The idea for Camp Kind begun in May of 2015 when Rabbi Benjy Brackman received a phone call from Laura (not her real name). Rabbi Brackman run’s a Jewish outreach center in Westminster and Laura was calling around to religious organizations asking if anyone could help her eleven year old stepson Steve with community work during the summer. Steve had gotten into some trouble at school and a judge had ordered Steve to complete fifty hours of community service.

Fun-Fence-Improvements-hero.jpgWithout thinking too long Rabbi Benjy suggested that Steve could paint the white fence that borders the center’s property where the paint was peeling and was beginning to look pretty shabby

Laura loved the idea and even agreed to pay for the paint. It was easy enough for Steve to do but not too easy that it wouldn’t be considered a punishment which was the point of the exercise.

Laura assured the rabbi that Steve was a really good kid who had made a poor choice and wouldn’t be any hassle what so ever.

For six weeks during the summer, sometimes five mornings a week, Steve was outside painting the fence. When the fence was completed Steve came over to the rabbi and with ear to ear smile and thanked him for this opportunity. Steve had truly enjoyed completing the task and felt really good about “volunteering” his time for the outreach organization.

Rabbi Benjy recalls his shock in Steve’s appreciation for his own hard work. “I was like, I am the only one that should be doing the thanking, yet he seemed so happy at his work” says Rabbi Benjy. At that point the rabbi begun wondering how come his own kids don’t have a similar positive impactful volunteer experience during their summer vacation? More over thought the rabbi how can he translate this idea into an experience for other kids in the summer? With that idea Camp Kind was born.

This summer Camp Kind will debut for two weeks in July as a pilot project that will offer kids multiple volunteer experiences teaching them that reward and meaning can be achieved by reaching out and helping others less fortunate.

We invite you to include Camp Kind in your children’s summer experiences and help make a lasting impression on your child that will pave the way for greater community engagement and as they mature into adults.