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Inclusion at Camp

A welcoming place for all.

As an inclusive camp, Camp Achva sets aside time to get to know each camper individually and works with campers and their families to ensure a successful summer for all our campers, within unique definitions of success.

Camp Achva prides itself on having a diverse camp community where campers & staff of various backgrounds, beliefs, identities, and needs can come together in one safe space to have a summer of fun and growth.  Our staff understand the importance of a child’s mental, emotional, social, spiritual, and physical health and places these needs first.

At the Pozez JCC, we take pride in our own diversity as a Jewish community. People of all faiths, cultures, backgrounds, and abilities are welcome, and are an important part of the Pozez JCC’s fabric.  Embracing and honoring diversity is fundamental to our mission here at the Pozez JCC.

The Child Profile Form, completed during registration, is used to help Camp Achva gauge camper/s strengths, goals, needs, & supports during the summer. Lauren Panozzo, Camp’s Inclusion & Belonging Coordinator, follows up with families to chat through our summer experience and how Camp Achva can best support each camper by talking through the Child Profile Form.

If your family has any questions about this form, feel free to reach out to the Camp Achva Office at 703.537.3092 or by emailing Lauren Panozzo.

  • Foundational to Camp Achva is the relationship between families, campers, and Camp.
  • Families and campers can expect that Camp will be respectful and honest in all our communications and interactions.
  • Families and campers can expect that Camp Achva intends to support every camper to the best of our abilities within our traditional day camp structure. To successfully accomplish this, Camp asks and expects families and campers to be a partner in the process of helping us understand their camper's unique whole self.
  • Camp Achva is made a joyful and accessible space through collaboration with the campers, families, and staff who we serve.

At Camp Achva, we aspire to provide the best support and care that we can. However, there are boundaries we have created to ensure the mental, emotional, social, spiritual, & physical safety of all campers attending Camp Achva.

Our boundary behaviors are:
• Eloping
• Non-independent bathroom support
• Non-independent feeding/eating support
• Physical aggression
• Additional behaviors that require the support of a one-on-one (see below) at the discretion of the Inclusion & Belonging Coordinator in conjunction with families.

We ask families to send a support staff for any camper requiring a one-on-one. Camp Achva may request a family send a one-on-one support if we feel that is the best way to support a child while at Camp Achva.

Camp Achva does not provide one-on-one support. Families whose campers are attending (or asked to attend) with one-on-one support but are having trouble finding someone should reach out to Lauren Panozzo, Inclusion & Belonging Coordinator. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to the Camp Office or directly to Lauren.

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Camp Achva's LGBTQIA+ Work

Ensuring a Safe and Welcoming Space for All

At Camp Achva, we aim to provide fun summer camp experiences based on Jewish values for all children, regardless of their background, identity, abilities, or differences. We are proud of the work we are doing to ensure a safe and inclusive environment where everyone feels welcomed and supported.

 

  • Camp Achva has a week each summer that celebrates Pride!
  • Camp Acvha had our first (of many) Keshet speakers at Camp in the summer of 2023! (Keshet is a national grassroots organization with offices in Boston, New York, and the San Francisco Bay Area that works for the full equality and inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Jews in Jewish life.)
  • Camp Achva has gender inclusive restrooms!

Camp Contacts

Main Office:
703.537.3092
CampAchva@theJ.org

If you have questions, please contact our camp management staff:

 

School-Age Services Director
Greg Feitel (He/Him) 703.537.3061
  School-Age Services Assistant Director
Erica Milgram (She/Her) 703.537.3041
School-Age Services Inclusion & Belonging Coordinator
Lauren Panozzo (She/Her) 703.537.3043
  School-Age Services Program Coordinator
Jeremy Nowell 703.537.3063
School-Age Services Operations Coordinator
Eila Nash 703.537.3092
  Registrar
Rachel Dannick 703.537.3021