Are You a Reluctant #JCampConf Attendee? I Was Too.

Debbie Albert wearing her Camp Ramah in the Poconos gear proudly.

by Debbie Albert, Board President-Elect, Camp Ramah in the Poconos

I confess: I went reluctantly to my first JCamp 180 conference.

As the owner of a small business, time away from the screen is precious, and I had to assure myself that the time there would bring value to my work as a Board member for Camp Ramah in the Poconos. 

I have now been to two conferences, and I can't begin to explain in a few sentences all I've learned. Our camp has come a long way in terms of Governance, with a strong committee chair and the assistance of our JCamp 180 Mentor, Julia Riseman. Attending sessions related to that topic assured me we were well on our way, but I still left with a notebook filled with ideas for even greater growth in how the board governs.

When it came to Development, we'd also come a long way, again thanks to JCamp 180, a strong Development Director, and a dynamic leader. But it was in this area that I found the most value at the conference. Because none of us compete with one another, the ideas flowed and "best practices" were shared. I left the conference absolutely on fire, energized and rejuvenated about our development efforts and brimming with new ideas.

Believe it or not, I’ve even left the conference with ideas for my own business and clients.

As the incoming board president, I am strongly encouraging our board members to attend. We had them add the date to their calendars six months ago, and the push from the leadership will continue.

Does the JCamp 180 Conference add value? You bet!

Who we are: JCamp 180 is a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF). Our goal is to significantly enhance the long-term effectiveness of nonprofit Jewish camps in North America. To meet this goal, we provide affiliated Jewish camps with consulting services, annual conferences, shared resources, professional development, and matching grant opportunities. Find more at