Jewish summer camp is an amazing way for youth to connect with their heritage and make new friends and memories. Thanks to the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia-supported One Happy Camper program, Charlotte Wizov was one of the lucky children in the Greater Philadelphia area who had the opportunity to experience this.

“When my husband and I got married, we knew we wanted our children to enjoy the same Jewish experiences we had growing up,” said Michelle Wizov, Charlotte’s mother. “When we found out we were having triplets, we knew our expectations had to be re-evaluated, but we didn’t want our kids to miss out on anything.” Enter the One Happy Camper program, which provides $1,000 grants to first-time campers at Jewish overnight camps. “One Happy Camper made all the difference,” said Michelle. “It made it possible for Charlotte to experience this important part of growing up. It was her first time not being with her brothers all the time, so she could be her own person.”

At age 9, Charlotte spent four weeks at URJ Camp Harlam in the Poconos. Going into camp, Charlotte thought she’d “miss her parents too much.” By the end of the camp session, “I didn’t want to leave,” said Charlotte. Among the many things that made Charlotte love Jewish summer camp: color war (specifically “winning color war”), helping lead Shabbat services in the chapel on the hill, her new friends and paddle boarding. Now, Charlotte is looking forward to the coming year at Camp Harlam. “We are so grateful to the Jewish Federation for this opportunity,” said Michelle.