Outdoor pool closed Tuesday, 7/16 after 3:30 pm

The outdoor pool will be closed for swim meet Tuesday, July 16, 3:30-8 p.m. The indoor pool will be open for family swim with inflatables 4-6 p.m.

J Camp is good for counselors, too

J Camp Counselor Hayden Martin enjoys a recent field trip.

We’ve hopefully been pretty clear about how great J Camp is for the campers. But are they the only group that benefits from the experience?

“My grandchildren are having a marvelous experience working at The J this summer,” David Sher wrote recently to Executive Director Brooke Bowles. “Hayden won employee of the week, and he and Aly are thrilled with the culture and work. You are doing an incredible job!”

David’s note prompted us to dig deeper into how the benefits of J Camp might reach more than just the participating children. 

Dedication and loyalty

“J Camp absolutely impacts our counselors,” says Barbara Traweek, senior director of youth services and early education. “After we train them, they get leadership experience while mentoring young children and working in a diverse environment. And they learn dedication,” she adds. “This is not easy work and you have to really like it to keep coming back. It builds character.”

Camp Counselor Hayden Martin (his camp name is “Banana”) is one of the grandchildren that David Sher referenced. “This job has made me feel much better working with kids and helped my social skills in general,” he says. “I love the experiences that J Camp has brought.”

While this is Hayden’s third year as a counselor-in-training and counselor, it’s his sister Aly Martin’s second — but still her first-ever job. Not only is it an opportunity to meet other coworkers her age, but it’s keeping her summer busy with lots of responsibility while testing her leadership skills. “I didn’t realize I’d enjoy this job so much,” she says. 

You can probably guess why she picked “Pudding” as her camp name. J Camp kids get a kick out of calling the duo “Banana Pudding!”

“I didn’t realize I’d enjoy this job so much,” says J Camp Counselor Aly Martin.

Pudding cites gathering for Ruach | Spirit every morning as her favorite activity. “We sing camp songs and have contests to see who is the loudest. The winner gets the ‘Spirit Stick’ and earns bragging rights for the rest of the day.”

Her brother Banana’s favorite activity is the daily swim, when he sees the kids playing with new classmates every day and making new friends. “When I was a camper I learned great swimming skills thanks to the lessons — the same lessons we’re teaching here at J Camp today.” 

“The counselors have such an important job,” says Barbara. “Everyone who’s been to summer camp remembers it, and if they have a good experience — thanks in large part to the counselors —  they’ll be loyal to that camp for the rest of their lives.”

And how might the J Camp experience affect staffers? “It’s definitely helped build my character,” Barbara quips.

More than a job

There’s no J Camp without counselors and staff