LEAP - Leadership Engagement and Advancement Program

The Leadership Engagement and Advancement Program (LEAP) is a skill and capacity-building training program designed for Board Chairs and Vice Chairs of JCamp 180 affiliated camps. It is customized, interactive, and free of charge. Created to offer support to camp lay leaders, the program has been developed in response to clients’ requests for “additional Board and Governance support." 

Board chairs and vice chairs are uniquely positioned and empowered by their camps to lead, inspire change, and engage their Boards and camp communities. Yet, many board chairs have incomplete skills when it comes to nonprofit governance and board “chairmanship." Additionally, the rapid changes in the world of nonprofit governance and leadership make it hard to keep up. Despite every chair’s promise to make a real difference and take the camp to new heights, many chairs find themselves at the end of their term treading water, wondering what happened and where the time went.  

If that scenario resonates with you, take this LEAP to train with peers and experts who will help you identify, focus, and work on your camp’s needs, challenge your assumptions on governance and offer alternatives without judgement. Your participation in LEAP will empower you to become the agent of change you hoped to be when you took on the role of board chair.

>> Download this one-page description of LEAP to share with your peers.‚Äč

Program Outcomes and Deliverables:

At the end of the program, the participants will:
  • be able to run a board meeting in half the time with twice the results
  • have learned the 3 steps to deal with a difficult or underperforming board member productively
  • have a board chair library of tools and templates, including a clear board chair calendar
  • have mastered top 10 facilitative skills and techniques to focus and engage fellow board members
  • have built stronger relationships with the lay and professional leaders, and donors at their camps
  • have made 1 “leap” that resolved his/her most challenging “chair” issue

Program Cost and Benefits:

Through the generosity of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, this Program is offered to board chairs (and vice chairs) of JCamp 180 participating camps free of charge.
Participants may be eligible for reimbursement for travel expenses based on the JCamp 180 policy.  
Upon successful completion of the Program, participating camp may be eligible for financial assistance to help them implement their strategic steps, goals, and plans in the area of Governance and Board Development.

What Defines "Successful Completion" of the Program?

Successful completion of LEAP requires the participant to:
  • be in good standing (attendance, engagement, homework completion)
  • reach at least one personal “leap” (stretch goal) set by them at the beginning of the program.
  • create a clear Governance and Board Development plan

Program Participation (2018-2019 Pilot):

To be eligible to participate in the pilot cohort of LEAP, each camp participant must be:
  1. affiliated and in good standing with JCamp 180 and the HGF
  2. board chairs who still have at least one year left in their term
  3. vice chairs who are going to be chairs in the next 1-3 years
  4. willing and able to invest the required time and energy to complete the course program

Program Application Process (2018-2019 Pilot):

Applications are now closed. Please contact LEAP Director Natasha Dresner if you want to learn more about the program.

The 2018/2019 LEAP Participants

Please welcome the participants in the pilot cohort of LEAP!
Name Title Camp
Mark S. Anshan Vice Chair URJ Camp George 
Richard Blank Board President Camp JORI
Josh Charlat Chairman Camp Ramah in Canada
Loren Chylla Chair Camp Wise
Laura Drachler Assistant Chair Camp Daisy and Harry Stein
Richard Friedman President Camp Ramah in the Berkshires
Fanny Korman Chairperson Camp Tel Yehudah
Gary Lazarus Vice Chair URJ Henry S Jacobs Camp
Jordana Levenick Board Chair B'nai Brith Camp Oregon
Michael Marion Chair URJ 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy East
Rebecca Powell Board Chair B'nai Brith Camp Winnipeg
Matt Rosensweet President Camp Livingston

Program Timeline (2018-2019 Pilot):

The training will be delivered in 3 two-day sessions with calls and video conferences in between. 

Note: Click on the table below to see a larger version of the LEAP Program Schedule.

Program Curriculum:

The curriculum will be delivered by topic specialists, peers, and the LEAP program director. The sessions will utilize various learning and facilitative models and techniques.  Much of the time will be spent practicing the tools we learn and using each other to hone the skills we acquire.  Homework will be given to continue practicing between the sessions.  The program is built around the following curriculum:
  1. Welcome to the Board Chair position
    1. Nature or Nurture (Are leaders born or made?)
    2. Roles and responsibilities
    3. Personal skills, capacity, strengths and limitations
  2. Getting the job done
    1. Leadership skills and tools
    2. Communication and facilitation skills
    3. Support system
  3. Partnership with your Executive Director  
    1. Governance vs. Management       
    2. Trust and communication
    3. Boundaries and pitfalls
  4. Partnership with your Board
    1. Board management and benchmarking
    2. Roles and responsibilities
    3. Support structures 
  5. Partnership with the Chair-elect
    1. Succession planning
    2. Mentoring
  6. Transition and farewell

Program FAQs:

  1. Can chairs of day camp committees or boards apply to participate in LEAP?
    • Yes.
  2. Can chairs of non-fiduciary Boards apply to participate in LEAP
    • Yes.
  3. Can both a Board Chair & a Vice Chair from a camp apply to participate in LEAP?
    • Yes. They are welcome to participate together
  4. Is LEAP geared for those with or without Board Chair/Vice Chair experience?  
    • Both. The world of nonprofit leadership and governance is changing so rapidly that even the most experienced Board Chair/Vice Chair will find a lot of new and useful information in LEAP.
  5. Do I have to commit to attending every session? 
    • Yes
  6. How is this training program different from other programs?
    • It’s designed specifically for the nonprofit Jewish camp sector
    • It’s designed to be a community of practice
    • It offers ongoing financial and mentoring support after the Program
    • It’s hands-on and focused on specific individualized deliverables
  7. Will the paid top professional(s) & other board members need to be involved?
    • Yes. They’ll be asked to contribute information. They might also be asked/invited to participate in one select session.