CKids Leads Staff Training Initiative for Hundreds

Recently an exciting and informative event took place in Crown Heights. An impressive “Staff Training Day” gathered a record-number of camp counselors and other staff members for hours of professional networking.

 That’s right! Under the leadership of Rabbi Zalmy Lowenthal, the CKids Camp Gan Israel Network (a division of Merkos suite 302) is gearing up, providing training and inspiration to head-start the summer. A total of 700 future camp staff were trained, either online or in-person.

A vast range of topics were covered at Thursday’s event including counselor-camper relationships, practical tips for communicating with head-staff and how to make every moment memorable. “The Rebbe spoke about the impact the summer months can have on a child, therefore it’s our mission that every staff member is prepared for this important shlichus” explains Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky, executive director of Merkos 302.

Leading the workshop on staff essentials was Rabbi Zalmy Kudan, camp director at Gan Israel of S. Barbara, CA and founder of His tips for “how to make waiting for the bus in 103 degrees the best part of camp” had participants excited to begin. He also hosted a session on teamwork, outlining respectful methods of communication between staff and their directors.

A licensed psychotherapist and family life educator, Michal Simon, LMSW, CFLE, gave a practical workshop. She discussed tips for maintaining a healthy counselor-camper balance while having the utmost fun.

The event concluded with a deliciously catered lunch and inspiring words from Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky. “Thank you for arranging this event,” shared Chaya L. “I feel energized and prepared to start another CGI summer!” As staff departs to begin their camp experiences, CKids wishes all a successful season.

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