How did one of the most successful overnight camps for Bais Yaakov Girls get started? What were some of the challenges that had to be overcome and are facing our frum girls today? All this and much more in this fantastic episode with Tuli Klein, Co-Founder (along with his wife Leah) of Camp Raninu! (And yes, I was a counselor there a few years back)
Name: Rabbi Tuli Klein
Company Name: Camp Raninu
Is something I did 27 years ago still embarrassing?
24 Years in Business!
Overnight Camp Mindset for a Day Camp
100 Kids First Year (more or less) didn’t make money the first year
200 Kids Second Year
Go Carts came in the 3rd Year
4th Year moved to Sun Tan Lake (500 Kids and built a pool)
Pool was about $75,000 – Bussing back and forth and the cost of renting a pool
Nachum Kligman Color War winning General 2 years in a row beating Effie Weissmandel
What is it about summer camp that is so nostalgic?
Camp Property was sold for $32,000,000 to Home Depot and that ended Raninu Day Camp
They hear a frum girls summer camp was closing down and they went and bought it from them
Work for a sleep away camp is so much more expansive then a day camp
Sleep Away Camp never ends. Full-time the full summer.
No allegiance to camps anymore
Everyone is jumping around trying different things
Food needs to be themed and fun, but geared for kids
Camp Mother works harder than ever and an integral part of the camp.
Parents are more involved in their kids these days.
Technology Challenges in Camps Today
Thousands of Emails a week from parents which are printed out and given to the kids
Trying to disconnect the kids from technology. Today’s kids are addicted to their phones. Takes getting used to wean themselves off of texting etc.
Own the Camp, 85 Acre Campus that was rebuilt from scratch. Burnt down the bunks and rebuilt everything. 30 Bunks. 400-500 kids. 150-200 Staff members. Fields, two pools, Lake, water trampoline, triple cork screw slide in the pool. Speed Boats, Banana boats. Ropes course. Roller Rink. Indoor outdoor soccer. Baseball fields, machanayim (girls dodgeball), tennis courts, Arts & Crafts, Game Room, Canteen, Drama, New Mud Obstacle course (huge hit despite doubts from other people).
Get feedback from the campers and ask what they would like. Turning over staff to younger staff.
Biggest Competition is that girls today just want to sit home and do nothing. Parents are not fighting because they think they will save the money. Then after a couple of days the parents come calling. Once they come to camp they love it, but some just stay home.
A lot of organizations battling youth-at-risk. If girls are around role models during the summer and form great relationships. Keep the kids in the right atmosphere. Let them have the Simchas HaChayim they may be missing during the school year.
Be yourself surrounded by 150 role models.
This is prevention.
A lot of kids maintain relationships with their counselors after camp ends.