A Taste of the Great Outdoors
My son, Max, loves the outdoors. It’s where he thrives. No matter where we vacationed, he loved getting outside and exploring nature. When he entered middle school, we looked for an overnight camp program that would provide him the opportunity to hike, raft and camp outdoors, but we faced a real challenge. It was hard to find an overnight camp focused on wilderness exploration for middle-school-aged kids. Eventually, we found a JCCA camp where he spent almost two weeks outdoors in Yosemite. He loved it and it made a lasting impression on him.
My husband and I were so grateful that we had found a program, and at the same time, we wished that we had found something closer to home rather than having to send our middle-school-aged son across the country to get a taste of outdoor camping.
That is why it means so much to me to help establish The Outpost Village, a 2-week outdoor adventure program geared toward middle school students, coming to Camp Chi in Lake Delton, WI in Summer 2022. Giving young kids, just like Max, a chance to unplug, discover the outdoors, and connect with nature is extremely important and I’m grateful to be able to support JCC Chicago and Camp Chi in this new initiative.
We decided to name the grounds of The Outpost Village after my late father and mother, Abraham and Minn Lecker. If it wasn’t for my parents, I would never have been exposed to the J. My mother volunteered at Bernard Horwich JCC and I grew up participating in the countless JCC programs throughout the Chicagoland area. When my son was born, I took him to Early Childhood classes at Florence G. Heller JCC and he went on to attend Apachi Day Camp and Camp Chi. Over the years, I got involved in the JCC Chicago Board of Directors to give back to the organization that has impacted three generations of my family.
This is my opportunity to honor my parents and give back to the JCC Chicago community to support other families’ J stories. I want to ensure that Camp Chi and the J can support future generations and leave a lasting impression on more kids, just like Max, who get to experience the great outdoors.
“JCC has been a part of my life for almost all of my life, starting with nursery school, swimming lessons, and after school programs for me and continuing with early childhood, after school programs, day camp, and Camp Chi for my son. The JCC has been there when I wanted it and needed it. I am involved with JCC Chicago because I want to ensure that the JCC is there for future generations the same way it has been there for me.”
Lisa’s volunteer involvement with JCC Chicago began when she joined the early childhood parent committee at the Florence G. Heller JCC in Lakeview. From there, she joined the local Heller JCC Board and became Co-President of the region that encompassed the Heller JCC. Lisa’s connection continued with joining the JCC Chicago Board of which she is Secretary and Chair of the Governance Committee.
Professionally, Lisa designed and developed information systems working in private industry. She is able to use the system analysis skills from her professional career in her JCC Board and Committee work. Lisa is currently retired.
Lisa and her husband, Lee, reside in Wilmette and are active members of Beth Hillel Bnai Emunah. Both Lisa and Lee feel strongly about giving back to the community and volunteer for a number of different nonprofit organizations.