Chai Five Blankets
You may have heard that nobody makes more out of summer than Camp Chi! Growing up as a camper, SIT, counselor and unit head at Camp Chi, it is no surprise that making the most out of my life has become my modus operandi.
I fondly remember over my 13 years at camp (but who’s counting) spending many hours in the arts and crafts center. In fact, photography was my favorite hobby at camp…after outdoor cooking, of course. While I am now a lawyer by trade (thankfully not a hobby choice at camp) my interest in the arts, fostered by those summers at camp, has persisted.
Recently, my husband Scott and I launched a company called Chai Five Blankets. We sell a photography blanket listing the Jewish holidays on which digitally obsessed parents can snap photos of their kids. In a way, our tradition…tradition blanket embodies all the things I loved and still love about Camp Chi. It combines a love for Judaism, photography and children. In addition, our website and social media accounts are full of Jewish humor. Humor, laughter and jokes are all a part of the fuel that keeps the Camp Chi flame burning so bright.
While my summers at Camp Chi are sadly in the rearview mirror, my connection with the Jewish community via our two-year-old twins thankfully continues. In fact, within hours of their birth, I made a request to the Camp Chi Director that he save a spot for our children to attend camp.
While they are not campers yet, our children have already visited Chi twice! When we are not in the Wisconsin Dells, though, our family stays connected to the JCC in Chicago. We have attended events at the JCC, some of which jBaby Chicago sponsored. I am proud to serve as a Parent Ambassador for jBaby Chicago and I love how the JCC opens its doors to jBaby Chicago’s families to help them create and grow even more connections to one another and to the Jewish community. In the Fall, our children will be attending Preschool at the JCC in Chicago. Scott and I are excited for our children to learn more about Jewish traditions, Hebrew songs and Shabbat. My continued love for Jewish programming no doubt exists because of the experiences I had at Chi. I truly believe having our children grow up amid various JCC programs will ensure they end up being passionate about the Jewish community which surrounds them.
So, Emas and Abbas, if you have read this far then we hope you check out our company, Chai Five Blankets. If you surf through our social media pages and website you will get a few laughs and learn more about us. Also, you will find pictures of the most adorable baby models, one of which is a child of a former Camp Chi camper. We can be found at www.chaifiveblankets.com, on Instagram @chaifiveblankets and on Facebook at Chai Five Blankets.
p.s. Please join in the fun of our #showusyourchai social media campaign! If you stumble upon an 18 while running through the chaos of life, stop to think of the blessings in your life and view the chai as a sign of good luck. After you finish reflecting, snap a picture of the 18 and post it to Facebook and Instagram with the hashtags #chaifiveblankets and #showusyourchai for your chance to be featured on our social media pages.
Ashley (Decker) Portman
SIT of 2000 (we lost the game) & President of Chai Five Blankets