Although each of Federation’s five regional residential camp partners (Camp Barney Medintz, Camp Judaea, Camp Ramah Darom, URJ Camp Coleman, and URJ 6 Points Sports Academy in NC) made the decision to close to physical programming this summer, they’ve all been working hard to provide virtual programming, sustain connections with campers, and plan for the future.
Even with these closings, a small number of camps whose campers received Federation scholarships made the choice to open. A total of 24 campers at 10 camps across the country, received $39,213 in scholarship support. While this is a mere 4% of our planned awards for the year, we are grateful that we were able to support these campers.
Like the camps, we’ve used this time to craft a new scholarship initiative for families at our regional overnight camps that closed. Families can now roll their scholarships over into summer 2021, provided they also make a commitment to re-enroll/roll forward their tuition. This allows families to feel confident about their financial ability to send their children to camp in 2021. It also provides the camp with an advance on funding which is helpful for their current financial strains.
Camp professionals around the country are immersed in discussions about the future of Jewish camp, the role of Federations, how to build virtual communities, family camp, and more. We’re proud that Atlanta is a leader in the camp conversation. As summer nears its official end, we are thinking hard about how to support our regional camps in a new world of recruitment without travel, and how to reach families who will need to apply for financial aid for the first time ever for next summer.