, the associate director of Camp JRF in South Sterling, Pa., says she “would never say ‘kissing with clothes on is OK,’ because maybe the kid is not ready, and then it would make that the norm.”

She has spoken with campers about the problem of overly provocative attire, however, inspiring a new slogan for the Friday night dress code: “No Shabooty; No Shabooby.” Rabbi Mitchell Cohen, the national director of the Conservative movement’s Ramah camping movement emphasizes that the “most important thing is how to reduce social and sexual pressures on children.” Despite their “sex-positive” approach, Tawonga leaders emphasize that the summer should be more about community than coupling. “If a camper chooses just friendships, that’s also totally accepted. Dating can be part of camp, but it can’t be all of camp,” says Simon-Harris.

Grades K-5: Academic Mornings - Reading/Writing/Math Recreational Afternoons - Art/Technology/Games Half or Full Days - 3 or 6 Week Programs Grades 6-8: Reading - Decoding & Comprehension Math - Computation/Problem Solving Study/Organizational Skills Half Day Program - 3 or 6 Week Programs

Register online at www.cba-va.org Contact Dana Calo at 757.497.6200 or dcalo@cba-va.org for more information. 821 Baker Road l Virginia Beach, VA 23462 | cba-va.org

jewishnewsva.org | Camp | March 9, 2015 | Jewish News | 21


CAMP MEMORIES

Camp

A place of kindness Jeremy Brunn Ruberg

I

f you’re like me you begin to think, “How did it get to be so cold outside?” Not that I mind the cold so much,

but weather like music takes us back to different times in our lives and my best childhood memories mostly come from when it was warmer, meaning summertime. To warm my heart as it turns colder, I often reminisce about my years at Jewish summer camp. If you don’t know already, I attended Camp Ramah in New England for more than 15 years; seven years as a camper and eight years as a staff member. While I don’t remember everything I did at camp, there are some moments that stick out in my mind that I will never forget, including my first day at camp 20 years ago. After driving all day with friends of my family to camp, I began to feel worried about what camp would be like. After all, I didn’t know anyone going to camp. My stomach began to hurt, but I thought that was just nerves. Well it wasn’t just nerves; it was actually my appendix. We didn’t know that at the time but I got pretty darn sick. When I arrived at the camp, I was greeted by my counselors, they shook my hand, and then I lost my lunch. You read that right. Got sick right on the spot in front of all my counselors, parents and bunkmates. At that moment my counselors told me I would be okay

Chesapeake Bay Academy’s Summer Learning Program Dive into learning this summer! Providing an opportunity for students to practice and cement reading, writing and math concepts learned during the school year

and that they would take me to the “marp.” The word “marp” is a shortened, slang for

and to keep skills fresh for the fall, Chesapeake Bay Academy’s Summer Learning

the full Hebrew word “Mirpa’ah” which means “infirmary.” Although I was the son of a

Program helps avoid the summer slide with a learning program personalized to each

rabbi and attended Jewish day school, no amount of Hebrew knowledge can decipher

child’s strengths and areas of need.

the insider languages of camps. So I was not only scared to be at camp, and sick as a dog, but now I was being sent to a mysterious place for treatment.

The grades K-5 program includes academic mornings involving reading, writing

I was driven over to the infirmary where I was given very good care by both nurses

and math instruction incorporating multi-sensory instruction and individualized

and doctors. But the best care was not from the medical professionals. You see, on the

support. Recreational activities such as technology, art and games provide time for

first night I was visited by my counselors and bunkmates, whom I hadn’t even met. They

creativity and fun in the afternoon. The half day program for grades 6-8 focus on

came with cards written in English and Hebrew saying “Get Well Soon” and “Refuah Shleyma.” I have never forgotten the kindness that was shown to me that first night. Now I know you might be thinking the obvious: people can be nice anywhere. But I think this display of kindness was different. Why did all my counselors and bunkmates come to visit me? Because it was a mitzvah, a value, something important that Camp Ramah emphasizes in ways that other camps do not. Mitzvot at Camp Ramah are not just a nice thing to do; they are a way of life.

reading (decoding/comprehension), math (computation/problem solving) and study/ organizational skills. At Chesapeake Bay Academy, each child’s unique learning style is embraced, with new, specialized pathways to academic and social success created. CBA’s 6:1 student-to-teacher ratio, multisensory instruction and project-based curriculum

To conclude the story after spending three days in the infirmary, I was released and

offer students the opportunity to develop a true love of learning. Small classrooms,

went on to have a great summer at camp with many wonderful friends. It turned out to

Individualized Instruction Plans and caring, highly-trained teachers lay the foun-

be a beginning of a long relationship with Camp Rama in New England. So long, that I spent eight years on staff. And that work at camp was easily the most rewarding activity of my life. I recommend it to anyone. 22 | Jewish News | March 9, 2015 | Camp | jewishnewsva.org

dation for programs designed to ensure the academic achievement of each student. CBA empowers students with tools for success in school and beyond. 757-497-6200.


Camp Camp JCC at the Simon Family JCC

Hunt Club Farm Hunt Club’s Summer Farm Camp provides children the opportunity to learn about life on a farm. This program offers real hands

A traditional Day Camp for Kkids 16 months–10th grade,

on experience with petting farm animals,

a few of the camp’s actives include arts & crafts, music, field

including horses, goats, sheep, llamas,

trips, swim lessons, fun in the outdoor water park, games

rabbits and chickens. Campers learn the

and sports and overnight stays. New activities this year

responsibility of daily feeding, cleaning, grooming and animal care activities. In the

include gardening, fishing and Pickleball.

garden, campers pick vegetables, herbs and flowers, and they even pull a few weeds. Each session includes several horseback riding experiences, fishing, farm games,

Sessions are June 22–August 14 with three weeks of Post

daily cool down water activities, arts and crafts and more. Campers leave with an

Camp: August 17–September 4. Camp JCC accommodates children with special needs. For details, call Michelle Fenley at 757‑459‑4640.

abundance of knowledge and appreciation of all living things. The goal at farm camp is to encourage a friendly environment in which children learn responsibility and initiate leadership skills that will make a memorable impact on their lives.

Brochures and registra-

For a brochure or more information, go to www.huntclubfarm.com or call 427‑9520.

tion forms are available online at CampJCC. org, at the JCC Customer Service desk or call

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jewishnewsva.org | March 9, 2015 | Jewish News | 23


CAMP MEMORIES

JCC Day Camp circa 1955–58

Camp Program connects discount-seeking families with camps eager to broaden their recruitment base by Julie Wiener

Recognize anyone? Help us write the caption! Please send names and locations (front row, second row, etc.) to news @ujft.org.

Summer Safari Camp 2015 at the Virginia Zoo Explore the wonderful world of animals at the Virginia Zoo this summer. Summer Safari camps offer children from first graders through eighth graders up-close animal encounters, behind-the scenes adventures, crafts, games, zoo hikes and much more fun each and every day. Weekly sessions begin June 22, 2015. For more information or to enroll, visit virginiazoo.org or call the education department at 757-441-2374, ext. 229.

24 | Jewish News | March 9, 2015 | jewishnewsva.org

NEW YORK (JTA)—Andrea Lass’ son and daughter had their hearts set last year on going to Camp JRF, a Jewish overnight camp recommended by their friends. But with her husband recently laid off, the New Jersey mom didn’t see how the family could manage the expense, even with a scholarship. At the suggestion of Isaac Saposnik, the camp’s director, Lass went to the website of BunkConnect, a Foundation for Jewish Camp program that helps first-time campers from lower- and middle-income families find specially discounted spots at Jewish camps. “It was an incredibly easy process and incredibly generous,” she says, noting that she paid just 20–30 percent of the usual rate for each child to attend an almostthree-week session. “I wouldn’t have been able to send the kids to camp without help from them.” Piloted last summer in 35 camps on the East Coast, BunkConnect is launching in full this year, with 75 camps nationwide offering discounts ranging from 40 to 80 percent. The program is open to all FJCaffiliated camps in the United States who wish to participate, and plans to expand to Canada in the future. A joint project with the Center for Entrepreneurial Jewish Philanthropy, BunkConnect seeks to match families that have not previously sent children to Jewish overnight camp or who might think such camps are unaffordable with camps that have beds that might otherwise go unfilled. Jeremy Fingerman, the FJC’s CEO, described BunkConnect as an affordability initiative as well as a “lead generator.” “We’re hoping to help the camps identify new families who might not otherwise have considered a Jewish camp or that particular camp,” he says, adding that the program aims to reach “families that maybe are not on the radar screen of the camps.” Participating camps decide how many discounted slots to offer—generally

picking sessions or ages that are more difficult to fill—and then post them on the BunkConnect site. Parents fill out a short online questionnaire to determine their eligibility, based on adjusted gross income, number of children and other financial details and browse the site for available camp slots. Once parents select a camp, the site notifies a camp staff member who then contacts the family to answer any questions and register the child. “This is not buying a hotel room,” Fingerman explains. “You’re buying an experience, so it’s got to fit. If you need kosher food or a camp that accommodates special needs, you have to make sure the camp offers that.” While Lass, the New Jersey mom, had been in contact with Camp JRF before logging on to BunkConnect, Fingerman says two-thirds of the families who used the program last summer were unknown to the camps beforehand. In addition, 90 percent of the parents surveyed report that they would not have enrolled their child without the BunkConnect discount. Stefan Teodosic, executive director of Perlman Camp in Lake Como, Pa., says that all but one or two of the nine new campers brought in through BunkConnect last summer, with discounts ranging from 40-75 percent, found out about the camp through the website. Teodosic sees BunkConnect as a way for Perlman to reach “people that are under-affiliated [Jewishly] or not educated about the value of camping. They’re the hardest people to get in touch with.” The program also enables the camp to promote slots that are filling more slowly. “If we wanted to push a certain age group or session, we could discount it higher,” he explains, adding that the BunkConnect website offered “flexibility” and was an “easy tool to use.” Saposnik, the Camp JRF director, also deems the pilot a success. His camp, which is affiliated with the Reconstructionist movement, joined the pilot as a way to help fill a new “eco-village” it had recently built


Camp and to improve outreach to lower-income families, a sector he said the camp had “not done a particularly good job” with before. “What we heard time and again from families we spoke to was, ‘I didn’t think camp was going to be option for me but this makes it possible to think about,” he says. Camp JRF brought in 18 new campers through BunkConnect last year, “far more” than Saposnik had expected. So far, about 60 percent say they will return this coming

summer, availing themselves of the second year of the discount. That includes the children of Andrea Lass, who hadn’t realized—until she got an email from the camp in December—that the discount was an offer for a second year. Interviewed soon after getting the email, she says, “I’m going to tell them on the last night of Hanukkah. They’re going to freak out, because they had a tremendous time there.”

Cape Henry Collegiate: Summer at the Cape

Act up with hurrah players Hurrah Theatre Camp is an opportunity for young people to learn about theatre

Hampton

Roads’

most

comprehen-

sive summer program, Cape Henry Collegiate’s “Summer at the Cape” runs June 1–August 7. The program offers day camps run by professional educators, as

with hands on activities and workshop style instruction. Previous experience is not required, but a desire to have fun is. In the mornings, campers participate in classes in Musical Theatre, Acting, Broadway Dance, Jazz, Tap and more. In the afternoons, campers experience the three P’s of theatre…. Producing, Promoting and Performing. Campers will learn

well as half- and full-day camps specializing in the arts, sciences, academics, athletics and numerous other exciting and creative endeavors. These programs are designed to allow students from ages three to 18 the opportunity to develop their talents, acquire new skills and knowledge, explore new interests and make new friends.

about sets, props, costumes and make-up as well as market and perform their own One-Act Play. The final day of camp is Performance Day. Following a Pizza Party Picnic, campers will showcase all their hard work and talents for their families and friends. Campers also receive a free ticket to attend Hurrah’s main-stage production of The

Cape Henry Collegiate is the largest independent, college-preparatory school in Magic and Music of Motown. 757-627-5437. Virginia Beach, educating students in grades prekindergarten through 12th grade. With a 10-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio, emphasis is placed on the core values of community, opportunity, scholarship, and integrity. Campers will enjoy a slice of

FUN

what Cape Henry Collegiate offers over the course of Summer at the Cape, and they

Outdoor FUN for KIDS

Kids 6 to 12 • 9am-4pm Weekly ALL SUMMER

Kayaking • Fishing • Crabbing

will do so on a state-of-the-art campus which includes a fully staffed dining hall, air-conditioned field house, newly redesigned library, brand new turf field complex and more. 757-963-8241.

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BMX BIKING • ROCK BAND • GO KARTS • ROBOTICS • CULINARY ARTS • PAINTBALL • SPORTS A JEWISH CAMPING TRADITION

26 | Jewish News | March 9, 2015 | jewishnewsva.org

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