Stories & Voices
Breaking New Ground in Camping
June 28th, 2021
UJA Federation of New York >>

These last few years have been particularly hard on kids who've had routines disrupted and missed out on milestone moments. That’s why we’re helping them have some fun in the sun, get cool in a pool, and hang with friends — in person and off their screens. Camp is where it all begins. Here’s how UJA and the 25 day and overnight camps we support are breaking out new ways for kids to let good times roll this summer — safely. 


Respite for Children of War
Through generous funding from the Butler Foundation, we've made up to $150,000 for camp scholarships available for Ukrainian children attending camps run by JCH Bensonhurst, Kings Bay Y, and Shorefront Y. We also allocated $16,000 to Commonpoint earmarked for families (Ukrainian and Afghan) to send their children to Island Quest for free.  

Even More Training for Camp Professionals  
With mental health issues among teens and children on the rise, camp needs to be prepared. Ten UJA-funded camps in the UJA network are participating in Yedid Nefesh, a program run by the Foundation for Jewish Camp to help ensure that camp staff has training at all levels to ensure proactive support for the mental, emotional, social, and spiritual health of all members of the camp community.    

Even More Spectacular Camp Choices
Island Quest, now in its second year, is a camp on Henry Kaufmann Campgrounds (HKC) Long Island that combines day camps from Commonpoint Queens, Suffolk Y JCC, Barry and Florence Friedberg JCC, and The Marion & Aaron Gural JCC. Campers can find their favorite classic camp activities and enjoy all the advantages of a specialty camp with their choice of new adventures ranging from fun romps with nature, art, and science to tech and sports. 

• Also going strong: New Country Pride Camp on HKC Staten Island through the 14th Street Y, 92Y Camp Pride in Rockland County through the 92NY, and Camp Ga’avah on HKC Long Island through the Friedberg JCC offer LGBTQ young people a safe place to enjoy summer experiences and learn skills to better navigate their individual journeys.   

Even More Amazing Campgrounds
Day campers at HKC Long Island now get access to a new, state-of-the-art aquatic center — with more time for instructional and free swim. New tennis and basketball courts and baseball and soccer fields now make playing sports at camp even better. Plus, 10 new home bases offer comfortable spaces on rainy days, so camp fun continues rain or shine. Since the well-being of all campers is a key concern, the new health center provides a cooling station for campers who need to get out of the sun and a central place for medical staff to give out daily meds to kids who need them. Thanks to all the donors who joined us in making these reimagined campgrounds a reality.  

Updated: 6/14/22