S’more Camp News – October 2017 | Tishrei 5778

Hello and welcome to the October 2017 edition of S’more Camp News!

Even You Can Be Mindful: A Series for Busy Camp Directors

Have you noticed—mindfulness is EVERYWHERE!  So what’s the deal?  Is it hard? Do you have to sit in the lotus position on a silent retreat to experience the benefits of a mindfulness practice?  (No, but you may want to some time!)

Mindfulness is…a practice, an approach and perspective to living that helps us be more present to each moment and situation. And mindfulness techniques can be simple to learn, powerful and fun to do. During this program we will learn about and play with various mindfulness actions.

Join us to experience how becoming more Mindful can contribute to becoming a healthier happier human.

Program Details:

Three weekly sessions Nov. 3, 10, 17 @ 12:00-12:45 pm EST via ZOOM

Space is limited, so sign up soon!

Questions: Contact Natalie Goldfein, instructor at

About our instructor:

Natalie Goldfein is passionate about personal development and growth. As president of and Natalie Goldfein Consulting, Natalie is a teacher, consultant and coach with more than 30 years’ experience helping people make changes in order do things better, interact more effectively and feel good. Her work with companies, organizations and summer camps! include strategic consulting, leadership training, group facilitation, as well as instruction in the ancient practice of Qigong and Tai Chi. Natalie created the Culture of Kindness Challenge and is the author of Inspiring Energy: Improving Your Life through Simple Changes.

Grant Opportunities

Check out the below grants to consider for your camp!

Hazon’s Higher Welfare Eggs and Poultry

Interested in setting a precedent for food justice at your camp? Hazon is offering mini grants to get you started by committing to buy higher-welfare eggs and poultry, becoming part of a movement to improve the lives of farmers, farmworkers, and animals worldwide.

Charles Lafitte Foundation

The Charles Lafitte Foundation supports four primary causes: children’s advocacy, education, medical research and initiatives, and the arts.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation supports equal opportunity communities, and awards grants to organizations creating innovative projects or programs that align with this mission.

Job Openings

Day Camps
Camp Director

  1. JCC of Greater Buffalo: Director of Day Camping Services, Getzville, NY
  2. East Valley JCC: Director of Camping Services, Chandler, AZ
  3. JCC of Southern Nevada: Family, Youth & Camp Director, Las Vegas, NV
  4. Mayerson JCC: Camp Director, Cincinnati, OH
  5. Sidney Albert Albany JCC: Camp Director, Albany, NY
  6. JCA of Southern Maine: Camp Director, Portland, ME. Please direct resumes to
  7. Michael-Ann Russell JCC: Camp Director, North Miami Beach, FL
  8. JCC of Greater Ann Arbor: Camp Director, Ann Arbor, MI. Please direct resumes to
  9. Peninsula JCC: Camp Director, Foster City, CA
  10. Shorefront YM-YWHA of Brighton Manhattan Beach: Director of Day Camp and Teen Services, Brooklyn, NY
  11. Camp in the City, B’nai B’rith Camp: Camp Director, Beaverton, OR
  12. Tamarack Camps: Managing Director, JCC Day Camps, Bloomfield Hills, MI

Assistant Director

  1. Bender JCC of Greater Washington: Assistant Camp Director, Rockville, MD
  2. JCC of Greater Pittsburgh: Assistant Director of Operations, Children, Youth, Family, Day Camps, Pittsburgh, PA


Overnight Camps
Associate Director

  1. Camp Chi: Associate Director, Chicago, IL

Assistant Director

  1. JCC Maccabi Sports Camp: Assistant Director, San Francisco, CA

Program Director

  1. Camp Wise: Program Director, Beachwood, OH


If you have other JCC camp openings to share, please email

Reminder: Call to Action

Help save the camp cultural exchange program! Last month, we asked you to take action to let the White House know how important the J-1 Visa program is to you and your camp. We know how essential the international staff is at many of your camps, and we want to protect the program. It’s not too late to make your voice heard! Take action here through the American Camp Association.

Campfire Story

Chizuk Summer
By Beth Garfinkle-Hancock
Shabbat is here. I know because the air is softer; quieter.

Gently, mixed groups of campers and staff walk around camp to their Shabbat electives, or “Shabboptions.” The Chizuk fellow, in an effort to “strengthen” the Shabbat experience at camp, designs activities  to connect every person Jewishly. Some great Shabboptions I witnessed this summer included a nature walk, as we used our senses to be in the moment. As my tour continued, I heard a hearty drum circle in the background beating with intention. To my surprise, I also witnessed a provocative Big Questions conversation about God. These activities engage every camper and staff member with Shabbat in some way—just  by doing something different or relaxing or thought provoking.

Shabboptions are just one example of the grace of Chizuk fellows across North America as they foster the individualized and intentional relationship between Shabbat, Judaism and its people.


If you have any campfire stories you would like included in our next newsletter, please send them over to!

Engagement Idea of the Month

Idea:  Camp Hilbert’s Fall Festival at camp.

By Leslie McGuigan
Weinstein JCC, Richmond, Virginia

Anyone who thinks Camp is just for summer hasn’t been to the Fall Festival at Camp Hilbert, the Weinstein JCC’s off-site day camp.  For the past 3 years, the Weinstein JCC has given the Richmond Jewish community a reason to go to camp – in October!

The fall is a great time to enjoy the outdoors, and what better place than a rustic camp setting complete with live music, boating activities on the lake, guided nature walks, a petting zoo and pony rides, field games, and a musical hayride?  These are just a few of the activities that await our families who join us for what has become our annual fall tradition.  In the years when Sukkot falls during our festival, the teens involved in our community service youth group, Tikkun Olam Super Stars (TOSS), build a sukkah for all to enjoy.

Our Fall Festival began from a simple idea of having a community event during the month of October.  One idea led to another and soon the plan to host the event at our day camp site was born.  While there were some challenges in hosting a big off-season event at camp, the benefits of doing so were quickly realized.  First, families whose children had attended camp that summer were able to reconnect with fellow campers and experience camp during another season of the year.  Second, this event brought back adults who attended camp when they were kids and hadn’t been back since.  Oh, the changes and improvements they saw, especially since camp had just gone through major renovations the year before!  Last, families who had never seen Camp Hilbert were able to tour the grounds, have some fun, and consider enrolling in our summer camp.

If you have an engagement idea you’d like to share with the field, please email

Welcome to New JCC Camp Staff

Congratulations to everyone on your new roles in the JCC Camps family!

Day Camps

Overnight Camps

Mazel Tov!

Welcome to the world, two new future campers!

  • Jackson Levi Steinharter, born on Aug. 7, the newest son of JCC Maccabi Sports Camp Executive Director Josh Steinharter and his wife, Meghan.
  • Nadav Eitan Broms, born Sept. 2, the first child of Capital Camps Director Adam Broms and his wife Carrie.

Congratulations to Tucson JCC Day Camp Director Josh Shenker on his marriage to Mallory Moore.

Have a simcha to share? Email to include it in our next newsletter.

Keeping Up to Date and in Touch

Connect with us and with each other on the JCC Camps Facebook page! Like our page to catch our updates on events, new programs, and pieces to share on your own pages.

Many of you have had staff changes this year, and some of your camp’s pages are not updated on our website, We try our best to stay current, but the best way is for each camp to update your own page with any necessary changes. Please use this form to let us know what changes to make.

Upcoming Events

  • The Harold Grinspoon Foundation’s JCamp 180 Conference (for Day and Overnight Camps), Oct. 22-24, 2017
  • JCC Overnight Camps Fall Directors’ Meetings, Oct. 24-25, 2017
  • Deadline for JCC Camps Rock! at Songleader Boot Camp grant applications, Friday Oct. 27, 2017
  • Lechu Lachem IV Seminar for Overnight Camps, Nov. 6-9, 2017
  • Webinar: ACA: Easy as 1-2-3, Dec. 5, 2017, 12pm EST
  • Webinar: Putting a Jewish Lens on Your JCC Day Camp, Jan. 9, 2018, 12pm EST
  • JCC Association Shlichim Interviews, Jan. 14-18, 2018
  • Executive Leadership Seminar, Jan. 28-30, 2018
  • Songleader Boot Camp Conference, 18-20, 2018
  • Foundation for Jewish Camp Leaders Assembly, March 18-20, 2018
  • ACA NY/NJ Tri-State Camp Conference, March 20-22, 2018
  • Day Camp Shlichim Training Seminar, April 22-26, 2018
  • Overnight Camp Shlichim Training Seminar, April 25-29, 2018

Congratulations on completing another great summer at camp!


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