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The JWest Campership Program awards financial incentives of up to $2,500 to qualifying middle schoolers.

Jewish Overnight Camp Funds Available

The Foundation for Jewish Camp is currently accepting applications for the JWest Campership Program, a grant that awards financial incentives of up to $2,500 over multiple years to middle schoolers who attend one of 23 Jewish camps for the first time. Now in its third year, the JWest Campership Program is funded by the Jim Joseph Foundation.

Potential campers eligible to receive up to $2,500 are those who in their first year:

  • Have never attended Jewish overnight summer camp (family camp and/or winter camp participation do not disqualify potential grant recipients)
  • Will enter sixth, seventh, or eighth grade in the fall after camp
  • Are not involved in immersive Jewish experiences (day school or yeshiva)
  • Enroll in a two week (12 day minimum) session or longer
  • Reside in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, or Wyoming.

Campers who receive grant money in 2010 and return for a two week session or longer in 2011 will be eligible for a second year grant. The total grant amount of the JWest Campership Program is $2500, which will be distributed over a 2-3 year period.

Locally, there are three camps that campers can receive funding to attend: JCC Ranch Camp in Elbert, Ramah Outdoor Adventure Camp in Sedalia, or Shwayder Camp in Idaho Springs*. After registering for the camp of your choice, parents/guardians should visit www.onehappycamper.org and fill out the JWest Campership Program application. Once the camper’s registration at camp has been confirmed and the JWest application has been approved, the incentive monies will be paid directly to the camp in the camper’s name. If the camper remains on a waitlist or cancels before camp begins, no incentive monies will be awarded.

One Boulder parent had this to say about her daughter’s experience at camp in 2008:

When I picked up my 6th grader from camp, the brave girl who three weeks prior had gotten on the bus in spite of having thrown up throughout the entire night before and sobbed throughout the morning of departure, it was mighty impressive to see her a little taller, a little more centered, and hear her say, “Thank you for sending me to camp.” Just now that same camper sadly realized that tonight would be her “first Shabbat away from camp.” She now says that, rather than ‘home sick,’ she’s ‘camp sick.’

To learn more about the JWest Campership Program, please contact program director, Wendy Aronson at wendy@jewishcamp.org or call 720-242-7482.

*JCC Ranch Camp has a complementary Campership program for first time campers in 3-11 grade. Contact them for additional details.

About Wendy Aronson

Wendy Aronson
Current position: Assistant Executive Director at the Boulder JCC. Formerly was the JWest Program Director at the Foundation for Jewish Camp, worked for CAJE staffing the IST trip and B'nai Tzedek program, and was CU Boulder Hillel's first JCSC Fellow.

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