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
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