I hope you are saying to yourself - summertime? Umm...the High Holy Days just ended. Well, it's true. Yes, it is September 28. However, it is time to begin thinking about the plans for your children. It is NEVER too early!
***Disclaimer - I attended URJ Camp Coleman as a kid....and worked there for 5 years. However, I have also worked at 6 other camps.***
So, now that the disclaimer is out of the way, here is the truth: We have a problem (not just in the Jewish community). Our kids are being "forced" to attend religious school...they are going through the motions with B'nai Mitzvah preparation. Once they finish, they may or may not come back for confirmation. And, if they do, once they get to the "freedom" of college, we lose them (sometimes completely).
Now - I will admit that I am not speaking for every single Jewish child out there. We do see many success stories of kids that have continued their Jewish education beyond college and have become very active members of their Jewish communities. Ok, are you ready for the secret?
Here it is - JEWISH CAMPING! Now, as I wrote in my disclaimer, I am a graduate of URJ camping. I attended and worked at URJ Camp Coleman. I worked for 2 summers at Goldman Union Camp Institute in Zionsville, Indiana (another URJ camp). I have lots and lots of friends that have attended all of the other URJ camps.
I have also worked for JCC Camp Barney Medintz, Camp Judaea, High Meadows Day Camp, JCC Capital Camps, and JCC Camp Livingston. Having worked in a variety of Jewish camps from the JCC camps to the URJ camps, I can tell you that Jewish camping is completely invaluable. There is not anything in this world that has greater value for Jewish children. Now, my children will attend URJ Camp Coleman - that is where I grew up - but if you do not or not able to send your kids to Camp Coleman, fine, send them to a different Jewish summer camp. If you are unsure which camp to send your children to, contact me...I would be happy to discuss with you the questions you should be asking and the variety of programs that are out there.
There is not one single reason that should keep your kids from going to camp. My parents were in the bottom rungs of lower middle class. Yet, my brother, sister and I all attended Camp Coleman. And, Jewish camping has had an indelible effect on all of our lives. There are many programs out there that can help with all kinds of challenges you might have, including financial worries/concerns. Please, take this blog seriously! Jewish camping is so, so, so valuable for our children!
Be in touch...