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  YOUNG JUDAEA & JNF, Fresh from Frank - CYJ News, 500 High! by Frank Silberlicht, CYJ Director  

I am not talking about a mountain, I’m talking about the fact that we surpassed 500 campers registered for Summer 2011! The accomplishment of this milestone can only be fully appreciated when comparing to last year’s numbers. Last year we did not top 500 campers until May 3 and we finished the summer with a total of 533 campers. We hope to surpass last year’s numbers for this summer. Unfortunately, some programs are filled with more than 10 children on waiting lists. The good news is that this summer, with a generous donation from Fred and Velva Levine of Houston, we will expand our camper capacity and move into our new Camper Cabin #11.  

Why the increase in registration this year? One would surmise that it’s due to the incredible summer we had last year. True, we had a great summer and amazing programs. However, I would also like to suggest it’s mainly due to hard work (especially from Yael Twito, Assistant Camp Director) and being a customer service focused organization. We pride ourselves for doing “crazy” things like returning phone calls or responding to emails in a timely manner. As a good business person would say, “doing the basics”.  

I am constantly disappointed by a lack of customer service in most businesses and see it even more prevalent in the non-profit world. I constantly strive for CYJ to be better. However, I do not believe in the saying “the customer is always right”. I believe that as a Jewish camp with core values, there are times that we should be strong in our beliefs and not compromise. We should always stay true to the programs, rules and standards which have kept our camp unique, successful and exciting for our campers and families for nearly 60 years. We expect to grow our campers by standing up for the values of camp and not necessarily the values of individuals. If we are uncompromising and always strive to be fair while providing great customer service, then we should continue to grow the number of CYJ campers far into the future.  Looking forward to the best summer ever! Thanks to Hadassah for their ongoing support.

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