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‘Camp Kveller’ Will Help With All Your Questions and Concerns About Jewish Summer Camp

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As is true for everything during this pandemic, summer 2020 is going to be very different than other summers. While, for many of us, the much-anticipated end to homeschooling will bring a measure of relief, as summer camps across the country care are canceling, the next three months are looking pretty daunting, too.

At this unprecedented moment, there are so many new things to figure out. How do we keep our kids entertained, and happy? How do we explain to them that the camp they were so looking for is now canceled?  How can we continue to support our cherished summer camps, and are there ways to recreate some semblance of camp spirit at home? Most of all, how are we parents expected to survive an entire summer without childcare?

These are not easy questions, but we are here to help you find the answers with a brand-new series called Camp Kveller. And no, it’s not an actual camp. Rather, it’s a series of live, informative talks to help parents navigate this stressful time and generate ideas for formulating a Plan B (or C, or D…)

This series of helpful talks will be hosted by Sharon Weiss-Greenberg, who is the former Rosh Moshava (Head of Camp) at Pennsylvania’s Camp Stone and, believe it or not, has an actual Ph.D. in camp!

Every Thursday, Sharon will be leading a discussion with one or more camp experts, helping us answer all your pressing questions about the strange summer ahead. She’ll talk to child psychologists, camp officials, and other experts — and it’s all going live on Kveller’s Facebook page, so we welcome your questions and input, too!

On Thursday, July 2, at 12 PM EDT, we’ll be talking about differentiating in a camp settings with Dori  Frumin Kirshner the executive director of Matan and Howard Blas, the national Ramah Tikvah director.

On Thursday, July 9, at 12 PM EDT, we’ll be talking about how to make summer more bearable for our quaranteens. 

Previous Camp Kveller conversations:

On Thursday, June 25: It Takes a Village: We talked to Jane Shapiro (founder at Orot: Center for New Jewish Learning AKA bubbie Jane) and Natalie Blitt (author and educational consultant at Camp Ramah Wisconsin, and program director at the i-Center) to discuss how we can all pitch in to create Summer 2020. Watch our conversation.

On Thursday, June 18: We talked about how to campify your home! We were joined by Dara Podjarski Marcus, founder of Little Compass, Molly Wernick, community director at Habonim Dror Camp Galil, and Andrew Davies founder and executive director of The Bible Players. Watch this fun (and interactive!) conversation on our Facebook page and read the highlights from our talk.

On Friday, June 12: How can I support my summer camp? With so many Jewish summer camps canceled, how can we support our kids’ camps? We talked to Corey Cutler of the Foundation for Jewish Camp; Carla Naumberg, mom and book author; Bradley Solmsen, Executive Director of Surprise Lake Camp; and Jacob Cytryn, Executive Director of Ramah Wisconsin. Watch our conversation and read the highlights from our talk.

Thursday, June 4: Should You Bother with Online Camp?  We covered what online camp will look like for different ages and from different approaches. Guests included Adam Weinstein of Berkshire Hills Eisenberg Camp; Elyssa Gaffin of Sprout Brooklyn; and Laura Hyman of Genesis at Brandeis University. Watch our conversation and read the important takeaways from this talk.

Thursday, May 28: we got real about what to do if your camp is planning to open this summer, and what parents should keep in mind. We chatted with JTA reporter Ben Sales, who is covering all the news about Jewish summer camps; Sara Forman, a parent at Camp Modin, a sleepaway camp that is opening this summer; and Aaron Glickman, a policy expert, who co-wrote “Summer Camps Should Reopen” for The Atlantic. Watch our conversation.

Thursday, May 21: We talked with child psychologist Dr. Judah Koller about how to help your kids deal with the disappointment and frustration about camp being canceled. Watch our conversation.

Upcoming topics include:

  • How to create your own camp at home
  • What to do about camp tuition
  • How to “campify” your backyard
  • How to support kids with different needs
  • and more!

Have a topic you’d like us to broach or a question you’d like answered? Join the Kveller Moms group!

Camp Kveller logo by Grace Yagel; background image via Getty Images

 

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