Blog with Springboard

The Springboard blog highlights the experiences of Jewish teens and Jewish teen professionals participating in community programs across Chicagoland and beyond. Dive into blogs about different Jewish teen events, leadership programs, trip opportunities, and more! Join us in celebrating the unique perspectives and contributions of Jewish teens and professionals in the Jewish community. To post a blog, please email

Springboard Blog

Springboard Blog

Building Something out of Nothing

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Throughout my 17 years at summer camp I have seen some amazing things. I have seen shy campers grow up to be all-star counselors. I have seen empty patches of forest turn into amazing activity areas, but never before have I seen something as incredible as I did last Spring Break.

Tree House

Last year a group of teens with little to no experience with power tools rolled up their sleeves and got to work during BreakAway: Tree House Design at Camp Chi. In five days they designed a concept, learned the ropes, and worked together to create a functioning tree house. And this was not any old tree house, but one that was built to last and be enjoyed by campers for years to come.

Tree House Group

Throughout this process, the campers came up with some amazing ideas that were not initially part of the plan, such as building a roof, windows, benches, and even a trail leading to the tree house. We got to a point where it wasn’t clear how we would finish in time with all of the extras that we were adding to the already difficult task of building a tree house. But not only did the campers come through; they exceeded our expectations of what Camp Chi's new tree house would look like.

Tree House Participant

Over the summer the tree house was enjoyed by hundreds of campers. Now we have the opportunity to create a whole tree house village that will be imagined, designed, and created by different groups of Springboard participants each year! If you would like to help us create something amazing this Spring Break, join us for Breakaway: Tree House Design, and see your dream tree house come to life!

-Kyle Kolling, Camp Chi Program Coordinator