The Jewish Community Foundation (JCF), the primary planned giving resource for Colorado’s Jewish community and the endowment arm of Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado (Federation), is proud to announce that it has partnered with the Foundation for Jewish Camp to bring the One Happy Camper initiative to Colorado. This summer, JCF will provide subsidies for up to 100 campers through One Happy Camper and JCF hopes to send over 500 campers in the next four years.
One Happy Camper provides subsidies to families living in Colorado to enable children to attend a Jewish overnight summer camp for the very first time.
We are incredibly proud to be a part of a program that gives the gift of Jewish overnight summer camp to children in Colorado,” says Dirk Bird, Executive Director of JCF. “Furthermore, we are proud to support the incredible work of the three incredible overnight Jewish summer camps that we have in our backyard. We know that many of the children who receive subsidies will attend a Colorado camp and we know that their experience will have ripples well into the future as Jewish overnight summer camp experiences are one of the foremost ways to ensure Jewish continuity.”
In these tough economic times, parents still want to be able to afford their children with the amazing growth, educational, and social opportunities that are found at Jewish summer camp. For many Jewish adults, summer camp experiences were a critical part of shaping Jewish identities and building life-long friendships.
Camp is a place where campers can be called upon to become leaders in our tight night community,” said Rabbi Eliav Bock, Director, Ramah Outdoor Adventure at Ramah in the Rockies. “It is a place where it is safe to try on a new identity or experiment with a new religious practice. But if we do our job correctly, the lessons at camp will not stay at camp. We strive to produce campers who can return to their home communities and become more active in helping to shape the institutions and youth groups of which they are a vital part.”
For many families, camping is an inter-generational experience. Many parents pass on this opportunity from child to child.
With three kids we wanted them all to get the camping experience but the expenses involved with sending all of them made it prohibitive,” said Mindy Sanders. “However, we knew it was important for our youngest son to get the same experiences. The One Happy Camper subsidy defrayed enough cost this year to make sleep away camp a reality!”
Funds are limited but still available. Colorado residents can apply at OneHappyCamper.org. The subsidies are open to children who are registered to attend an overnight Jewish summer camp, who do not attend a day school, are residents of Colorado and have not attended sleep away camp before. Campers can attend any of the 150 non-profit Jewish camps in North America but many of the campers choose to attend one of Colorado’s three local summer camps: Shwayer Camp, JCC Ranch Camp, and Ramah Outdoor Adventure Camp. For more details check OneHapperCamper.org or contact Gretchen Koplin, JCF Development Manager at 303.316.6475 or GKoplin@ajfcolorado.org.
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