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Signing Off for Summer E-mail
Friday, June 20, 2014

First session campers arrive Sunday! Amazing. We are so excited for campers to get here.  Staff orientation and training is fun, but we need kids!!

During the summer, you can get your fill of camp news at Winkle's Blog Summer Edition. (This is also where parents can login to see summer photos.) 

You can keep track of some other Chi news by following us on Twitter @campchi, by joining our Facebook page at, and keeping track of photos on Instagram @campchi.

Winkle's Blog will return in full force this fall.


S-T-A-F-F! E-mail
Monday, June 09, 2014

It's been quite a week in Lake Delton! On Sunday, June 1, our first large group of staff arrived at camp to begin training.  This group included all of our supervisors as well as horseback riding staff and all aquatics staff. The horseback team has been busy getting everything ready at the stables while our aquatics staff completed the American Red Cross lifeguard certification course. 

Then, on Thursday, all specialists and most of the support staff arrived at camp. These staff t represent a truly global community coming from across the United States as well as Australia, New Zealand, England, Wales, Ireland, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic and Israel.  We've traveled the world to hire only the best staff for summer 2014.  The specialists' training focuses mostly on preparing lesson plans for specialties, learning the ins and outs of Camp Chi, and, of course, ditching their jet lag.  Many groups will continue with specialized training with industry experts, including the ropes course/climbing staff, art instructors, and waterski team.

Today Staff Week officially begins with the arrival of our cabin counselors.  As one large staff, we will review all policies and procedures for camp as well as review our expectations for how we care for campers at Chi.  Plenty of time will also be dedicated to planning creative and innovative evening programs for the summer.  Don't worry... it won't be all work; we will make sure to have plenty of fun along the way too.

Training doesn’t end when the campers arrive.  We host inservice and on-going training for staff throughout the summer.


Noar 2k14 is Intense E-mail
Friday, June 06, 2014

ImageWe have an excellent line up of Intensives for Noar this summer.  There are some returning favorites as many new offerings. Thank you to the parents, alumni, special guests and staff who are leading the Intensives.

Beat Boxing - Yuri Lane
Championship Bowling - Brad Finkel
Improv/Acting - Kevin Miller
Geocaching - Lawrence LeVine
Graphic Design & Yearbook - Andy Bauman
Mahjong - Lisa Niser
Mural Painting - Howie Kanter
Pastry Baking - Shelby Mason
Social Media Takeover - Lauren Schmidt

Some of these are taking place first session, some are second session, and some are occuring both sessions.  You'll just have to wait and see what is happening when you are at camp.

Our Intensives program won a JCC of North American Excellence Award. You can read more about this honor and what Intensives are all about here.

Interested in leading something this summer? We have a space or two still available for first session.  Please email Ashley for details.


June News from the Chi Family! E-mail
Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Mazel tov to Paul Wolf and his wife, Lisa, on the birth of of Caleb Dylan. We're excited to have another future Chi'er in the family.

How cool is this? Lauryn Smith received the Doug Parks Award in School District 102. The Doug Parks Award is given to one 8th grade student each spring that shows dedication to learning, service to others, and demonstration of integrity. Lauryn's achievements were recognized at a school board meeting and her 8th grade graduation.

There are so many recent and upcoming b'nai mitzvot. Mazel tov to Lily Rothschild, Becca Pinksy, Lindsay Weisskopf and Sarah Malina on becoming bat mitzvahs.

There's not much better than a Camp Chi wedding.  Mazel tov to Liz Cohen and Andrew Neiberg who were married in the end of May.

Alex Simon is heading to graduate school! In the fall, he will start an MA program in Medical Science at Loyola University in Chicago.

Zach Auerbach (camper not counselor) qualified for the State Track & Field Tournament for shotput and discus. He is part of the team at Edgewood School which won Sectionals in both throwing events.

Chi campers have taken on leadership roles in USY. Gina Murphy was elected as the Israel Affairs Vice President for the CHUSY Region. Jack Rubinstein and Matthew Patton are serving as presidents for their chapters' boards.

We'll pick up the News from the Chi Family again in September. Have a great summer and keep on accomplishing amazing things!


Center Court E-mail
Monday, June 02, 2014

In preparation for this summer, we just had the entire gym floor refinished, including the Chi logo at center court. 


The new surface is ready to go for basketball games, volleyball tournaments, evening programs, indoor soccer and quad ball.

Speaking of sports, we have a great line up on our athletic staff this year with both new and returning specialists.  We’re excited to see what Chris Bailey, Andrew Coopersmith, Martin Dermek, Lubomir Kobrinovitch, Nathan Land and Adam Scaife bring to sports at Chi this summer.


Hey SITs! E-mail
Friday, May 30, 2014

Are you ready for the summer of a lifetime!?!
We thought it would be fun to have a little competition before you get here.  The first SIT who can guess both the SIT '14 T-Shirt color and the color of the writing will win a special party with Gary Yates.  Email your guesses to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .  Only one guess per person. (This contest is only for SITs of '14.)

What colors will it be...?


Being New to Chi E-mail
Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Evan Taksar

ImageI will be honest and tell you that I can’t remember my first summer at camp.  I can’t tell you my very first counselors or who slept above me in my bunk bed.  (To be honest, I can’t even remember if I slept in a top or bottom bunk.) I don’t remember what my favorite meal was (although, it was probably grilled cheese & tomato soup) or my favorite activity. I was about 7 years old my very first summer at camp, and my first few summers are now one big blur. Has that happened to you? Or is that just me?

However, I can tell you what I do remember. I remember exactly how great I felt standing in a circle with my cabin singing Lean On Me and Danny’s Song. I remember exactly how nervous I was meeting my bunkmates for the very first time (probably as nervous as when I met my first college roommate!). I remember how magical my first Havdallah was underneath the stars.  I remember that feeling of dread in the bottom of my stomach when I realized I was in my last week of the session.  And I remember the very last night when my bunk vowed to stay up all night talking and giggling, and driving our counselors crazy.*  (I also remember the stomachaches we gave ourselves on the last night after eating all that candy our counselors had previously confiscated.)

ImageDoes this sound familiar to anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Can I tell you a secret? I’ve never actually been to Camp Chi! It’s true! My love for Lean On Me and grilled cheese & tomato soup comes from the 15 summers I spent at a different JCC camp out in California. This will be my very first brand-spankin-new summer at Camp Chi, and I could not be more excited to spend it with all of you. (Sidenote: I’m also VERY excited for the lake. I’ve never been to a camp with a lake!! So, if you need me, I’ll probably be hanging at the Cove.)

You know, the beauty of Jewish summer camp is that no matter how different each camp might seem on the surface, at their heart they all have similar goals: have the best summer, make lifelong friends, and learn more about yourself.  Try something new! Write your parents letters! Don’t get sunburnt! (And seriously … have the Best. Summer. Ever.)  I like to think that every year you pack up your sleeping bag and head back to camp you are choosing to open yourself up to something new; be it a new experience, new friends, new interests, or a new skill.  Just like you are not the same from one summer to the next, neither are your experiences at camp!  And yet, those magical experiences that always happen; the Havdallahs, the song sessions, the late night whispering with your friends … those remain the same. The details might change year to year, but summer camp always remains a wonderful, timeless experience.

The Jewish value Hachnassat Orchim roughly translates to Jewish hospitality. The Torah puts great emphasis on welcoming people in our homes, and making sure that they are comfortable.  In fact, hachnassat orchim is actually a mitzvah!  At camp, we often talk about hachnassat orchim when welcome new and old faces back to camp. I know what it is like to feel as if camp is your second home; just like at home, every single space at camp holds a memory or an inside joke. Your bunkmates are like your siblings, and your counselors are the coolest big brothers and big sisters on the planet.  Every summer we welcome new people into our community, and every summer we return to camp just a little bit different than the summer before.  Every summer is a chance to start completely fresh in a place that knows you best.

So as you begin to plan out your Shabbat outfits and figure out just where you are going to hide all your candy, think about how you have changed between last summer and this one. And if you are a Camp Chi Newbie like me, think about what sort of positive experiences you have had in your life that you want share with the community this summer.  By the end of the summer, Camp Chi will feel like home to all of us, so let’s all make sure to bring with us a little hachnassat orchim.

(*I’m pretty sure we fell asleep by 11:30.)

Evan Taksar is originally from Los Angeles, California, and currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She will be splitting her very first summer at Camp Chi as the Judaic Programming Director and Village Leader.  She previously spent 15 summers at Camp JCA Shalom in Malibu, California. She could not be happier to be joining the Chi team, because she loves wearing tutus, acting ridiculous, and eating grilled cheese. There is no other place on the planet she would rather be during the summer than camp. (And if you need her, she will probably be by the lake … because, seriously, she’s never had a camp lake before!)


Awesome New Boat & More! E-mail
Monday, May 26, 2014

With the start of camp under a month away, we can’t wait to get to the ski docks! We know that many of you feel the same way.  There are a bunch of great things happening with waterskiing and wakeboarding this summer.

We just purchased a new Moomba boat to add to our fleet of ski and wakeboard boats.  This boat is especially designed to be great for wakeboarding.


We are very excited about our staff this summer.  Our three returning members of the ski team, Brodie Askew, Jack Barrett and Brandon Hults, are being joined by a talented group of new instructors – Ben Beeston, Rebekah Duell, Laura Faid, Matthew Hodges, Sarah Juny, Ethan Richardson and Sam Verbeek.

To enable these staff to be the best teachers they can be, we have hired an expert in camp waterski programs to provide specialized training.  Our staff will learn new approaches for teaching campers on land and in the water.  This course is in addition to the American Red Cross lifeguarding course and boat driving safety instruction we have provided for many years. 

Grab your towel and sunscreen! It’s going to be a legendary summer at the docks!


On the Move E-mail
Thursday, May 22, 2014

Are you excited for camp?  We are!!

In fact, we are so excited that we are moving up to camp today. There's so much to get ready that we move up to camp in May. Our last minute summer preparations will begin in full force after Memorial Day Family Vacation at Perlstein this weekend.

Our first big group of staff arrive on June 1.  This will include all of the supervisors, horseback riding staff, and all of our lifeguards who are taking the American Red Cross certification course.

Our Skokie office number rings in Lake Delton! If you have any questions or need assistance, please call 847.763.3551.  There may be a short delay as we get settled in our camp offices, but we will return your phone call as soon as we can.


More Specialty Upgrades this Summer E-mail
Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Three of our most popular activities at camp are getting upgraded equipment this summer to allow us to have even more campers try new things.

First, more campers will get to find their inner Katniss Everdeen at our second archery range.  In addition to the archery you know and love at the Commons, we are adding another range in a different location in camp.  Can anyone guess where that might be?

Second, in the art center, we are adding two new kilns!  This will allow campers to create even more projects in ceramics and glass fusing

Our very talented art staff of Jake Cooper, Imogen Connett, Alison Elliot, April Hudson, Gintare Lagunaviciute, Jessica Lewis, Arielle Pollack, Yael Shilo and Rebecca Tydeman will not only enhance ceramics and glass fusing, they bring skills in so many other areas – painting, drawing, wood work, photography, graphic design, mosaics, jewelry making, sewing and more!


Another Staff Addition E-mail
Monday, May 19, 2014

We are so excited to welcome Jenny Silva to the Chi staff as our new Head Nurse.

ImageSimilar to many of us who work at Camp Chi, Jenny's career path was not where she first thought it would go.  She attended St. Norbert College in Green Bay, Wisconsin where she received a degree in Graphic Deisgn and Fine Arts. Although she loves art, she decided to return to school to get a degree in nursing from Loyola University in Chicago. Since graduating, she has worked at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee. She was a charge nurse on the adult medicine floor and is now working full time in the float pool. Every day is different because she works in 19 different areas of the hospital!

In addition to hospital care, Jenny also does service work nursing.  Recently, she volunteered for 6 weeks in Peru.  She worked in a small clinic and provided medical care to the community.  While in Peru, most of her patients were children.

Jenny is looking forward to being part of our camp community and having the experience of working as a camp nurse. She enjoys so many of the camp activities -- painting, ceramics, hiking and running -- that we know she will fit right in.

In addition to Jenny, we have a gret group of new and returning nurses and health center aides this summer:

Norah Airth-Kindree
Adele Auerbach
Melanie cortez
Missy Geibel
Rachel Glandon
   Dorothy Hall
Megan Heron
Noreen McGowan
Maria Rayson
   Mary Stoltz
Tyler Swanson
Jolene Vancaster
Cara Wolfe

With their leadership in the Health Center, we know we'll have a healthy and safe summer.


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