Rookie Camp is the perfect introduction to finding your inner awesome. During the weeklong session, soon-to-be 2nd and 3rd graders get their first taste of individual freedom while expertly guided by our staff, who have been specially trained to work with younger campers .
During the weeklong session, Rookie Camp also seamlessly integrates into the general camp session. This allows campers countless opportunities to experience new things and model new behaviors from elder campers.
In addition to the core values of Camps Airy and Louise, Rookie Camp is supports the particular needs of our first-time campers. Knowing that every child occupies their own unique spot on a developmental range, there are also some common behaviors and tasks that might need further support as the campers take on new challenges. Some of these include the awareness that children in this age group may:
- Enjoy sharing their knowledge with others
- Have a refreshing curiosity about the world
- Use increasingly complex approaches to problem-solving
- Exhibit motor skills growth that ranges from skills acquisition to the beginning of athleticism
- Enjoy making friends
- While responding to rules and procedures, they also enjoy playing independently
- Begin to demonstrate empathy for others
- Express frustration with self and others
- Begin to take on leadership roles
- Still rely on adults for comfort, safety and security
- With exposure, their interest in arts, music, dance and drama may jump significantly
- Demonstrate language and literacy skills that create a foundation for future academic progress
- Therefore, our primary focus during Rookie Camp is on developmental play. As parents and educators, we fully recognize the importance of play for a child’s physical, social, emotional and cognitive development. We work to capture each child’s imagination while remaining aware of individual development timelines.
- Ultimately, Rookie Camp is a great place for campers to begin to love learning and care for one another.
Camp Louise Rookie Camp Director
Karen Gerton has had a long tenure at Camp Louise and is very excited to continue her role as Rookie Camp Director. Having been affiliated with the camps off-and-on for more than 40 years (camper, CIT, counselor, camper parent, staff member, Circle Board member) she is well-versed in its history and traditions and embraces its commitment to the best principles of Jewish camping.
When not attending to camp responsibilities, Karen is the long-time director of the award-winning Schilit Nursery School at B’nai Israel Congregation in Rockville, Maryland. She is the past chair of the PJLL-affiliated Council of Directors of Jewish Early Childhood Centers. Karen graduated from the University of Maryland where she earned a degree in special education/elementary education. She has also completed the two-year training program “Israel in Our Hearts, Minds and Soul” sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington which included a grant to complete her training in Israel.
Camp Airy Rookie Camp Coordinator
Zachary Lippman will be returning to Airy this summer as the Rookie Camp Coordinator. This will be his fourteenth consecutive summer at camp! Over the past three summers, Zach has worked with campers age 7-10 as both a Counselor and a Unit Leader. This year, Zach will be taking on a new role as Rookie Coordinator. Outside of Camp, Zach is a third year student at The Ohio State University studying Economics and Political Science with the intention of attending Law School after graduation.