experiments, instruments & measurement book

Relationships, Relationships, Relationships

6/9/14

By Anna Marx

This post is 2nd in a series on Accomplishments and Lessons Learned, a cumulative report demonstrating 5 years of evaluation and research about the Coalition of Innovating Congregations. The report is available online and for download at innovatingcongregations.org/all.

We hear a lot about the lifelong impact Jewish overnight camp has on our children. All things being equal, we’d like all of our kids to go to camp. But many of us struggle to recruit greater numbers of families to choose Jewish overnight camp. In order to learn more, we sent surveys to all parents in our Camp Connect congregations to learn about their decisions around camp (read the full report innovatingcongregations.org/resources/camp-connect/).

One thing rang true and clear from the surveys: Relationships Matter. It’s about the kids’ relationships and the parents’ relationships. Many of the parents that responded to the survey reported that it was important that their kids had friends or relatives to go to camp with. Parents also said that they highly valued camp recommendations from their friends.

So can the congregation have an impact if it’s about the families’ relationships? Yes! Congregations can build relationships among children and their parents at young ages so that when they are ready to go away to camp, they can go as a familiar group. Congregations can also pay close attention to relationships that exist and emerge among parents. By targeting groups of friends, congregations can more effectively recruit for camp, instead of one by one.

Look out for the next post in this series: “Second-Tier Leadership.”

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