My name is Melissa Epstein and I am the new Director of Arts & Crafts. This is my first summer working at camp, however, I have been a Beber Parent for the past six years. I have witnessed first hand the “Beber Magic” and if you don’t know already, you will very soon, how incredibly special Beber Camp is.

I’m what one would call, a “forever camper,” it’s in my blood….I went to camp for eleven years in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania to escape the hot Florida summers. I never thought I’d ever get the chance to spend my summers back at camp and can’t wait to start the next chapter of my camping story.

I live in Deerfield, Illinois…about an hour from camp, but am originally from North Miami Beach, Florida. My son Bradley will be a Pio this summer and is very excited for his 4 weeks at camp followed by his trip to Israel. My daughter Haley and husband Todd will definitely be visiting me during the summer and helping out in Arts and Crafts too.

During the year I’m a graphic designer with my own business called I Made This! (www.imadethis.net) I specialize in custom Bar and Bat Mitzvah invitations, logo and corporate identity design. I taught art in Chicago Public Schools and before that was an Art Director at J. Walter Thompson Advertising Agency. I graduated from the University of Michigan School of Art with a BFA and went on to the School of The Art Institute of Chicago to get my teaching certification. I have always loved being creative, working with kids and being at camp. This was the absolute perfect opportunity for me to get all of my favorite things into one incredible job.

I have very big shoes to fill. My predecessor Amy did an incredible job building the AC program at Beber and I’m super excited to carry on her traditions as well as bring in lots of new ones. We have such a fantastic facility….the large air-conditioned space allows for many projects to go on simultaneously. We will have everything from ceramics, jewelry making, drawing, painting, printmaking, sewing, tie-dye, fashion design, woodworking, sculpture, animation, rocketry, digital photography, and graphic design.

The way the A&C program at Beber is organized….we have opportunities for several quick one day projects, known as cabin activities, as well as more involved, in-depth, five-day projects called hobbies. The goal of the cabin activity is to expose all campers to lots of different things in arts and crafts that may pique their interest in signing up for a hobby later in the summer. I’m hoping to create a website or blog that can showcase the projects from week to week to share with friends and families at home. I will also be taking pictures and uploading to Instagram daily…follow me at @artsy3bc.

I have always felt that camp was one of the most impactful experiences of my life. It truly made me the person I am today….and taught me more than any class ever could.  I am so excited about this new chapter in my professional life and to watch your kids grow, create and learn on a daily basis.

I can’t wait to get started creating awesome projects for your kids to bring home as keepsakes of an incredible Beber summer 2019!