With summer 2020 programs not operating as “business as usual,” Jewish organizations and leaders are turning to Trybal Gatherings’ Day Camp Boot Camp to learn how to “camplify” online programming with proven techniques and virtual engagement strategies. Participants from JCCs, Federations, day schools, pre-schools, synagogues, foundations, summer camps, start-ups, and elsewhere are gearing up for Day Camp Boot Camp’s second session May 26—a fun, online camp-style gathering to hone their skills and keep summer programming strong, remotely.

“Camp isn’t only a place, it’s a philosophy,” says Carine Warsawski, founder of Trybal Gatherings, which, during non-pandemic times, creates in-person, immersive four-day overnight Jewish camp experiences for young adults across the country. “To camplify your programming means to bring the magic of connection, relationships, and meaning to the user experience, whether that’s in-person or not. Just because someone makes a great challah doesn’t mean they know how to lead an engaging remote cooking program. The Boot Camp is a fun environment to learn about all the strategies and tools to deliver the best online programming.”

Sandwiched between the Boot Camp’s opening ceremony, closing friendship circles, and other fun camp-style surprises are electives on how to get the most out of remote programming and avoid Zoom fatigue. This includes electives on:

  • How to use ritual to cultivate a real sense of community and culture among strangers coming together in a virtual program.
  • All the different creative outlets a platform like Zoom offers. Games, music, video, and more can be incorporated to enrich nearly any program.
  • How to incorporate non-virtual activities, like paper plate awards, Oprah-style giveaways, and use of props, into a virtual program.
  • The tech and camera tricks everyone should know to lead a smooth and professional looking program.

Day Camp 2

Elective sessions are designed and led by experts from OneTable, Foundation for Jewish Camp, and others committed to delivering engaging programs, both in-person and online. Following Boot Camp session 1 for Trybal Gatherings alumni, Jewish engagement organizations asked to create more sessions for other Jewish professionals.

Lauren Silverman, the Sr. Young Adult Engagement Associate, at JUF in Chicago, one of more than 100 Trybal Alumni in the first Boot Camp, comments, “As a Jewish professional looking to create new ways of connecting virtually, Day Camp provided me with ideas for refreshing my own communal programs and I can’t wait to share them with my home community.”

“There’s a certain sweet-spot in how to create and run a fun virtual program,” Warsawski adds. “People can join from anywhere in the world, and that’s great—but program leaders need to know how to deliver an experience that is inclusive, accessible, and offers the entertainment and connections to keep participants coming back. Good online experiences are bite-size programs that pack a punch.”

Day Camp Boot Camp “campers” receive a manual of virtual activities and games, consultation within a month of Boot Camp for technical help or creative ideation, and a camp t-shirt.

Day Camp Boot Camp Session 2 is Tuesday, May 26, 12-2 pm ET. Register online at daycampbootcamp.com by Monday, May 25 at 12 pm or until spaces run out.

This initiative was made possible through ROI Community’s Coronavirus Response Micro Grant Program.

During non-pandemic times, Trybal Gatherings hosts all-inclusive getaways for Jewish young adults in their 20s/30s. These 4-day, 3-night getaways include all meals, lodging, open bar, color war, ropes courses, a bar-mitzvah themed dance party, informal Shabbat experiences, and over 70 classic and out-of-the-box camp activities. We provide a “safe space” to experiment with living Jewishly and to reimagine what living as part of a vibrant Jewish community might look like in adulthood, while disconnecting from the real world. 

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