It took a number of hours of reviewing proposals and revisiting values to figure out where the Camp Solomon Schechter Teen Foundation was going to put its money. We discussed the virtues of each organization, balancing it with their needs, the impact our donation would make, as well as how strict the organizations followed the guidelines of the proposal requests.
Ultimately, the campers had to make a decision, and they did so with tact, consensus, and sensitivity. They ultimately decided to donate to SafePlace, Stonewall, and the South Puget Sound Mobile Search and Rescue, dividing the donations as they saw fit to serve the interests of the organizations they wanted to support and the need each one required.
Upon reflection the campers commented:
“During this program, I’ve learned so much about grants, foundations, decision making, etc. At first, I signed up because I wanted to go places outside of camp, but now I feel like I’m part of something bigger than I imagined. This is real money, it is going to save real lives and I am proud to be a part of it. This experience has been life changing.”
“We have learned how to weigh the benefits and values of non-profits...this will help us know where and how much to donate when we have to make decisions with our income in later life.”
“Before I went to this Peulat Sebaba (daily Jewish learning at camp), I did not know about consensus and assumed that a consensus was about majority and not mutual agreement. Through this project, I learned not only what a consensus was but how to come to one.”
“I was challenged mentally and got the chance to make decisions that, if not for this group, I would never have the chance to make. I enjoyed working with other people and getting to know everyone’s opinions.”
“I feel like I have made new friends here at camp. I have also learned valuable information about grants and businesses...I feel like I have also matured a bit more after learning about these organizations and what they do. That is how I learned, matured, and how things have changed.”
“It was more fun than I thought, to be thinking and talking on such a level with my peers was an experience I will never forget. The site visits were powerful and meaningful. I was expecting something much different, overall this was a beneficial experience.”
“I believe that the philanthropy Peulat Sebaba was very worth my time.”
“These organizations, especially the ones we visited, touched me. My group’s decisions will greatly affect these organizations...This experience has been once in a lifetime, and I will never forget it.”
“In the time we have had, we have learned an immense amount, not only about what it takes to run an organization but also personal life skills we can take with us wherever we go... This program has taught me valuable life lessons that I can take with me to future jobs.”
“I feel that this week was tough. It was a long journey to create three values that were needed to create a mission statement...I would say that it was an enlightening experience that I will never forget.”
“I believe that when you teach this kind of stuff to kids our age, we will make the world a better place.”
Tefillah Director, Camp Solomon Schechter