The Klene Family: Understanding Community at the J

Erica, Colton, Bauer, Brooks and Frank Klene at the CampJCC playground

Summer is fast approaching at the JCC, and that doesn’t just mean the Eskenazi Water Park will be opening soon! For families like the Klenes, it means that CampJCC (the J’s summer day camp for kids in grades K-7) is just around the corner.

The Klenes at the JCC

Colton Klene (center) as a baby in the ECE program
Colton Klene (center) as a baby in the ECE program

The Klene family has trusted CampJCC to entertain their energetic older sons Brooks and Bauer for a few summers now, but their roots with the JCC grow much deeper. All three boys [including youngest son Colton] are heavily involved in JCC-run programs, and have been since birth. They all went through the J’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) program, and they’re in countless afterschool activities: You’ll find them playing soccer in the gym, learning karate kicks from Master Mike, or in the pool at swim team practice.

The Klenes are no stranger to the benefits a community has to offer. Both Erica and Frank Klene are working parents, so when they drop their three boys off anywhere, they need to know it’s trustworthy. “Our kids have grown up in the JCC. Having them go somewhere that’s a safe place to play and be with community, that’s important to us,” Erica said.

CampJCC with the Klenes

Bauer Klene (center) enjoying CampJCC with friends Evan and Ravi
Bauer Klene (center) enjoying CampJCC with friends Evan and Ravi

Brooks and Bauer Klene have been enrolled in CampJCC every year since they became age-eligible. Coming to camp year after year has allowed the boys to build healthy relationships and maintain the existing friendships they cherish at the JCC. “Sometimes this is the only time they get to see certain kids, so it’s fun finding friends that they may not see all year,” Erica said. “And they love their counselors!”

Bauer’s favorite part of coming to camp has always been getting to hang out with friends. Brooks, who has been coming to camp the longest, loves coming to camp for friends, but his personal favorite part is when they get to go swimming every day at the Eskenazi Water Park.

The Klene family has taken every opportunity to get their kids involved at the JCC, and they don’t limit themselves when it comes time to choose a camp either. The boys have tried their hand at the basketball camp offered at the J by JCC partner tNBA (The National Basketball Academy), as well as a past soccer camp. “I think a huge perk is that, in one place, they can go to multiple sub-camps and experience different hobbies,” Frank said.

The family can’t wait to eventually send their preschooler, Colton, to CampJCC with Brooks and Bauer. While quality childcare is a nice benefit to CampJCC,  as is the water park, the community is an unmatched highlight. “I would say the JCC is like their second home, and I’m not joking about that,” Erica said. “This is their safe space.”

Erica, Bauer, Colton, Brooks and Frank Klene on the CampJCC grounds
Erica, Bauer, Colton, Brooks and Frank Klene on the CampJCC grounds

CampJCC has rolling registration throughout the summer. Click the link to find out more about all CampJCC has to offer!

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