Jake Karp of Livingston, NJ, became the 1000th local recipient of a $1000 One Happy Camper grant toward his first summer at Jewish overnight camp.  One Happy Camper grants have been awarded since 2007 to new campers across the Greater MetroWest NJ Federation area (Essex, Morris, Sussex, Union and parts of Somerset counties) for more than 50 different Jewish overnight camps across North America.  The grants, which are available again for Summer 2014, have been awarded to nine campers from Mendham-Chester.

Jake spent the past month at Camp Nah-Jee-Wah, part of NJY Camps in Milford, PA, after his memorable experiences the previous summer at family camp and a short-stay session. Jake's mom, Suki Karp, notes, "Until you are in an environment where you are living, laughing, and growing with Jewish peers, you don't realize how special that shared background is.  We are so thrilled that our son loved his short stay last summer headed back to camp this summer."  Jake raved about the huge array of activities, including the giant waterslide, jet-skiing, the high ropes course, and especially Baseball Specialty Camp with New York Yankee Ron Blomberg. 

The $1000 grants, gifts from the Foundation for Jewish Camp and local donors through the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ, are awarded to children ages 7-17 regardless of income, and can be used toward any of 150+ Jewish camps of their choosing, ranging from sports specialty camps, outdoor adventure, teen programs, camps for children with special needs, as well as traditional sleepaway camps. The grants are provided through One Happy Camper NJ, a program of The Partnership for Jewish Learning and Life that also offers free, personalized assistance to local families in selecting the right camp for their child.  Families considering camp for the summer of 2014 are encouraged to call now for free guidance in choosing and visiting potential camps this summer.

Former grant recipients and their families consistently rave about their camp experiences, through which campers cultivate their self-confidence, independence, and knowledge of their Jewish heritage while participating in fun activities with lifelong friends.  For details about the $1000 grant and free camp guidance, families may visit www.OneHappyCamperNJ.org or contact Tracy Levine at tracy@OneHappyCamperNJ.org or 973-929-2970.