Pictured (left to right): Harrell Wittenstein, Mollie Berner, Andres Spokoiny, Stefan Teodosic, Marc Altman.

Ever wonder what happens in those 10 months over the year? They say we live “10 for 2”, right?

I feel so lucky to have recently joined the Perlman team and to be able to see camping in the off-season, and with that, I’ve begun slowly chipping away at answering this question.

This is what I’ve learned so far: The off-season months of camping involve the engagement of our camp family in planning reunions, community events, and ambassador meetings; the exchange of ideas and distribution of knowledge amongst ourselves and other camps nationwide; and the absolute commitment to making Jewish camping an integral part of growing up Jewish in 2017. These goals were all shared by over 400 camps in attendance at the JCamp 180 conference held by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, a philanthropic organization deeply committed to charitable giving in the Jewish world. The foundation is exceptional in its dedication to camping through its knowledge, dollars, and community efforts.

The conference unites Jewish camping professionals to come together to learn best practices, spanning across core subjects including governance, strategic planning, board development, fundraising, legacy giving, and technology for outreach. Perlman has so clearly put its stake in the ground as an organization that can learn from others and have others learn from itself. It is a part of a phenomenal community that is forward-looking and one I consider myself lucky to be a part of.

Perhaps the most enlightening moment of the conference was when our very own Perlman parent, Andres Spokoiny (Hi Dan and Gabriel!) presented as a featured speaker. Spokoiny, the President and CEO of the Jewish Funders Network, spoke of the independence his sons have learned at Perlman. He noted that “his sons would kill him if he didn’t give Perlman a shout-out!” and it was then that I realized how significant Perlman, and camping in general, is to each of us at every level. It is quite a community to be a part of.