Day Camp Kehillot

FJC is excited to offer Day Camp Kehillot for day camp professionals!

FJC is excited to announce that Day Camp Kehillot are back with a Spring Series! Day Camp Kehillot are communities of practice for day camp professionals that kick off with an expert guest trainer and are followed by opportunities to deconstruct and reapply the content with peers.

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Kehillot Spring Trainings
Mindset, Magic, and the Making of Staff Orientation: Summer 2021

March 16th at 1:00 – 2:30pm ET, with Michael Mellen

Wondering how to adapt staff orientation for summer 2021? Imagining the creative ways in which you’re going to engage staff in preparing for this summer? Figuring out online and in-person staff experiences?  Explore core principles, guiding questions, and practical tools for creating a staff orientation that engages staff and provides them with the mindset and skills for a successful summer. We will dig into all of this, while working to develop tangible ideas and next steps. This will be a hands-on workshop. Plan to work, contribute, and leave with actionable take-aways.

Michael Mellen
As an executive, organizational, and personal coach, trainer and facilitator with his company, Iron and Sage, Inc., Michael focuses on leadership excellence, relationship building, and change. He brings emotional intelligence to business and systems and structure to organizations driven by heart-centered concerns. Michael has served as coach, trainer, facilitator, consultant, and mentor in a number of settings, including corporate, small business, not-for-profit, summer camp, seminaries, and higher education. He was ordained as a rabbi in 1998 and served as a congregational rabbi at Temple B’nai Shalom in Fairfax Station, Virginia and as Director of the North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY), a 12,000-teen youth movement. Michael has also worked as an innovation consultant and coach, bringing Design Thinking and other tools to create educational change and to support not-for-profit boards in reimagining how they might work together. With many years of camp and youth program experience, he works with summer camps as an executive coach for camp leaders, as a facilitator designing and presenting staff orientation, and as coach and advisor related to mission, program, staff and strategy. His work with day camp leaders includes reimagining how mission and vision impact the power of camp, integrating camp’s values into staff orientation, and coaching to make camp a more joyful place for campers and staff.

Into the FUN-known! Maximizing Internal Programming at Camp

March 23rd at 1:00 – 2:30pm ET, with Matt Dorter and Robert “Bob” Tarushka

Let’s not pretend that summer 2021 is going to be like any other summer that we’ve had before. Managing safety and social distance is work alone, but with limited to no relief from field trips and visiting entertainers, it is going to be more work than ever to continue to offer enriching, creative, programming internally at your camp. In this interactive, hands-on “presentation meets game share,” we’ll be looking at how to take the limitations presented to us this summer and use them to our benefit in creating unique, active, memorable events that are touchless, masked, and socially distant. Matt Dorter, Executive Director of mainstages and Robert Tarushka, Director of Performances, will share practical, easy to implement games and activities from the perspective of both entertainers and camp directors. You will have access to initiatives and resources to strengthen morning lineup, specialty days at camp, ongoing initiatives, color war, as well as new activities that you might not have considered offering before, that draw on the skills of people and the resources you already have at camp.

Matt Dorter, Executive Director
Matt is a seasoned camp and theater professional with over 20 years staff experience at both day and resident camps. Matt graduated New York University’s Tisch School Of The Arts with degrees in Theater and Applied Education and served as Company Manager of the New Acting Company in New York City. Matt has toured with the National Theater for Children and has written, directed, and produced over 150 shows for children. Matt is a former Director of Camp Poyntelle Lewis Village, Assistant Director of Camp Jacobson, as well a consultant on theatrical services for summer camps and a presenter for the American Camp Association on theatrical best practices. Matt is passionate about the goal of using creativity to inspire social action and strengthen theatrical arts in the youth movement.

Robert “Bob” Tarushka, Director of Performances
As Director of Performances, Bob has personally visited hundreds of camps where he writes, produces, and performs original shows and workshops. Bob received a double major in English Literature and Theater at The University of New Hampshire and has previous experience on staff at Second Stage Theatre, Dixon Place, Planet Connections Theatre Festivity, Shrunken Shakespeare Company, Underling Productions, and more. Bob has been on staff at Camp Yomawha (now Camp Twelve Trails) and has visited and performed at over 150 camps across the country (and some out of the country as well!)–

Please email Rebecca at with any questions.