BreakAway: An Extraordinary Week
Life is meant for good friends and great adventures.
And, sometimes, you have to break out of the ordinary to find both.
Enter BreakAway, JCC Chicago’s Spring Break – Away program for Chicago area teens.
Two weeks ago, 70 teens from throughout Chicagoland traveled to JCC Camp Chi and the Perlstein Retreat Center for an entirely new type of Spring Break vacation. These teens pursued a passion or explored a new interest in one of four specialized projects or “break outs.”
There’s no way to quantify the memories created, friendships established and communities built, but we can share with you what each break out accomplished.
Tree House Building
Seriously – You Get to Build a Tree House
Under the guidance master carpenter, Mark, this group designed, built and painted a tree house complete with walls, windows, benches and retractable roof. The tree house is large enough to hold 20 adults, and will be used by campers at Camp Chi.
Be the Producer of Your Own Story
This is what documentary filmmaking looks like in the hands of teens. With the help of Kobi and Rachel of Swissa Creative, teens selected a theme, wrote the story, filmed, edited and produced Acceptance. These aspiring filmmakers were so dedicated to their task that they chose to work on their movie during free time and early mornings.
Cooking and Baking for Passionate Foodies
From sushi to brisket and ratatouille to cupcakes, the menu was diverse and tasty. Teens put their new skills to use when they prepared the final dinner for BreakAway along with assistance from chefs, caterers and bakers, Avraham, Chuck, Stephanie and Emily.
Leadership. Adventure. Outdoors.
A week spent with Jeff and Scott learning survival skills and participating in team building exercises leads to tremendous camaraderie and personal growth. Highlights of the program included extensive lessons on fire building, including using a bow drill, as well as shelter building and a ladder climb obstacle challenge.
BreakAway turns the tables on stereotypic notions about Spring Break by fostering a sense of community, offering unique activities and sprinkling in Jewish fun. We are already looking forward to what can be accomplished next spring in the third year of this program.
BreakAway is part of Springboard, a community initiative created with the support of JUF/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, the Jim Joseph Foundation and a consortium of local funders.