JCamp 180
News & Events


By Mark Gold

Mark Gold, Director of the Grinspoon Institute
What a marvelous three days at the FJC Leader's Assembly. Our congratulations to Jeremy Fingerman and the entire staff at the FJC for organizing this peer-to-peer focused conference. I also want to thank the dozens of individuals who came up to me or Harold to introduce themselves or say a kind word. The power of Jewish Camp was never more evident than during the dinner on Monday night.

I'm a baseball fan, so I ask that you indulge me as I sprinkle baseball analogies into my eNewsletter columns over the next seven months. It is now baseball's spring training time - a time when every team gets a fresh start and is a threat to win the World Series. And while the players are limbering up in Florida and Arizona, the grounds crews back home are furiously working to get the stadiums in shape for a six month, 82 game assault by the fans. Do you see the analogy with your camp? Your maintenance teams are working with a similar sense of purpose over the next 90 days to get the physical facilities of camp into the best shape possible to withstand the rigors of your fans: your campers. As the managers and stars of the camp team, most of you are gathering your coaches (counselors and staff) and setting your line-ups.

And what does all this baseball talk have to do with the Grinspoon Institute? I like to think that we are the season ticket holders - not that different from the rest of your legion of fans, but perhaps we're just a bit more "invested" than some. We're with you year after year, supporting your team through the eight game winning streaks as well as the five game skids. We've seen many roster changes, a few new managers, and even a couple of new home fields.

In Major League Baseball 29 of the 30 major league teams won't win the World Series. But in the Grinspoon world of Jewish Camp, all 91 of you can achieve your goals this year. So, as you go through your spring training for the upcoming season, we ask that your training include these fundamental elements needed to achieve success:

  • Plan now to bring your major donors and supporters to camp during the season;
  • practice as a team so that you're on your peak game from day one;
  • and most importantly, instill in your team the knowledge that together you will achieve your goals.

We ask that you include in your game plans activities that focus on the board development, strategic planning, fundraising and technology outreach goals you have set with your Grinspoon Mentor. Those of you working in Grinspoon Matching Grant programs should take the opportunity afforded by spring training to renew your efforts and target for nothing less than winning the World Series.

So, camp really is a lot like baseball. The only difference is that at camp we can all have a World Series year. It's spring training - time to get into shape.



Sharing Bright Spots of Technology Use

By Kevin Martone
Technology Program Manager

Jeremy Joszef, Director of Camp Morasha
At our November Conference, our peer-led mini-sessions provided a forum for many of our camps to share their own successful experiences with their peers. A few focused on using technology effectively to reach their goals. This article - published in Debra Askanase's blog www.communityorganizer20.com - highlights three of these examples from Camp Laurelwood, Camp Morasha and URJ Eisner Camp. Read this short article for more details about these "bright spots."

P.S. Jeremy Joszef and Rob Goldfarb will discuss their examples in this month's free Grinspoon Institute Webinar, "Beyond Boring eNewsletters: Innovative Communications."


Camp Case: Camp Moshava, Wild Rose

By Rivkie Lafer
Chairman of the Camp Committee, Camp Moshava, Wild Rose

Camp Moshava, Wild Rose
Camp Moshava's relationship with the Harold Grinspoon Foundation goes back more than a decade. Working with the Grinspoon Foundation has helped Camp Moshava, Wild Rose in many significant ways. The matching grant incentive programs throughout the years have allowed the Camp to attract and leverage donor contributions; they've resulted in substantial capital improvements, including an air conditioned gymnasium (2005) and a brand new pool with adjacent changing rooms and shower houses (2006). The matching grants also allowed us to deal with long overdue deferred maintenance.

Grinspoon Institute Technology Program Manager, Kevin Martone, has helped us with our technology, including assistance selecting and implementing CampMinder, which has changed the way we utilize our database to maintain our records and build relationships with donors. Kevin's suggestions and presentations at the Grinspoon Conferences have also helped us improve the utility of our camp website.

Our Mentor David Sharken has worked to strengthen our board, hold everyone accountable and give structure and order to our committee and sub-committee meetings. In addition, David led a strategic retreat in 2011 to help the board develop a strategic vision. The end result gave the board six functioning and viable sub-committees, including an active Governance Sub-Committee and Executive Sub-Committee.

Participation in the Camp Legacy Initiative will have long-lasting effects on our camp. It has helped us reach out to alumni and donors to set the foundation for a solid financial future. The insightful webinars and Conference workshops have helped us establish the program and solidify our stewardship efforts with Legacy members and all camp donors.

Camp Moshava, Wild Rose
The Grinspoon Institute Annual Conference has been an invaluable tool in nearly every facet of building a successful organization. Our delegation comes back energized and with new ideas to improve our efforts. Sharing and hearing ideas from other camps has inspired us to push forward even when times were difficult. Fundraising, stewardship, and board development are areas that have specifically improved from information learned at the conference.

Words cannot express what the Grinspoon Foundation has done for Camp Moshava, Wild Rose, pushing us further than we ever thought imaginable and helping the camp reach a professional level. Their encouragement, dedication and leadership are unmatched and we are truly grateful!


2012 Grinspoon Institute Annual Conference

Save the Date! The 2012 Grinspoon Institute Annual Conference will be held on Nov. 4-5, 2012 at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel. More information will be available soon. We'll see you in Springfield in November!


Jewish Camps Google Group - Join the Conversation!

Do you ever have a question that you KNOW someone at another Jewish Camp has already struggled with? Do you have examples and experiences that could help other camps (answer: yes!)?

Joy Getnick from JCC Camp Seneca Lake created a Google Group called JewishCamps that offers Jewish Camp professionals and lay leaders the opportunity to share best practices and get answers from their peers. It's free to join - simply go to http://groups.google.com/group/jewishcamps. If you don't already have a Google Account, you can create one for free. To get the optimal use of the Group, you should make sure you are receiving emails when someone posts in the Group. When you are in the Group, click on "My Membership" and make sure one of the email options is selected.

Grinspoon team members will be posting information there on occasion, too. For example, Technology Program Manager Kevin Martone recently posted a list of things to know about the change that will occur on your Facebook Page by March 30th. Join the group to read Kevin's list.


Upcoming Webinar - Beyond Boring eNewsletters: Innovative Communications

Do you wonder if your message is getting out to your campers, parents, prospects, and alumni? Do you question the effectiveness of your communications efforts? Join Jeremy Joszef, Director of Camp Morasha, and Rob Goldfarb, Development Director of Camp Laurelwood, as they discuss how they managed to break through the clutter and engage their constituents in our next Webinar - Beyond Boring eNewsletters: Innovative Communications. Whether it's with Camp Morasha's iPhone app or Camp Laurelwood's efforts to bridge the gap between Facebook and real-world relationships, organizations need to connect with their audience. Please bring your own examples of innovative communications to share with others during this short webinar presentation.

Register now for our free Webinar to join Rob and Jeremy on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 1 PM EDT as they discuss Beyond Boring eNewsletters: Innovative Communications.