Federation renews ‘One Happy Camper’ grants offering $1,000 for Jewish camps

Eli Temkin at the Next Dor house. 

Following a successful first year, Jewish Federation of St. Louis has renewed “One Happy Camper,” a partnership with the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC). The program offers the unique gift of $1,000 to 100 St. Louis Jewish youth in grades 1 through 12 to use toward Jewish summer camp, regardless of financial status.

To qualify for One Happy Camper grants, the child or teen must attend a nonprofit Jewish overnight camp for the first time for a minimum of 19 days. Children or teens currently enrolled in a Jewish day school or Jewish immersion program are not eligible. Eligible campers can choose from more than 150 nonprofit Jewish overnight camps by visiting jewishcamp.org.


Paige Krug, a 16-year-old student at Ladue Horton Watkins High School and member of B’nai Amoona, is one of more than 50 St. Louisans who attended Jewish overnight camp in 2011 with the help of an OHC grant.  Her mother, Elise Krug (a staff member at the Jewish Light), said the gift was the final push she needed to send her daughter to Herzl Camp in Wisconsin.

“When my daughter said she wanted to go to Herzl Camp, we said absolutely. The One Happy Camper incentive was crucial in making it happen. It made a big difference to the bottom line.”

The program is offered through a funding partnership between Jewish Federation and the Foundation for Jewish Camp, providing a four-year matching grant to St. Louis. St. Louis joins nearly 35 Jewish Federations across the country offering the One Happy Camper program.

“Jewish camp gives children the opportunity to engage with the fun and joyous aspects of Judaism,” said Jeremy Fingerman, CEO of Foundation for Jewish Camp. “To date, over 30,000 children have attended camp with one of these grants, over 55 percent of whom would have opted for a non-Jewish summer experience (including staying home) if not for this pioneering recruitment initiative.”

“One Happy Camper opens doors for the next generation of Jewish youth to experience the magic of Jewish overnight camp and is directly in line with Jewish Federation’s strategic priorities,” said Eli Temkin, One Happy Camper St. Louis project manager.

Learn more about One Happy Camper and apply for a grant at jewishinstlouis.org/OHC.