St. Louis One Happy Camper Program Frequently Asked Questions
What is the One Happy Camper Program?
The One Happy Camper Program offers $1,000 grants to children from the St. Louis Jewish community who wish to attend Jewish overnight camp for the first time. The St. Louis program is being funded by the Jewish Federation of St. Louis and the Foundation for Jewish Camp, which developed the program. The St. Louis Jewish Community Center is providing administrative support to the program.
What are the eligibility criteria for One Happy Camper grants?
St. Louis One Happy Camper grants are awarded to first-time campers who attend a nonprofit Jewish overnight summer camp for at least 19 consecutive days. Eligible campers must be entering grades 1-12 (after camp) and be attending one of the 150+ non-profit, Jewish, overnight summer camps listed on the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s website (www.jewishcamp.org). This includes Sabra, GUCI, Ben Frankel, Livingston, Ramah, Herzl and dozens more across North America.
As specified by the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s donor, the One Happy Camper program is an outreach initiative for children who are not currently receiving an immersive, daily Jewish experience. As such, children who attend Jewish day school or Yeshiva are not eligible for program. However, many camps offer their own scholarships for day school students. Please visit JewishCamp.org/Scholarships or contact your camp directly to find out more.
Is One Happy Camper a needs-based program?
No. The St. Louis One Happy Camper Program provides grants to encourage children to attend overnight Jewish camp for the first time. It is not a scholarship fund and is not needs-based. Our goal is to engage families who are considering sending their children to camp and, in effect, to give them $1,000 off their camp fee to try a Jewish one.
How do families apply for a One Happy Camper grant?
The first step is to register the child at camp. In order to be eligible for a grant, the child must be registered at a Jewish summer camp listed on the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s website. Once campers are registered for camp, parents should apply for the grant using the online application system at OneHappyCamper.org. Once the child’s registration at camp has been confirmed and the grant application has been approved, funds will be paid directly to the camp listed on the application and will be credited to the family in the form of a tuition deduction. If the family cancels the child’s registration at camp, the funds will be returned to FJC and the partnering organization.
Can more than one child per family apply for a grant?
Can a family receive financial aid in addition to a One Happy Camper grant?
Yes. One Happy Camper program grants are non-needs based grants. This is not a scholarship. As such, receiving a grant does not preclude the family from receiving scholarship aid from another source. To view an online directory of over 80 scholarships, please visit JewishCamp.org/Scholarships. Camps also maintain their own lists of scholarships and can provide additional assistance.
Is there a deadline to apply for a One Happy Camper grant?
There is no deadline. However, a maximum of 100 grants are available in St. Louis. Parents should ensure their spot by signing up for camp and the grant as early as possible.
How long will it take to be notified that a grant application has been approved?
Families should allow up to four weeks for their child’s camp to receive confirmation of the grant approval. Once the child’s camp registration has been confirmed, FJC can release the funds to the camp in the child’s name.
Why should parents consider a Jewish camp for their children?
Adults who attended Jewish overnight camp as children are more likely to be more Jewishly engaged at home and in the community. They are 21 percent more likely to believe that being Jewish is very important; 30 percent more likely to donate to local federation and 25 percent to a Jewish charity; 55 percent more likely to feel very emotionally attached to Israel; 45 percent more likely to attend synagogue monthly and 26 percent to be members; and 37 percent more likely to light Shabbat candles.
What is PJ Goes to Camp? Which grant should families apply for?
The PJ Library and FJC have partnered to offer One Happy Camper incentive grants called PJ Goes to Camp. PJ Goes to Camp is designed to serve as an extension of the PJ Library experience, inviting their families to consider overnight Jewish camp. Since each child can only receive one OHC incentive grant, the PJ Goes to Camp program is available to any PJ Library family member not currently being served by a community-based program. Children fortunate enough to live in communities like St. Louis whose Federation sponsors an OHC program will receive a grant from their community sponsor. In these cases, PJ Library serves as an exciting synergistic opportunity, enabling professionals to leverage the successful communal inroad of the PJ Library program to raise awareness of Jewish camp and of the One Happy Camper program. For more information on PJ Goes to Camp, contact Jennifer Lotsoff at 314-442-3867.