JCC Chicago’s Camp Chi Receives History Grants to Support Inclusion
Northbrook, IL – February 10, 2020 — JCC Chicago’s Camp Chi, located in Lake Delton, WI, has received three (3) prestigious national grants to dramatically increase accessibility for campers and staff of all abilities.
Through the second phase of Foundation for Jewish Camp’s Yashar Initiative, funded by The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, there will be several notable and significant facility improvements at Camp Chi, including cabin and bathhouse renovations and a new health center.
For Summer 2020, Camp Chi will modify an additional thirteen (13) cabins with ramps, larger doorways, reconfigured interiors and/or expanded porches. In addition, four bathhouses will receive new flooring and improved entryways, enabling access for campers using assisted mobility devices. Finally, nearly 10,000 square-feet of pathways throughout camp will be regraded and restored to allow for improved mobility and independence.
The second round of Yashar Initiative funding will join private donor support to build a new, 5,000 square-foot Health Center. The reimagined Health Center will improve the ability to meet all campers’ health and wellness needs. A focus of the facility is full accessibility for campers and staff of all abilities; key improvements include:
- The main entrance, secondary entrance and medication dispensary will all be accessible via ramps
- The welcome and waiting area will include ADA-accessible bathrooms and an improved floor plan to accommodate assisted mobility devices
- All doorways and hallways will be expanded to accommodate wheelchairs and assisted mobility devices
- The increased number of isolation rooms will be equipped with on-suite ADA-accessible bathrooms and sick wards will be equipped with ADA-accessible shower rooms
- The addition of centralized heating and air conditioning will help ensure camper comfort
“We’re incredibly proud to continue to position Camp Chi as best-in-class for what a truly inclusive camp experience looks like,” said Addie Goodman, President & CEO, JCC Chicago. “These latest improvements will enable more campers of all abilities to experience summers in an inclusive program model and ensure that everyone can easily access and enjoy all areas of camp. With friendships and memories being at the heart of summer camp, it is incredibly heartwarming to be able to turn attention away from access and towards the experience and life-long impact. Such meaningful grant dollars support Camp Chi’s core values kindness, respect and community.”
In addition, and also through Foundation for Jewish Camp, Camp Chi is a recipient of the first slate of Yedid Nefesh grants to provide financial and programmatic dollars to address MESH (Mental, Emotional, and Social Health) in holistic ways, supporting the hiring of qualified mental health professionals, enhancing counselor training, integrating wellness programming into activities and more.
Finally, the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation has awarded Camp Chi a Direct Effect Quality of Life grant to purchase accessible sand and water equipment to ensure accessibility of camp’s most beloved areas. This funding will go toward the purchase of beach wheelchairs, pool lifts, accessible picnic tables and more for Summer 2020. This is JCC Chicago’s first grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.
JCC Chicago is a non-profit organization inspired by Jewish values, bridging traditions and generations to create a more vibrant, connected community. JCC Chicago is a partner with the Jewish United Fund in serving our community.