“What do you do the rest of the year?”

by Joe Slade
Senior Assistant Director

“What do you do the rest of the year?” This is a question I am frequently asked, particularly in August and September, once the camp season has drawn to a close. The truth of the matter is that the year-round staff at GUCI is busy all year long!

Once camp ends, our immediate focus is on assessing the summer that has just finished. We have long conversations about what went well, areas that can improve for the future, and general reviews of the camp program. In addition, we send out two surveys that we take very seriously–our Camper Satisfaction Insight (CSI) evaluation, which goes to all the parents of current campers, and our staff survey, which goes to all our summer staff members. We use the results of these two evaluations to shape our discussions about the subsequent summer.

Once that is done, our focus shifts to thinking about the off-season. Mark and I reach out to the many congregations we serve in the greater Midwest and begin setting up visits to promote camp. Many of our weekends from October through March are taken up by these visits, which are a highlight of our off-season! Keep an eye on Facebook, Twitter, and our website calendar for news on when we’re coming to your congregation!

Also starting in October, we begin hiring staff for the next summer. Unlike many other camps, GUCI is extremely fortunate to have a long tradition of campers whose experience here creates the desire to give back to this community we all love. We will publicize the staff application when it opens!

We also spend a great deal of time thinking about facilities–Jim and Jimmy Israel, our maintenance staff, are very busy all winter long! This is a time for us to make necessary repairs, such as painting the cabins, or take on major projects–those new courts didn’t build themselves! We hope to have more exciting news to share about improved camp facilities soon.

Shoresh playing basketball!

Finally, we also have a number of others who come to camp outside the summer. We are fortunate this year to be hosting NFTY-Ohio Valley (twice!), the Women of Reform Judaism’s Central District Kallah, several events with the Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation, and more! If you are interested in having an event at camp in the off-season, please contact Susan in the office with any questions.

As you can see, we have a busy couple of months ahead of us–and that’s not even counting the programmatic discussions for Summer 2014 that we’ll begin having in the spring with our Leadership Staff team! Stay tuned for more updates from GUCI all year long!

 

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