Meet the Jewish Summer Camp Staff of Blue Star Camps
Family Owned and Led For Three Generations
For three generations, the Popkin family has nurtured the original vision of Blue Star's founders, Herman, Harry and Ben Popkin.
Blue Star Owners and Directors
Rodger and Candy Popkin met while students at Boston University, and began their career as Camp Directors in 1971—the day after their marriage in Blue Star's Elmore Solomon Chapel. They have both been active in the American Camp Association (ACA) for decades, and Rodger is a past National President. Rodger and Candy are the parents of Blue Star's third generation Camp Directors: Jason, Lauren, and Lauren's husband, Seth Herschthal.
Jason Popkin has had a complete camping career at Blue Star as a camper, counselor, Unit and Camp Leader. In 1995, after attending college at St. Thomas University, where he played varsity basketball and tennis, Jason began his career as a third-generation Owner/Director. Jason has extensive knowledge in Athletics and Coaching as well as vast camping experience having attended other camps, including a twelve week Outward Bound Winter Wilderness Semester. Jason has over fifteen years of experience as a Blue Star Director.
Lauren Popkin Herschthal rose through the Blue Star ranks as a camper, Counselor, and Camp Leader. In 2005 she joined Blue Star's year-round leadership team as an Owner/Director. Lauren graduated from Florida State University with a BS in Anthropology and Sociology and later earned a Master's Degree in Art Education from Pratt Institute in New York. While in New York, she taught art to inner-city children with special needs. Like her parents, she was married in Blue Star's Elmore Solomon Chapel.
Seth Herschthal has had a wide range of camp and educational experiences prior to joining Blue Star's leadership team in 2007. Seth graduated from Duke University and earned a Master's Degree in Education from Harvard University's School Leadership Program. Seth is an experienced educator having taught Middle School students in both the Dominican Republic and in North Carolina. He also has experience as a Middle School Director and has served on the American Camp Association's Southeastern Board. He currently teaches at a Charter School in Chapel Hill during the school year.
Talented, Nurturing Staff
Guiding campers to make friends, take on new adventures, and develop their confidence and skills' is the mission of the Blue Star staff. All Blue Star staff members understand the importance of the role they play in their camper's lives, and approach their jobs responsibly and with caring hearts. Activity specialists share expertise in their skill areas and create progressive curriculums that help to make electives challenging and fun. Camp leaders and counselors guide campers throughout their summers, encouraging them to build relationships and self-esteem. Their commitment to and love for children supply the energy needed to make the "summer magic" happen.