Jewish Council for Youth Services


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2010 Annual Report

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 g n i t c e Conn s r a e Y e h t h g u Thro port 2010 Annual Re It h a son, s been s sinc Zachar uch a jo y e Nort he sta , grow y to w at h r a of l west Fa ted att nd lea ch our a end rn mil i trem st year n y g Ce . prov endous The tea nter in c i fun ding d job with hers d June o i kids project rection the chi such a s l ’ thin intelle that st and st dren: ru im k c phy ing, an tual an ulate cture, si d c edu cal ac d lots reat the cati tivit i o y. E f socia ve long on of l ar mot effects high qu ly chi and ld i a for vation. on lear lity ha hood th s li nin We f g a Zac e tim a r e nd e e, e hary t r u ne ly y ou kno receive rgy an gratef w s app u d l ove l reci how m at JCY ated tha S uch . it i and h t ope s w e W . amp ol and c t a day ew Li l po brand t a e r ag e n own the We i hadming in th t d wesome! NS a k was swim. i even wen s a w t d pa erslide. i . last wee ounselors wat much fun n!! the c the tim so group wo nging al rs are My ce and si y counselo wait dan funny. M d. i can’t Next so e ever ha y Horner. wait hav to Henr r! i can’t trip sleep ove to ! C D S N i love


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Mission Statement Jewish Council for Youth Services (“JCYS”) is an independent, not-for-profit agency dedicated to serving both Chicagoland’s Jewish and greater communities and developing leaders who continue its tradition of volunteer service. Embracing Jewish values and culture, JCYS provides educational and recreational programs that nurture individual growth and promote responsibility to others.


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Table of Contents ………………………………………………………………… 2 JCYS History Letter from our President & Executive Director…………… 4 Feature Article & Program Updates……………………………… 6 JCYS Events …………………………………………………………… 14 Fiscal Year 2010 Financials ……………………………………… 16 …………………………………………………… 18 Agency Leadership Donations………………………………………………………………… 21


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Connecting with our Past History of JCYS For more than 100 years, Jewish Council for Youth Services (JCYS) – formerly Young Men's Jewish Council – has provided innovative programs and services that meet the developmental, recreational, and educational needs of children and their families. As an independent agency unaffiliated with the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, JCYS generates its support through individual gifts, foundation and government grants, corporate donations, and special fundraising events. Since the agency's inception on November 7, 1907, JCYS has been a dynamic presence in the Chicago region. In the early years, as Young Men's Associated Jewish Charities, the agency provided recent immigrants with social and recreational outlets, including camps and after-school clubs. These programs eventually attracted individuals of many different backgrounds, and thus, the JCYS of today was born. In Fiscal Year 2010, JCYS continued its legacy of serving Jewish children, families, and the greater Chicago community, with a total of more than 15,000 individuals impacted. Camp Red Leaf sessions are the highlight of Samantha’s summers. We feel that she is safe and being well taken care of and that makes all of us happy. Thanks for all your loving care of Samantha. Deborah Women’s Club 1872-1972 Camp Wilson 1914-1918 Camp Harding 1918-1922 Young Men’s Associated Jewish Charities Founded November 1907 Deborah Boys’ Club on Division Street 1930-1949 Albany Park Boys’ Club 1934-1945 American Boys’ Commonwealth 1920-1929 Camp Wooster 1923-1940 2


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George W. Lutz Family Center Founded 1993 Camp-on-Wheels Founded 1993 Adventure Education (Renamed TEAMcorps in 2008) Founded 1997 North Shore Day Camp Founded 1975 New Horizons Day Camp 1976-1984 Center for Enriched Living Founded 1977 Lincoln Park Child Care Center (Renamed Lakeview Family Center in 2001) Founded 1978 North Shore Child Care Center 1979-1993 Morton Grove Parent and Child Care Center 1980-1985 Ruth Lodge for the Handicapped Founded 1961 Wheeling Child Care Center 1987-1990 Camp Red Leaf Founded 1984 Deborah Boys’ Club at Ainslee & Kimball 1950-1975 South Shore Youth Center 1954-1972 Northwest Family Center Founded 2000 Max Davidson Tennis & Swim Center (Renovated and Renamed Lillian L. Lutz Recreation Center in 2010) Founded 2000 Orchard Branch Founded 2003 Camp STAR Founded 2008 Grand Slam Tennis Camp Founded 2008 Camp Henry Horner Founded 1940 Humboldt Park Boys’ Club 1941-1953 Boys’ Brotherhood Republic 1946-1956 My ch Camp ildren ha year Henry H ve atte nd s o their an d it is rner for ed lifelo lives. T a big pa ten he n r man y g frien y have m t of won d ds an d ade erfu l mem have so ories ! 2 3


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Connecting with our Mission Letter from the President and Executive Director Dear Friends, Approximately six years ago, Jewish Council for Youth Services’ new Executive Director held his first interview with a potential Board member at the JCYS Lakeview Family Center. This meeting marked the humble beginning of a wonderful journey for both of us, which culminated this past year in Lisa’s role as Board President and Marty’s sixth year as Executive Director. We are very proud of our joint accomplishments, which we believe represent a truly meaningful partnership between agency staff and the Board of Directors. This year presented many challenges for JCYS. The economic climate impacted our program participants, our staff, and the alumni and friends of the agency. Yet despite these challenges, JCYS’ achievements during fiscal year 2010 ultimately set the stage for growth and program improvements into the future. Some of our most significant progress occurred in the area of capital investments at several of our sites – investments that ultimately infuse new energy into our programs. Fiscal year 2010 saw the completion of a fabulous new pool, splash pad, and deck for our newly renamed JCYS Lillian L. Lutz Recreation Center in Highland Park. These developments were made possible thanks to a major gift from the Lutz family. On June 13th, 80 people attended the grand opening and dedication ceremony to celebrate the new addition and show their appreciation to the Lutz family. The site has been a tremendous asset to all of our camps on the North Shore and also stays busy on the weekends as children and families enjoy a reprieve from the hot summer weather. One of the camps benefiting from the new pool is JCYS Grand Slam Tennis Camp. This half-day program for children who attend summer school features tennis, swimming, and other recreational activities. A substantial gift from Children’s Care Foundation enabled the agency to add a comprehensive fitness and nutrition component during summer 2010 to help at-risk children acquire healthy eating habits and lifestyle choices. This fall, JCYS is proud to introduce the agency’s first infant care program which will help meet the needs of working parents. A generous gift from JCYS Past President Rand Diamond and his wife Rhonda provided the agency with the funds necessary to establish the infant care room at the JCYS Northwest Family Center. To date, we have six babies enrolled. Rounding out our facility upgrades is the renovation and expansion of the JCYS Lakeview Family Center. A major grant from the Polk Bros. Foundation, along with contributions from Board members and alumni, allowed the agency to improve the roof, floors and foundation of the existing site. In addition, we built an enclosed walkway to the building immediately south of the Center, where a new first floor classroom will serve additional children. As we continue to improve our facilities to enhance and support our programming, the need for scholarship dollars has also remained critical. This past year, the agency hosted two key events that help us grant generous scholarships to families in need – our JCYS/Camp Red Leaf Golf Outing and our annual spring event. We extend our sincere appreciation to committed donors Arnie Baron and Lee Sacks, who served as Honorary Co-Chairs of the JCYS/Camp Red Leaf Golf Outing, and to Josh Rinkov and Ken Lebovic, who were the Board Co-Chairs. The event exceeded all previous Golf Outings in terms of revenue and featured a 40% net revenue increase over the prior year. For the first time, the event benefitted JCYS Camp Red Leaf (CRL), which serves children and adults with developmental disabilities. Throughout the day, more than 100 golfers interacted with CRL campers on the course and in the Clubhouse. 4


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Our mission to engage and develop new leadership in the community had a stellar year of support with the addition of nine new Board members who “hit the ground running.” These burgeoning leaders played critical roles in exceeding our budgeted goals for the annual spring event, which ensured more money for scholarships throughout the agency. Congratulations and thank you to Event Co-Chairs Rachael Gray and Shelly Gelber, to Auction Chair Stacy Singer Stone, and to Event Book Chair Marisa Kowalsky. As we each move forward to play our respective roles in this solid partnership, we want to thank the Board members, alumni, donors, and staff who have been so essential to all of our accomplishments this past year. We look forward to many more great things to come. Warmly, Martin Oliff, Ph.D. JCYS Executive Director Lisa Jericho President, JCYS Board of Directors 5


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Connecting with our Youth! Program Updates We re ally e njoyed with a so m ll of any s y pecial o u for th JCYS times e pas Lakevi t 3 ye ew Fa ars at mily amaz the Center ing e . It h xperi as bee ence we ha for ea n an ve m ch on ade s e of us ome very s and that w pecial e hop friend e to k s eep f orever .


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Communication Beyond Words If a picture is worth a thousand words, Lawrence Brodeur is a literary millionaire. Brodeur’s son Harrison attends JCYS Camp Red Leaf (CRL), an overnight summer camp and residential weekend respite program for children and adults with developmental disabilities. When he was approximately eighteen months, Harrison was diagnosed with severe autism, and though he is now eight years old, his cognitive abilities have remained those of a toddler. The Brodeurs were first introduced to JCYS Camp Red Leaf through Jess Warner, a CRL counselor who had been assigned to the family as an in-home caregiver through a government-subsidized program. “Although I did not have the opportunity to observe Jess working with Harrison very often, I truly believe she had a profound impact on him,” recalls Brodeur. “I watched as the love, affection and friendship she gave to him helped his personality begin to blossom and his world open up.” Harris on Brode ur en joying CRL Jess convinced the family to send Harrison to a CRL residential respite weekend, where he met Tony Warner, the CRL Director at that time. “The genuine care and compassion that Jess, Tony and the staff gave to my entire family lifted such an enormity of sadness from all of us and replaced it with joy and hope,” shares Brodeur. When asked if Harrison attended summer camp, Brodeur’s enthusiasm grows even stronger. “We were given a wonderful surprise when an anonymous donor provided the funds for Harrison to attend summer camp. Quite frankly, there’s no way in the world we would have been able to afford it,” Brodeur admits. “He loves that place… he’s so happy when he goes there.” “What CRL does for my son is to give him as normal a childhood experience as I could have hoped for, providing opportunities to him that my wife, Kelly, and I didn’t think he would ever have,” explains Brodeur. “What people don’t get is that Kelly and I have the easy part. My son is the one who has it hard and suffers. He can’t tell us how he feels, but I have no doubt in my mind how much he loves that place.” Brodeur takes a moment to collect himself and continues, “I honestly don’t know how to express how blessed my family is or how deeply I’ve been touched by crossing paths with Jess, Tony and the staff at Camp Red Leaf. In my heart I have been grieving over the ‘loss’ of my son for several years; Jess helped me overcome that grief and understand that my son has been with me the entire time. I was just too blind to see him. Jess is such a beautiful person with an extraordinary gift and I truly believe she has made a difference in Harrison’s life, and in the process, opened my eyes to just how limiting I was becoming to him.” “I can’t begin to explain what a gift the staff at CRL and people like them are. It’s really opened my eyes to what my son can enjoy and do in life. It’s also given me hope for future happiness, knowing that once my wife and I are gone, there are people like that in the world who will look after our son,” concludes Brodeur. “The staff at Camp Red Leaf are very special people and I’m so grateful that they entered Harrison’s life.” Teachers at Hyde Park Academy, located on the South Side of Chicago, work closely with JCYS to implement JCYS TEAMcorps in their classrooms. Erin Grover, an English teacher at Hyde Park, recently shared her assessment of the program. “Over the past ten years, I have seen TEAMcorps (formerly Adventure Education) as it has had a positive impact on legions of freshmen at Hyde Park.” Grover explains that students are initially wary, but as time progresses, they begin to embrace the program’s activities, objectives, and overall experience. “’Silly’ games have life-changing consequences and I have seen this firsthand. Never have I seen an initiative that has had such a positive impact on my students – both 7


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academically and socially,” Grover enthuses. “They learn to work together and, in doing so, improve their self confidence. It is an experience that they cherish and remember throughout their high school careers.” When speaking of the TEAMcorps staff, Grover offers only the highest accolades. She describes Lys Ashe, TEAMcorps Director, as “an amazing woman who is willing to go the extra mile to make sure that the students benefit in every possible way.” She goes on to praise two facilitators, Jon Voegtlin and Liam Durnan. “Jon is an extremely patient in-school facilitator whose calm nature is remarkably effective in helping students to question themselves and come up with their own answers. Liam is another facilitator who has been at Hyde Park in the past, but who is now only a figure on our “outside” excursions. Yet, his impact is profound, as he is able to channel the student’s inner creativity with his wit and his wisdom.” Grover jokes that her students ask, “Mrs. Grover, why can’t we do TEAMcorps again?” or “What’s up Lys? When are you going to visit the junior classes?” Grover views these questions as testaments to both the merits of the program itself, as well as to the facilitators and funders who make it possible. “Students never go out of their way to speak to adults unless they respect them,” remarks Grover. “The fact that Lys and Jon are remembered and acknowledged says a great deal. On behalf of the teachers and students who have benefited from TEAMcorps at Hyde Park Academy, thank you for all that your organization has done for us.” Dafna Lender and Jonathan Schwartz’s daughter, Orli, attends preschool at the JCYS Lakeview Family Center. Lender is a child therapist in the field of attachment, so she was thrilled to recognize Orli’s teachers this past year, Shauna Fernandez and Sandra Vega, as “consummate attachment caregivers.” In explaining her work, Lender describes the importance of the attachment for young children. “My focus is on understanding what makes a child feel securely attached to her caregiver so that she is confident that, whatever road she crosses, whatever bump she trips over, that special adult in her life will always guide her, console her, and send her back into the world with confidence.” Lender remembers being truly astounded some days at the calm and pleasant demeanor of the teachers waiting to say hello each morning. “They always greeted us with a smile and lingered on Orli for a special moment, until she registered their sweet faces, her own then lighting up. They always noticed anything new that she was wearing or took a moment to admire a new toy or hear about one of her adventures, never for a moment giving any sense that they were impatient to take care of something else they were doing before she walked in the door,” raves Lender. She also recalls how Shauna and Sandra always pulled her aside to tell a little story about what Orli did that day. When Orli felt sad, her teachers so warmly accepted her into their arms and embraced her like a mother, immediately calming her down. “Once when I was away on a business trip, Orli wouldn’t bathe for Jon. They helped him by admonishing her just enough to make her listen,” remembers Lender. “In essence, they gave us the sense that they were there only and uniquely for Orli, when in fact, they had a dozen or more children in the classroom!” Lender knows that Shauna and Sandra have contributed tremendously to Orli’s sense of security and confidence. “And for Jon and me, they gave us an invaluable gift – allowing us to go on with our respective days knowing that our only daughter was happy, content, safe and well cared for, enriched and inspired to learn,” marvels Lender. “Orli carries a little Shauna and little Sandra with her now, as a representation of love, joyfulness and warmth, and she will carry these gifts they’ve given her for the rest of her life.” Shauna Fernandez and Sandra Vega working with the children at the JCYS Lakeview Family Center. 8


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JCYS Northwest Family Center At the JCYS Northwest Family Center (NWFC) in Buffalo Grove, children are treated with love and respect in a supportive, exciting, and fun educational environment. NWFC offers an open and flexible curriculum that allows each child to grow according to his or her own unique conceptual level. • Camp numbers were strong last summer in both Horner Grove Day Camp and Sunflower Camp. The family picnic was a great success, boasting the largest turnout ever. Approximately 400 people attended the old-fashioned picnic, which also featured modern touches like a moonwalk and a visit from the Buffalo Grove Fire Department. • Thanks to the generosity of The Dream Makerz Foundation and The Jack Miller Family Foundation, NWFC hired a part-time Child and Family Development Specialist this year. Modeled after a similar position at the JCYS George W. Lutz Family Center, the Specialist assists parents and staff with developmental concerns and provides critical prevention and intervention services, as well as staff training and support. She has made a very positive impact on the Early Childhood Education program. • The Counselors-in-Training (CIT) program continues to grow and has become very successful. All of the CITs receive training in pediatric first aid and babysitting best practices. • Thanks to the generosity of JCYS Past President Rand Diamond and his family, and support from the JCYS Board of Directors, NWFC is thrilled to announce that it will be opening an infant care room in the summer of 2010, with strong registration numbers already showing. JCYS Chicago Operations JCYS Chicago Operations is proud to offer a variety of programs, including Early Childhood Education, Summer Day Camp, After-School Programming and Enrichment Programs. The JCYS Lakeview Family Center focuses on all aspects of children’s development: intellectual, social, emotional, and physical. The curriculum emphasizes learning through play, which helps children successfully develop skills in a wide variety of areas. • Building on a wonderful relationship with Inter-American Magnet School (a dual-language Chicago public elementary school), JCYS now provides both after-school services for school-age students, as well as after-care for “Preschool for All” participants. Preschool for All is a state-funded program that provides early childhood education for two and a half hours each day during the work week. JCYS offers this after-care service at both the Inter-American Magnet School and at the Lakeview Family Center; last year, the program served 21 children. • In line with the Jewish mitzvah of tzedakah (charity), children collected generous donations following the devastating earthquake in Haiti. In only two weeks, the students raised $700 in support of Save the Children. Not only was this a significant amount of money to raise and send, but it was also a valuable lesson in giving back and helping those in need. JCYS families also worked with the Share Your Soles Foundation to collect and donate more than 325 pairs of shoes for Haitian refugees. • JCYS Lakeview Family Center offered a program by Elena Marre, founder of The Kid’s Table, on expanding the palate of picky eaters and helping kids make healthy choices. Parents discussed their concerns and learned helpful techniques to support their children's diets. • JCYS Big City Day Camp grew to 175 campers in summer 2009, and continued helping campers explore an urban environment in a safe and fun way. Fieldtrips were either a “go-see,” which allowed campers 9


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to enjoy sites like water parks, miniature golf, or professional theatre; or a “go-do,” which gave campers the opportunity to learn a specific skill, including farm chores, making cheesecake and ice cream, and sports drills with the Bulls/Sox Training Academy. Campers also had a home and street safety session with the local police department, which covered topics such as strangers at the door, approaching animals on the street, and taking preventative action against potential threats. JCYS TEAMcorps JCYS TEAMcorps delivers experiential learning to high school students at Mather High School in Rogers Park and Hyde Park Academy in Hyde Park. The initial 10-week program introduces freshmen students to active teambuilding and features the goals of positive networking with peers, group problem-solving, time efficiency, and open communication. After 10 weeks, the students participate in an overnight trip at the JCYS Glickman High Sierra Adventure Center at JCYS Camp Henry Horner. This trip provides further opportunities for students to push past perceived limitations and achieve success. During their sophomore year, past TEAMcorps participants are invited to continue building life skills through an extension program, the Service Leadership Initiative (SLI). This component of the program provides students with the tools to create resumes, interview for real jobs, and give back to the community. Additionally, TEAMcorps teachers and administrators participate in two professional development sessions each year. • Following its success at Hyde Park Academy last year, TEAMcorps introduced the Service Leadership Initiative at Mather High School this school year. Each week, 120 students came together to write resumes, perform mock job interviews, and discuss and begin service learning projects. Four of these students landed their first jobs as junior assistant counselors with JCYS Big City Day Camp. • Hyde Park Academy juniors continued their engagement in the Service Leadership Initiative by successfully rallying to improve and update the school bathrooms. Two bathrooms received paint makeovers, and all of the bathrooms now feature soap and towel dispensers. The sophomore participants in the Service Leadership Initiative worked with the juniors to raise more than $1,000 for Haiti earthquake relief. • Teachers and administrators at Mather High School participated in a two-part professional development session on ethnic diversity and bullying. Meanwhile, Hyde Park Academy professionals were re-energized as they learned methods of using stories and poetry to connect with students. • TEAMcorps partnered with Northeastern University’s Adventure Education program to add a new element to the overnight trip experience. Hyde Park students and teachers tackled an indoor high ropes course built into the gym’s ceiling. This experience was a unique opportunity for students to guide and support each other through a series of challenges, reinforcing the concept of teamwork. p fo r to speak u s a w d e n r d a to get goo lesson I le s t i s l e a o g g g i b y The hi s do. M e achieve t ow I always m N . lp e lf h e l s l i r u w yo just Mcorps t and not school . TEA u o n i f s f e d u a t r s g n se I can pla into it. goal becau jump right 10


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JCYS North Shore Operations The JCYS George W. Lutz Family Center, located in Highland Park, helps each child reach his or her own potential in a safe, stimulating and creative environment through services including part-day preschool, developmentally based childcare, and before- and after-school programs. • The kindergarten enrichment classes participated in a series of mitzvah projects throughout the year, and raised nearly $1,000 for Haiti relief efforts. Lutz also added a second full-day pre-kindergarten classroom to accommodate an influx of new children who came to JCYS after their local childcare center closed. At the end of the school year, Lutz introduced a new lunch catering service for the full-day and kindergarten enrichment students. Parents and staff are thrilled with these new organic and locally grown meals. Through the continued generosity of the Alvin H. Baum Family Fund, Lutz was once again able to maintain the Child and Family Development Specialist position. The Specialist collaborates with three local service providers to provide free on-site consultations and screenings for Lutz children and their parents in the areas of occupational therapy, speech-language pathology and social work. JCYS Grand Slam Tennis Camp (GSTC) grew to 35 children last summer. After summer school in the morning, campers enjoyed swim lessons, QuickStart tennis lessons, and other fun recreational activities during the afternoon. GSTC serves a primarily low-income population, and the support of USTA Serves, the Chicago Tennis Patrons, and the Midwest Youth Tennis & Education Foundation enabled many campers to receive scholarships. JCYS continued its partnership with the University of Illinois at Chicago to offer Camp STAR. In its second year, the eight-week program served 42 children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and related behavioral, emotional and learning difficulties. This integrated camp experience blends treatment components with daily recreational activities and educational services. During summer 2009, JCYS North Shore Day Camp/NSDC Sports highlights included an exciting fieldtrip to a Milwaukee Brewers baseball game, as well as the third annual NSDC Idol, featuring many wonderful songs and performances for the families in attendance. JCYS North Shore Day Camp’s Explorers, Trailblazers and Teen Scene enjoyed two overnighters at JCYS Camp Henry Horner, while Pioneers experienced two undernighters at the same location. • • • • • • /23/2010 Sent: Fri 7 zberg To: B Weit ank you h T : ct Subje their school for ng for pre e ki w o d lo an is r’ cente ow that that we kn out the ‘Lutz family ily m fa y n “…A check is. k them to hool truly kids, we as m how great the sc , e education th ea, for its explain to ar r u e o lik in s ilie hool where fam best presc also a place at it is the for the last ly al ci an Not just th m and warmth, but n we d times fi alis pport like n very har profession ice and su came upo rv o h se w e s, th e ourselv ill receive ars, can st n anywhere else…” couple ye e tt o g ad rh would neve 11


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JCYS Camp Henry Horner JCYS Camp Henry Horner (CHH) offers a dynamic day and overnight camp experience in a beautiful environment. Located in Ingleside, Illinois, the camp’s facilities include a heated pool, high- and low-ropes course, arts and crafts center, skateboard and rollerblade course, athletic fields and courts, and beach waterfront complete with boats, campfire circle, and Aqua Jump. Day camp serves children from kindergarten through eighth grade, while overnight camp serves children in fourth through ninth grade. • In summer 2009, nearly 300 overnight campers and more than 215 day campers enjoyed many fun-filled activities. CHH day camp continued to accommodate families during tough economic times by expanding its shared bus points, allowing for reduced rates and improved convenience. Overnight camp began a new program in partnership with the Center for Enriched Living (CEL) and The Lookingglass Theatre Company. Twice a week for four weeks, CHH overnight campers visited CEL to participate in their theater camp. Under the guidance of a professional instructor from Lookingglass, campers learned and laughed together as they worked to produce a final dramatic piece. The program was a great success and will be continued in summer 2010. In CHH’s ongoing efforts to “go green,” many camp materials are now available online, including newsletters and permission slips. Additionally, the CHH blog at has become a popular site for current campers, parents and alumni to visit. The blog showcases vintage camp pictures, as well as relevant forms for current campers. The green initiatives also led campers to plant the first round of trees from the Green Guardian Fund, which deliver a delightfully shaded spot, as well as privacy behind CHH. In an effort to provide new challenges for returning groups, the JCYS Glickman High Sierra Adventure Center added new elements to its teams course this past year. Additionally, an older group of campers went to Devil’s Lake for real outdoor rock climbing. • • • • I am ! e som e ve w a a h I n. u f his h t c s u ! end om i s s r t f g f n of ra c havi d lots n Mom


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JCYS Camp Red Leaf JCYS Camp Red Leaf (CRL) offers year-round recreational, educational and therapeutic programs to youth and adults with developmental disabilities. • In summer 2009, JCYS Camp Red Leaf welcomed 99 youth and 225 adult campers with special needs to the lush grounds of camp. During the school year, CRL served approximately 89 children and adults through two adult and six youth residential respite weekends. Highlights of those sessions included visits from therapy dogs and local firefighters, fun field trips, swimming and more. In April, JCYS welcomed Erin Newport as the new JCYS Camp Red Leaf Director. Erin has been involved with camp and recreation for more than 10 years. Before joining JCYS, Erin worked for several other recreational camps that served individuals with disabilities. CRL joined together with the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago to offer Camp Blackhawk. As a direct result of this new partnership, JCYS Camp Red Leaf saw an increase in the number of participants for respite weekends. CRL also partnered with Countryside Workshop to create a volunteer program for individuals with disabilities. During the visit, campers developed new skills that will one day help them in the workplace, such as cleaning, painting, planting and watering flowers. The program promoted independence and helped build campers’ social skills. • • • I truly belie ve m y s never have on would comfor table become in it not been a pool had fo one -on -one r the fir m , en he received couragement from Now he love camp s taff. s swimming ! 13



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