Jim Mittenthal, director, Camp Barney Medintz
Camp Barney has a reputation in Jewish Atlanta as a place where kids feel at home and can be with friends they don’t normally see. After 23 years in charge of the Marcus JCC summer camp, Mittenthal prides himself on his accessibility, and he works with parents to make Camp Barney the best experience possible.
Mittenthal keeps that experience at a peak level with an unusual approach to camp upgrades. Each year, with input from the community, Mittenthal catalyzes a new project or renovation under the principle that there is always room for improvement.
In his time at Camp Barney, Mittenthal has watched campers become counselors, then adults, then parents who send their kids to Camp Barney.
Last year Camp Barney completed the Howard and Lynne Halpern Aquatic Center, the camp’s second swimming pool, complete with water slides and waterfalls. Mittenthal also invested in a new septic system, crucial for a summer camp that relies on large bodies of water.
Annual improvements to the camp’s cultural and performing arts complex are common, including additions to the Asher and Grace Benator Center for performing arts and the Israeli Cultural Center.
Mittenthal has strengthened the connection between Camp Barney and Jewish Atlanta by working closely with families to meet their needs.
“I think we have an opportunity to create this really welcoming, pluralistic, culturally Jewish experience,” Mittenthal said, “and we do so through a long list of artists and musicians and Jewish educators who come up and enhance our program in a really fun and experiential way.”