Parents, with summer fast approaching, we would like to update you with Camp Solomon Schechter's security profile. Schechter has a renowned Emergency Response Plan (ERP) that others seek to implement. Our ERP is routinely shared as a sample of best practices for summer camps, and our Executive Director, Sam Perlin, is often being asked for advice.
Post by Sam Perlin, Executive Director
Camp Solomon Schechter is pleased to announce that we are once again participating in Cornerstone. The renowned program offered by the Foundation for Jewish Camp. 3 – 5 Fellows who are counselors this summer along with assistant director Zach Snyder as the Cornerstone liaison will participate in a 3 day seminar in May at Capital Camps. There they will meet counselors from other Jewish Camps, learn from experts in the fields and develop a strategy for improvement and implementation of Judaic programing at Schechter. The group will be leaders during staff week and through the sessions leading programs and teaching campers, Odedim and staff the concepts and themes that get chosen and refined at the seminar. Each of the fellows will bring with them their experiences of being a camper and staff member and refine how they can make an impact on our youth. They will help us create a solid foundation of how we will infuse Judaism throughout camp, and especially during cabin time. We will utilize the learned best practices and concepts to create programs during camp that inspire and invigorate through interactive and experiential learning. The cohort will collectively set the direction for the summer and create a staff program for during staff week that will help launch the initiative.
Cornerstone is awesome because it gives camp a way to help staff members develop professionally. The program is for second and third year counselors. Having our experienced staff gain more knowledge and then lead the way for our younger staff will be helpful in retaining staff. Staff want their experience during the summer to be meaningful, they want to learn and grow and they want to use the experience as a resume builder. The Cornerstone fellowship allows the staff members to have a greater impact by being directly involved in planning Jewish programing that helps campers learn and form identity. It’s the crux of why many staff want to be staff, to make a difference in the lives of the Campers, especially Jewishly. Cornerstone provides CSS with the opportunity to be more professional overall both with planned camp programing but also by helping us plan a more valuable staff training week. I am thrilled that we are returning to Cornerstone so that the experience we provide can be assured of having deep meaning and impact. Cornerstone will help us refine, reinvigorate and deepen how Jewish culture shows up at camp by helping our most experienced staff members learn how to be influencers.
Song Leader Boot Camp – Blog post by ED Sam Perlin
From February 19 through February 21, I attended the Song Leader Boot Camp in St. Louis Mo. Put on by Rick Recht and Jewish Rock Radio. It was an incredible experience. At the workshop I learned what is needed to develop song leaders at camp and create a community of song leading at Camp Solomon Schechter. While I do not play guitar I was able to contribute with my strong voice. I gained a repertoire of the songs that we should consistently sing at camp. I participated in inspirational musical Tfillot and hope to help replicate the experience at camp this summer and for summers to come. I also trained and met with Rick Recht as we planned for CSS staff week when he will be here to help our staff learn how to prepare for public speaking and for leadership through his famed trademarked STAR State Workshop.
STAR State is a powerful and highly motivational leadership training seminar demonstrating methods utilized by the world’s top athletes, entertainers, and educators to quickly and consistently achieve a peak physical and psychological state to achieve extraordinary performance. What do these ‘best in class’ performers share in common? They all utilize STAR State techniques to guarantee the very best version of themselves is front and center whether on a stage, bima, or in the cabin. I went through it, so I know that the STAR State workshop is highly interactive, physical, and fun. STAR State will provide wonderful practical techniques for our staff and especially our song leaders to utilize in their personal and professional lives to achieve a ‘peak state’ when alone, in the community, with colleagues, or with friends and family. As I now know, everyone and anyone can always be a STAR!
Camp Solomon Schechter is a beautiful, happy place. It is a place our children go to learn, to grow, to try new things, to become independent, and to meet other Jewish children and live a Jewish life. We foster and encourage habits such as tikkun olam (repairing the world), derech eretz (living ethically and responsibly), welcoming the stranger and treating others as you’d like to be treated. As campers come back year after year, they develop deep, lifelong connections to their friends, to Judaism, and to the special place that is camp. They also develop leadership and team-building skills that will serve them well as they grow. This place, these characteristics, are so important to our community and our world. We need you to continue to help us with our mission. www.from60to120.org
I am always amazed to see how well the goals of camp are met each summer. The transformation for a camper from the first day of camp to the last is so clear! Camp Solomon Schechter teaches young Jews of all backgrounds the skills for living Jewishly. We are a vibrant, open-minded, fully egalitarian community, and each summer we gather committed campers and staff who learn, practice, and grow together. Learning is experiential at camp. Our goal is to give campers, staff, parents, alumni and community members the ability and the desire to live a Jewish life through learning and practice.
– Sam Perlin, Executive Director 2-15-17
We are beginning a new chapter for CSS: a family engagement and camper recruitment initiative designed to empower and utilize our most important resource…our Schechter families! The goal is to create a network of families who will assist in recruiting new camp families within their community outside of camp. The Ambassador families will serve as key Schechter representatives in their specific geographical areas.
You may ask: What is the Ambassador Program? Great question!
This program is a partnership between Camp Solomon Schechter and select families with the following goals: