Send a Kid to Camp

Low-income kids need camp heroes like you.
Make a gift & give a child the opportunity of a lifetime.

For many families, summer camp would not be possible without financial assistance. Because of you, kids get the opportunity to:

  • Stay active during the summer with swimming, games, cooking, etc.
  • Enjoy weekly trips to places outside of Tucson
  • Increase their self-esteem, confidence, and motivation

Meet the Kids


Keaton Riddle, age nine, begins our interview by asking “Should I do my cute voice?” He has been coming to Camp J since kindergarten and claims to have made about 59 camp friends over the years! When we ask him what he would tell a kid who was going to camp for the first time, he says, “That you would be my 60th friend.” At camp, Keaton likes to bake, “Challah is a very fun thing to make! It tastes very good, and we eat it on Shabbat.” Keaton likes to dance and even did The Floss for us! He also spoke fondly of Krav Maga, the self-defense class he took at camp. When we ask him what he would do without Camp J, he responds sadly, “I wouldn’t get to see my friends.”


Kaya is a charismatic six-year-old who spent her first summer at Camp J last year and has so much to say about it! When asked “Did you learn anything at camp this year?” Kaya doesn’t miss a beat: “To be kind, be safe, to be respectful, and be responsible!” Kaya has a brother with nonverbal, severe autism and while family resources often go to finding places that meet his needs, at The J, parents don’t have to choose. With generous support from our scholarship fund, Kaya’s family is able to send both children to Camp J.


When we ask Isaiah, age 12, about his favorite camp memories, he says, “I think my greatest memory of camp was probably third grade, being included…everyone, you know, welcoming me.” One of Isaiah’s favorite field trips was to the trampoline park; “It’s exhilarating,” he describes. When we talked to Isaiah about Maccabiah, a camp-wide, multi-team competition for spirit points, he tells us that it’s a great way to learn about discipline and teamwork. Isaiah ends his interview by telling us, “Every kid should have the opportunity to go to camp because it’s a nice place, you can make a lot of friends, and everyone is really nice here.”


Clara Joy Dunkle, age seven, tells us about how she made a bunch of friends at Camp J shortly after her family moved to Tucson about a year ago. When we ask her what camp is like, she answers matter-of-factly: “Awesome.” Her favorite things to do at camp are watching movies, going in the pool, and going to the Play Space. Clara also really loved being part of the red team in Maccabiah water balloon fights. She enjoys eating Latkes and making butterscotch cookies at camp. When asked what she would tell kids who are new to camp, she says, “This camp is really fun and I enjoy it!”


Liam Keith, age 10, tells us “I love camp because of the pool and the field trips. My first day of camp I was super scared, but I liked my counselors a lot.” When asked if he made friends at camp, he says, “Yes, I made friends at camp. Keaton and I are really good friends. He taught me how to get better at archery and I taught him how to swim better.” When we asked Liam about what he learned at camp, he responds, “In my second year of camp I did robotics and I learned a lot of multiplication. When I went back to school they put me in extended math, and I still am in extended math.” When asked what advice he would give kids who are new to camp, he said, very wisely, “It’s kind of scary at first, but if you can just be yourself and talk to people, it will be very easy.”

All kids should experience summer camp. From performing skits to spending time at the spinning wheel with clay, childhood summers provide experiences that shape the next generation. Your tax-deductible gift will provide scholarships so summer camp isn’t a luxury for families of our community.

Camp offers much more than just fun.
It defends against summer learning loss. Children from families with fewer resources spend the summer languishing in front of glowing screens. For these children, summer can be a season of boredom, inactivity and isolation. Studies show that low-income children experience greater summer learning loss and fall farther behind in school every year.

It develops character. At camp, children spend time with a college-aged mentor who is trained to nurture character development and self-confidence. Please make a gift today! Every gift makes a difference.

J Life Magazine
Annual Report 2018
Facebook Feed
Tucson JCC
Tucson JCC
As we close out another fun-filled, amazing week here at the J, we are wishing you all a beautiful weekend! May you have some time to disconnect from the week and reconnect with what really matters in your life. Shabbat Shalom!
Tucson JCC
Tucson JCC
Do you want to learn to dance like this? You can do it with us! Tango levels 1 and 2 are now enrolling, with drop-in options available. More info here: http://bit.ly/32pvGDn
Tucson JCC
Argentine tango. "Gallo Ciego". Fernando Gracia and Sol Cerquides with "Solo Tango" orquesta. Танго.
Argentine tango "Gallo Ciego" (Agustín Bardi, Osvaldo Pugliese version). Dance Fernando Gracia and Sol Cerquides. The world champions of tango Fernando and S...
Tucson JCC
Tucson JCC
The 2020 Tucson International Jewish Film Festival is just around the corner! We're working hard on updating our website with details, but in the meantime we wanted to share a trailer for the much anticipated film, "The Mamboniks", which will screen on Jan 5 in Saddlebrooke and on Jan 10 at the J.
Tucson JCC
Tucson JCC
Tucson JCC
The good, the better, the best: Our benchmarking survey is live and we want to hear from you! Help us serve you better by completing a brief 10-minute survey here: http://ow.ly/q2ra50x1TaS
Tucson JCC
Tucson JCC
It's getting cold outside and you know what that means: It's Hot Chocolate Time! Join us for our 2nd annual Hanukkah Hot Chocolate fun run/walk on December 5th. 1/5/10K routes are available. Registration is open now: http://bit.ly/2pFzov7
Tucson JCC
Tucson JCC
A note from our awesome member, Vicki Velasco: "I started my journey at the Tucson JCC last May. I was 62, weighed almost 300 pounds and knew I had to do something to get healthy. I started small – mostly at the pool with my granddaughter! Last September I decided to work with a trainer, checked out the information sheets for three trainers and was fortunate to start working with Rhina Gerhauser.

"Rhina talked with me about my goals and helped me get going with twice-weekly 30 minute workouts. My second small step! I started feeling better, but was still only working out when I saw Rhina. In May of this year I went to the doctor and had a bit of a “wake-up call.” I was told if I didn’t make some changes, my only recourse for losing weight would be weight-loss surgery.

"The 100 Day Challenge at the JCC started the next week and I was all-in! I asked Rhina to measure me at the beginning and I committed to getting into the J each work day. Rhina measured me at the end of the challenge and I had lost 12.5”!

"Because I was coming regularly to the J, I started getting to know people and was amazed at the community I was discovering. So many people were encouraging and commented on my progress. I also started taking classes in addition to doing cardio and personal training. While I have a long journey ahead to reach my health and weight loss goals, I am well on my way, thanks to being at the J!

"I am excited to explore new opportunities like cooking and dance classes and the film festival as part of the new Passport program. Joining the JCC was just a beginning – being a part of the JCC community keeps me going!"
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