The buses rolled up on Thursday, May 25th, and hundreds of high school students exited, arriving at Camp Jenny hosted on Camp Coleman’s ground in Cleveland, Georgia. The teens were full of energy, excited for the weekend. The process of volunteering here began months before in December when applications were submitted. The application required teens to write multiple essays and create a card to be sent to the campers. After an application review process, the accepted teens worked tirelessly with their teams to create a cabin theme, write programs and learn about their community.
The weekend kicked off with a Camp Jenny 30th Ceremony and Reception. Held at the Hillman Chapel, a new tradition began that honored the teens and youth groups for their fundraising efforts, followed by stories of the founding of Camp Jenny all the way through 2017. The following day continued with lots of prep as well as a security briefing. Specialists cleaned and set up their activities. Counselors engaged in safety and security training, camper wellness, and learned the basics of how Camp Jenny would operate. The staff was also treated to a remarkable presentation by one of F.L. Stanton’s teachers who provided us with background info about the community these campers are from. In the hours before the campers arrived, counselors decorated their cabins Peter Pan themed and made sure each bed and cubby was welcoming.
While it takes many hours of preparation, the staff has the incredible task of ensuring that the campers have the time of their lives. We learned, we bonded, we prepped and we were ready! When another set of busses rolled in to Camp Coleman on Friday afternoon, over 125 campers were welcomed with open arms and an open heart.
Arielle Bader, NFTY-STR participant, Camp Jenny 2017 Media Specialist