Member Communications 3 min read

The Greater the Storm, the Brighter the Rainbow

By JCC Milwaukee June 30, 2021

Olsen Family Finds a Fun and Safe Summer in Fredonia

Two working parents, two active young sons, a world turned upside-down with a global pandemic, and summer right around the corner—this was the challenge faced by JCC members Leia and Brian Olsen.

Leia and Brian both have very demanding jobs and have always required outside care for their boys—Charlie (9) and Andrew (7). From the day they moved to Fox Point in 2017, the JCC has been a home away from home: the boys have participated in Gan Ami Early Childhood Education, Kids Center before and after-school programs, and JCC specialty summer camps. So when COVID-19 hit last spring—and three months being cooped up had the family at their wits’ end—Leia and Brian were thrilled to learn that there would be a JCC Summer Youth Program in Fredonia at the Albert & Ann Deshur JCC Rainbow Day Camp.

JCC Rainbow Day Camp Director Lenny Kass led a team to carefully create a reimagined summer experience following CDC and ACA (American Camp Association) guidelines. For the Olsens, the JCC and its staff “have always been like family,” and they knew that we would take all the necessary precautions to ensure a safe and fun summer for Charlie and Andrew. Leia said that she and Brian “had no reservations about signing the boys up for the entire summer.”

Charlie and Andrew are energetic boys who love sports. As all children do, they need a large daily dose of physical activity and fresh air. The isolation at home had been particularly difficult for them, but the normalcy of a summer in Fredonia made a world of difference. The JCC Summer Youth Program provided them with amazing friendships, favorite new activities like laser tag, and caring and dedicated counselors. Leia shared that Charlie formed an amazing bond with one of his counselors last summer and still talks about him almost a year later.

Leia and Brian felt so good about the care their sons received over the summer that they decided to send them to the JCC’s Student Center through the school year. The entire Olsen family is looking forward to another fun summer at JCC Rainbow Day Camp!

Read more Stories from the JCC 2020-21 Annual Report

Learn more and register for Summer 2021 Day Camp