Atlanta families whose kids couldn’t attend overnight camp last summer due to the pandemic are overjoyed that the 2021 camp season is a “go.” Enrollment in our five regional camps is surging, and as members of the American Camping Association (ACA) they’ve all been carefully following ACA guidelines to create a safe experience this summer. Our camps are expanding their outdoor spaces for a wide range of activities, and many will have COVID-19 testing programs in place for campers. Camp may feel a little different with new safety measures in place, but it will still be a magical Jewish experience for our kids.
Scholarship assistance for summer 2021 is also available. Melissa Scholten Guttierez, Federation’s Jewish Camp Initiative Manager said, “While Federation has been offering financial aid and first-time incentive grants since 2013, this year we know that the need will be greater than ever before. Our community to the plate to ensure there is enough funding for scholarships for all the families for whom finances are a deterrent to their children’s attendance at Jewish overnight camp.” Learn more about financial assistance here.
In order to make this happen we rely on community support. A fundraiser to support Jewish overnight camp is launching this week. If you are able to share your love of Jewish camp so that others can have the experience, donate here.
As we live through the pandemic, we’ve learned that our “pods” of friends and family are hugely important. It will be the same at camp where the bunk becomes the new “pod.” Camps across the country have become true innovators as they adapt best safety practices for campers and counselors to their programs. The recent virtual Camp Fair, created for families in the southeast region, is another example of how camps are rolling with the realities of COVID-19.
Jim Mittenthal, Director of Camp Barney Medintz, reports that enrollment opened in mid-October for the 2021 summer season. “We are so honored to have received an exceedingly strong response from both returning and new Camp Barney families every day since! Many sessions and age groups are rapidly reaching capacity, well ahead of our expectations and projections. After so many months of uncertainty and disruption for all of us, there is clearly a desire for children and families to disconnect from devices and reconnect in person with other kids and our staff and experience an intimate, meaningful, and exhilarating experience we’re designing for next summer.”
Danny Hertz, Director of URJ 6 Points Sports Academy said, “Children have been impacted so much in 2020, and the need for overnight camping has never been greater for summer 2021. It is so powerful to see the families from Atlanta excited about and supporting camp for this upcoming summer. We are grateful to Federation and the entire Atlanta Jewish community. Thank you!”
Our camps can’t wait to welcome you and Melissa Scholten-Gutierrez is happy to help you pick the right camp.