Teen Programs for Campers with Disabilities (ages 14-20)

The JCC Camps at Medford provides teens ages 14-20 with disabilities a unique life, job and leisure skills program called Coolanu. In Hebrew, Coolanu means “all of us,” and together we are helping prepare our teens with disabilities for the next stages of life. The program includes a mixture of traditional camp activities such as: Swim Lessons, Arts & Crafts, Recreation, Music and Movement. Additionally, participants run Brewlanu.

Brewlanu is the JCC Camps at Medford’s first ever coffee shop and canteen!  The shop opens daily for staff at the JCC Camps at Medford to purchase coffee, iced tea, lemonade, cold bottled drinks, and small packaged snacks.  Brewlanu offers more than a place for snacks and coffee. This coffee canteen gives Coolanu participants authentic practice that prepares them for independence and teaches them employment-related skills. Brewlanu boosts camper’s employment and life skills through real entrepreneurial experience. The coffee canteen is a chance for campers to practice all kinds of skills, including counting money, interacting with customers, and organizing products. Campers also practice advertising and public speaking skills by creating announcements to raise excitement around camp. Because of the constant repetition, campers are able to transfer these skills from the camp setting to the real world. Brewlanu is the ideal setting to allow campers to grow, thrive and learn all summer long.

Skills include:

  • Money management (counting money, making change, etc.)
  • Communication skills (taking orders, interacting with customers, etc.)
  • Organization (set-up and breakdown of materials)
  • Sustaining long term tasks (grit, perseverance)
  • Collaboration (working with others to fulfill orders)
  • Independent task completion

Coolanu has a 1:1 or 2:1 participant to staff ratio based on need. Participants must register for a minimum of three weeks and enrollment is subject to an interview.

For more information about the Coolanu program, please email us at coolanu@jfedsnj.org.

Gesher/ LIT

Graduates of the Open Hearts/ Open Doors program who are invited to participate in the Gesher/LIT program will receive a summer experiential job placement in a bunk or specialty area, participate in leadership development trainings, and will enjoy trip days with typical peers. Participants will work with a Gesher case manager who will provide 5:1 support along with camp job placement mentors. The program is a two-year summer experience for the summers entering 9th and 10th grade, and participants must register for a minimum of 4 consecutive weeks each summer.

For more information about the program, please email our Gesher/LIT  Director at gesher@jfedsnj.org.