Camp Case: Camp Sabra
By Mark Cantor & Terri Grossman, Chairman of the Board & Director
In 2007, Camp Sabra began a formal relationship with JCamp 180 and Mentor Jill Paul. One of the first tasks we worked on together was to complete a first-ever strategic plan at camp. We immediately set out to define our strengths, weaknesses, and the critical success factors for the long-term vitality of Camp Sabra. The process was an eye-opening one - it helped us to remember what makes camp special: the spirit of camp, the programs, the people, and the 100's of acres of gorgeous land along the Lake of the Ozarks. We also realized the infrastructure was a critical success factor that we had ignored for far too long.
With Jill's help, we laid out a plan to leverage our strengths and work to create a conceptual design plan. Architects helped us craft a design that would improve the facilities but maintain the culture (and Ozark stone theme) throughout camp. We wanted to ensure that alums from the beginnings of camp would still feel the connection to an improved camp.
The plan includes the following projects aimed at improving the infrastructure of Camp Sabra:
- Dig a fresh 600 foot well to support the dining hall at camp for generations (already complete)
- Build a new medical center
- Build a new outdoor sports pavilion
- Build a new theater
- Build all new cabins
- Repurpose existing facilities for more appropriate uses
In addition, the committee created strategic initiatives to:
- Improve our lay committee structure to recruit new people and to create sub-committees which are aligned with the strategic initiatives
- Re-engage our alumni
- Improve staff quality/support - we have hired a full time development professional, engaged in leadership development with Foundation for Jewish Camp, and worked with BBYO to create a position that includes both BBYO and summers as Administration at Sabra
- Improved Marketing - comprehensive marketing plan will be implemented this year, including more direct interaction with the JCC's Director of Communication and Marketing
- Improved Programming at camp through pre-planning and evaluation
With a plan in place, we set out on the next phase: embarking on the first major fundraising campaign in the history of Camp Sabra - a $6 Million Capital Campaign we call the "Forever CAMPaign." After just one year, we have already raised $1 Million towards our goal. This amount includes the generous matching donations from the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.
Thanks to the hands-on work of our Mentor Jill Paul and the matching grant funds from the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, Camp Sabra is well-positioned for a long future offering Jewish children amazing summer experiences that foster joyous Jewish identities.