With some of the first camps opening this week, the 2017 summer camp season has finally arrived!

Each year, I marvel at the amount of intentional preparation that takes place all year long, and I salute the camp professionals who work so hard to make each day at camp meaningful and memorable.

As part of this preparation, for the last 15 years, FJC has been gathering the very best college-age counselors for a five-day intense experience at FJC’s Cornerstone Fellowship. This May, more than 375 Fellows and Liaisons from over 60 camps representing the broad range of Jewish camps across North America gathered to develop their skills and explore their personal journeys as Jewish leaders at camp and beyond. Over the years, through these annual seminars, we invested in more than 3,300 highly-creative, passionate, community-oriented young Jewish leaders who serve as trusted mentors, powerful role models to their camp community.

The theme of the conference this year was “Get Invested!” It placed emphasis on investing in participants holistically as individuals, rather than just through the lens of their immediate role as camp counselors. Cornerstone offered these leaders the chance not only to learn how to create transformative experiences for their camp communities, but also to explore their Jewish and leadership journeys beyond camp.

I am excited that FJC partnered with several organizations to inspire participants and demonstrate the rich and varied opportunities that our Jewish community offers. Representatives from Hillel, OneTable, Repair the World, JScreen, Ask Big Questions, Jewish Initiative for Animals, the iCenter, Gift of Life bone marrow registry, and Moving Traditions presented, hosted discussions, engaged and motivated the participants to think broader and into the future. We received great feedback from this new addition to the program!

We are proud of the strong “return of investment” Cornerstone generates. By investing in these high-performing Fellows each year, we are inspiring and empowering them to share of themselves and to create meaning for others at their camps, on their campuses, and in their communities for years to come.