For the love of camp

Jodi Woodnick, who has served as the director of Camp Charles Pearlstein for the past decade, was honored at the camp's alumni weekend on July 20. Congregation Beth Israel, which owns the camp, commissioned artist Jacki Cohen to create a piece of fused glass in Woodnick's honor.

Photo by Andrew Gottschalk

Jodi Tilsner spent her first summer at Camp Charles Pearlstein in 1985 and returned for several summers over the next 13 years, first as a camper, then as a counselor. In 1993, she met her husband, Gregg Woodnick, when they were both counselors, and they married in 2001.

In 2002, Jodi Woodnick became the camp's director.

"When the opportunity to take the job as director was presented to me, it was like I had achieved my life's goal at the age of 27," Woodnick told Jewish News in 2008 ("CCP: Creating connections in Prescott," Jewish News, Feb. 15).

Both of the couple's sons, Ean and Adrian, have spent summers at the camp since they were born.

Woodnick was honored at last weekend's alumni weekend at the camp for her 10 years as camp director.

"I was totally surprised," Woodnick told Jewish News in an email. The board of Congregation Beth Israel, the Scottsdale synagogue that opened the camp, and CBI's camp committee commissioned artwork in her honor. The gift, a piece of fused glass created by Jacki Cohen, a CBI board member, commemorated Woodnick's decade of being the camp's director. Cohen said she used Woodnick's favorite color palette of earth tones to create a symmetric background and, in the center, made the heart/star CCP logo that she cut by hand. She also added Jewish and camp-related symbols such as a horse and a Star of David.

"Jodi is the custom-made leader of Camp Charles Pearlstein," Cohen wrote in an email to Jewish News; her children have gone to Pearlstein for six years, and her oldest just returned from the camp's first Big Trip to Israel. "She is a natural born camp director."

Woodnick also received a spa day certificate, a photo banner from the CCP staff and a star in her name from the alumni association. "It was the standing ovation from the camp, though, that made me burst into tears," she wrote. "Happy tears, of course."

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