Friday, March 23, 2018

(credit: Foundation for Jewish Camp)

The One Happy Camper program offers grants to families with children attending Jewish overnight camp.

The Foundation for Jewish Camp, in partnership with the Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey (JFHNJ), offers the One Happy Camper (OHC) program for families considering Jewish overnight camp for the first time. OHC awards grants of $1,000 for eligible campers to help cover the costs.

Jewish overnight camp is often a transformational experience for children and teens, building their strengths, challenging them to examine their values and beliefs and validating their unique experience and perspective. As one mother reported in a thank you note to JFHNJ, “I’d expected to get back the same kid I sent off to camp. This kid was different. She was happy to be part of a Jewish community.”

Immersion in joyful Jewish experiences from an early age is shown to strengthen Jewish identity, communal involvement and leadership later in life. Campers will have opportunities to develop life-long friendships; learn high-level social and life skills; and stretch physically, spiritually and emotionally.

Local program providers define eligibility requirements in coordination with the Foundation for Jewish Camp. Most providers require campers to be attending and registered for a camp listed on the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s website. Campers must attend an approved camp for the first time for at least 12 consecutive days or longer. Some exceptions may apply.

One Happy Camper grants are intended for children who are not currently participating in a daily immersive Jewish experience. As such, children attending a Jewish day school or yeshiva are typically not eligible. However, select partners may have some resources for Jewish day school children.

There is no official deadline to apply, but a limited number of grants are available. The Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey is hoping to qualify more than 50 campers this year. Grants are given on a first-come, first-served basis.

In addition to One Happy Camper grants, the Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey offers other grants for Jewish camp, including needs-based and special needs camp options. “It’s a priority for the Jewish community to help families with a range of needs and abilities,” says Laura Safran, director of community impact for the Federation. “We hope every family with a child who wants to experience Jewish overnight camp will reach out to their local Jewish Federation and ask about grant opportunities.”

For more information and to apply for One Happy Camper grants, visit jewishcamp.org.

For more information about grants for Jewish summer camp being offered through the Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey, visit jewishheartnj.org/camp-travel.

For more information, visit www.jewishheartnj.org.