One Happy Camper Grant
BIG NEWS: Our highest-ever One Happy Camper grant UP TO $1,500 for eligible new campers who apply by 12/31/23! You can get up to $1,500 incentive grant for camp if your child has never been to Jewish overnight camp. This gift, known as the One Happy Camper grant, is available toward 160+ overnight camps and teen programs across North America. Standard grants up to $1,000 are available thereafter.
Eligibility criteria – the One Happy Camper grant is a non-needs based gift available to:
- Children who include Judaism as part of their identity
- reside in Greater MetroWest, NJ (Essex, Morris, Sussex, Union and parts of Somerset counties) and attend public school or secular private-school (Jewish day school students – see info below)
- are enrolled in a Jewish residential summer program in North America (U.S. or Canada) that is part of the Foundation for Jewish Camp network, and
- will be attending camp for the first time for 12 consecutive days or more (a prior shorter stay does not preclude eligibility)
- the first child in the family to receive a One Happy Camper grant will receive a grant of $1,500 for 19+ consecutive days or $1,000 for 12-18 consecutive days when you apply by 12/31/23 ($1,000 for 19+ days or $700 for 12-18 days thereafter)
- campers who have a sibling that received a One Happy Camper grant in a previous summer or is receiving a One Happy Camper grant for the current summer will receive a $750 grant for 12+ consecutive days when you apply by 12/31/23 ($500 thereafter)
Important info for Jewish day school families: If any child in your family has participated in the PJ Library program (free Jewish books for young children) as of September 1, 2023, your camper may be eligible for a PJ Goes to Camp grant up to $1,000. These grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis beginning in mid-November November, and require a unique access code. View full information on and bookmark this page. This program is offered by PJ Library/Harold Grinspoon Foundation; please contact them directly with any questions.
Contact us for free, personalized guidance on finding the right camp or teen program for your child
This initiative of Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ is generously funded by local donors through the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest NJ and the Foundation for Jewish Camp.
FAQs about One Happy Camper Incentive Grants
The One Happy Camper Incentive Grant is an award of up to $1,000 to Greater MetroWest children who are attending an eligible residential Jewish camp or teen program for 12 days or more ($700 for a stay of 12-18 days, $1,000 for 19 days or more for the first child in the family; $500 for 12 days or more for siblings of grant recipients in the current or a prior summer). SPECIAL OFFER FOR SUMMER 2024: eligible campers who apply by 12/31/23 will receive $1,500 for 19+ days or $1,000 for 12-18 days for first child; $750 for siblings. A child who attended a shorter-stay program less than 12 days is still eligible for the grant! The grant program provides incentive grants for children to experience Jewish camp for the first time. It is not a scholarship and in fact, it is not needs-based at all. The goal is to encourage families who are considering summer camp to send their children to a Jewish overnight summer camp via an incentive grant. The rationale is that about 80% of children who try a Jewish residential camp once will keep going back summer after summer – a great testament to the benefits of camp, because the incentive is offered to a first-time camper and the child will likely be “hooked” on Jewish camp for years to come.
While we recognize the need for providing scholarships (needs-based financial assistance) to send children to good quality Jewish residential camps, this program is different. The grant initiative is a strategy to provide a monetary incentive for families to consider sending their children to Jewish residential camps. It is not needs-based and in fact we discourage using the grant as a scholarship because it is only available once per child. Please see Other Financial Resources regarding needs-based resources.
All five criteria must be met:
- One Happy Camper Incentive Grants are available for a child that includes Judiasm as part of their identity attending an eligible Jewish overnight summer camp or teen program in North America for the first time for 12 days or more. (A child who attended only an introductory short-stay program of less than 12 days in a previous summer is still eligible for the grant!)
- These Incentive Grants are available to Jewish children residing in Greater MetroWest, New Jersey: Essex, Morris, Sussex, Union and parts of Somerset NJ counties. (Note: if you live in another community, visit One Happy Camper to see what programs are available for your community and through national camp partners.)
- The camp or teen program selected must be among those listed on the Foundation for Jewish Camp web site. If you have a question about why a specific camp is not listed there, please contact the Foundation for Jewish Camp.
- The child must be enrolled in the camp for a minimum of 12 consecutive days ($700 grant for 12-18 days, $1000 for 19 days or more for first child in family; $500 for siblings of current or prior summer grant recipients). SPECIAL OFFER FOR SUMMER 2024: eligible campers who apply by 12/31/23 will receive $1,500 for 19+ days or $1,000 for 12-18 days for first child; $750 for siblings.
- Incentive Grants are limited to children who attend public or other non-Jewish schools so that they can be exposed to the rich Jewish environment offered by Jewish camps, something they will never experience in their public or private school. While we believe all Jewish children should enjoy the Jewish camp experience, the conditions of the funding we received have us focus on public school children.
Incentive Grants are awarded on a first-come, first served basis. Availability is limited – please apply as early as possible.
Note: If your child is currently a Jewish Day School student, please see question 11 below for information about potential grant opportunities that may be available directly from camps or other organizations. Please also see Other Financial Resources page
Yes! The first eligible camper in the family will receive a grant of $700 for 12-18 days or $1,000 for 19 days or more. Siblings of grant recipients in the current or a prior summer will receive a $500 grant for a session of 12 days or more. SPECIAL OFFER FOR SUMMER 2024: eligible campers who apply by 12/31/23 will receive $1,500 for 19+ days or $1,000 for 12-18 days for first child; $750 for siblings.
Yes. If your child is attending a short-stay/introductory program that is less than 12 days and decides to extend to a stay that in total is 12 days or longer, they will be eligible to apply for the grant. If your child is enrolled in a short-stay program that may be extended, it would be helpful if you would notify us in advance with the child’s name, camp name, and session dates. As soon as the decision to extend is made, please complete the grant application at onehappycamper.org in order to apply for the grant. This stay will qualify as their first summer at Jewish overnight camp (Note: If your child attends a short-stay program shorter than the minimum stay, and then a longer, grant-eligible session during the subsequent summer, they would be eligible to apply for the grant during the subsequent summer, as that would be their first stay above the minimum requirement at Jewish overnight camp.)
The grant will be awarded in the form of a credit of toward the cost of the camp where your child is enrolled. You must be registered for camp, and you must qualify under the eligibility criteria outlined in question 3, above. Your next step will be to fill out an on-line application at One Happy Camper. This is the official registration site for this incentive program. Once your application is approved and registration is confirmed by your camp, the grant payment will be forwarded directly to the camp during summer. The camp may deduct the grant amount from your balance; or, if you are already paid in full or your balance is less than grant amount, you will receive a refund or credit from the camp. We will advise the camp to do so, and recommend that you confirm specifics with the camp directly.
If your child previously attended a short-stay/introductory program of less than 12 days, and this summer will be their first stay meeting the minimum requirement, they are eligible to apply for the grant. The grant is for their first stay of 12 days or more. If your child previously attended a camp listed on the Foundation for Jewish Camp website for 12 days or more and they did not receive a grant, unfortunately they are not eligible to receive a grant, since this program was designed and funded to provide incentives for new campers.
While there is not a specific deadline, grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, and grant availability is limited. Thus, we encourage you to apply as soon as possible once your child has been registered for camp. The on-line application will be available starting mid-October for the coming summer and must be completed at One Happy Camper before your child begins his/her session at camp. For campers enrolled in short-stay/introductory programs of less than the stay required to receive a grant who decide to extend their stay to a longer session that is grant eligible, the on-line application must be completed at onehappycamper.org as soon as the decision to extend is made.
Yes, the number of grants is limited. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible after your child is registered for camp.
The One Happy Camper Incentive Grant program is co-sponsored by the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC), local federations, as well as specific camps and community partners. Each child may receive only one grant through FJC-co-sponsored programs (whether directly through onehappycamper.org on-line system or FJC funds that the camp applies to your child). The on-line application system at onehappycamper.org will guide you to the appropriate applications in sequential order, as appropriate. However, you may benefit from additional financial resources, such as needs-based scholarships from camps, new camper/sibling discounts from camps, funds from your synagogue/Rabbi and others.
The local Incentive Grants are limited to children who attend public or other non-Jewish schools so that they can be exposed to the rich Jewish environment offered by Jewish camps, something they will never experience in their public or private school. While we believe all Jewish children should enjoy the Jewish camp experience, the conditions of the funding we received have us focus on public school children. Therefore, Jewish day school students are not eligible to receive the FJC co-funded incentive grants. However, there are several camps and organizations that also provide comparable grants to day school students. The specific financial resources available to you will depend on your selected camp, denomination, synagogue affiliation and other programs for which you may be eligible. If your family has participated in the PJ Library program, you may be eligible for a PJ Goes to Camp grant on a first-come, first-serve basis beginning in November. Please check with your camp directly to ask if they provide any grants for day school students, and check with your synagogue/Rabbi. There is information about the Greater MetroWest Overnight Camp Scholarship Program here.
While we encourage all Jewish children to enjoy Jewish day camp and overnight camp experiences, the conditions of the funding we received have us focus these grants on overnight camp. There may be other options available for children attending day camps. Please check with camp(s) of interest directly to inquire about new camper incentives.
Please view information about the Greater MetroWest Jewish Overnight Camp Scholarship Program here, which may be available for returning campers. The incentive grant program is currently focused on maximizing the number of first time camper grants, to encourage as many children as possible to try Jewish camp. There are not currently incentive grants available for subsequent years. Please see Other Financial Resources regarding other resources that may be available.
While only residents of Greater MetroWest NJ are eligible to apply for the program co-sponsored by Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest and the Foundation for Jewish Camp, the One Happy Camper Incentive Grant program is available in many communities throughout North America. Please visit OneHappyCamper.org to see the incentive grant opportunities available in your area. There are many other Jewish Federations and national camp partners also offering grants.