For more than 30 years, Bobby Harris, has been serving the North American Jewish community as youth director, camp director and Jewish educator. His career has encompassed roles in Young Judaea, Jewish Community Centers, and for the last 28 years as URJ Director of Camp Coleman and Youth Services for the URJ Southeast Region.
Throughout his career, he has been the driving force behind the overall growth and expansion of Camp Coleman as it grew from serving 450 campers in his first year to serving more than 800 for more than 25 years. During his tenure, Coleman has been modernized and expanded to meet the evolving needs of the Southeastern Jewish community. Bobby has also created programs that not only served Coleman but also influenced the greater field of camping and youth development. A few of these contributions include the creation of the Olim Fellowship that served more than 1000 counselors throughout North America since 2005 , helping to found 6 Points Sports Academy the first resident Jewish sports camp in North America, and launching J-Jolt: Jewish Journey of a LifeTime a mentoring program for Bar/Bat Mitzvah families. Additionally, the Jewish Agency for Israel has frequently recognized Camp Coleman in developing innovative models for integrating Israelis and Israel into the overall mission of camp.
Bobby studied with Elie Wiesel at Boston University where he majored in Political Science and Religion. He also received his MA in Jewish Education from Siegal College of Jewish Studies. Beyond his formal studies, he completed the Executive Leadership Institute of the Foundation for Jewish Camp, is a Coach U Life and Executive Coach and is frequently a featured storyteller of both original and adapted tales at camps, conferences, and special events. Bobby lives in East Cobb with his wife Ellen and children Max and Sophie (whenever they visit from college).
Amy Smyler McFarland
Amy holds a Master’s of Science Degree in Conflict Analysis and Resolution with a focus on Organizational Design, has been a Florida Supreme Court certified mediator and is a sought out workshop facilitator for national conferences. She was the NFTY-STR Regional Advisor from 2001-2003 and served as the Assistant Director of Camp Coleman from 2001-2008. Amy has spent the last 7 years working as an independent leadership coach and consultant which has allowed her to experience over 50 non-profit summer camps in action. Having seen and experienced best practices in camping, Amy has returned to Camp Coleman to bring back all that she has learned. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida with her daughter, Mikayla during the school year.
No stranger to Coleman, Lindsey spent 11 years as a camper and 4 years on summer staff before joining the year-round team in April 2019. Lindsey was a counselor in 2015-2016, a Programmer in 2017, and the Staff Engagement Coordinator in 2018. She is from Plantation, Florida and graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelors Degree in Family and Child Sciences and minor in Entrepreneurship in May 2019. During her last semester, Lindsey was the Engagement and Recruitment Intern at Coleman. She has been passionate about camping all of her life and strives to make a difference in the life of every camper and staff member.
Camp Coleman Business Manager
From Cleveland to Denver, Boulder to Atlanta, Adam has worked to engage and inspire Jewish teens across the county. His experience includes songleading in many settings, running retreats and trips, and serving in multiple leadership positions in several summer camps. Prior to joining the Coleman/NFTY team, Adam served for 8 years as the founder and director of Adamah Adventures. During that time, he and his wife also worked as the youth directors of Congregation Dor Tamid and Temple Beth Tikvah. Adam began his role with the URJ in 2016 and has helped reinvent the Machon Program, strengthen the programming in NFTY-SAR, enhance the fundraising capacity of Camp Jenny, and launch the Atlanta Kesher Teen Engagement Fellowship.
Adam earned an MBA from Georgia State University in 2013. His hobbies include traveling, cooking, hiking, skiing, and reading a good book. He and his wife Bobbee live in Roswell, GA with their sons Jonathan and Zachary.
Camp Coleman has been a part of Lauren’s life since she was a camper in the Junior Unit in 1974. Since then she has held positions and roles at Coleman including CIT, counselor, assistant unit head, aquatics director, and transportation director. Lauren began working full-time as Coleman’s Office Manager in 2011 after working at the Davis Academy in Atlanta for 15 years. Lauren and her husband Todd “he who comes on weekends” Gordon live in Johns Creek with their 4 daughters who are also Coleman campers.
From camper to staff, Jessie Schwartzman has spent every summer at Camp Coleman since 2008! She is an engagement professional and is excited to take on year two of a brand-new combined position with the URJ and JumpSpark. She is a 2019 graduate of Florida State University’s school of communications and is excited to be working thriving Atlanta Jewish Community.
From camp to different youth organizations, Jessie’s true passion lies in learning the fascinating stories of today’s Jewish teens, and she’s very excited about the opportunity to be a part of the change that is youth engagement. In her Engagement Coordinator role, Jessie will be meeting with community members to learn new ways to engage Jewish teens. She also launched a new URJ teen fellowship program funded by a JumpSpark Spark Grant that allows teens to learn important peer to peer engagement skills.
Beth has been apart of the Coleman community for a long time, whether that be as a staff member or as a parent. She is so excited about the opportunity to bring my passion and innovation to Camp Coleman as the Programming Director. It may seem like the Programming Director wears many hats, but it is actually one hat that finds a way to balance the educational and recreational, the silly and the serious, the active and reflective that result in campers experiencing joyful Judaism and wonderful summers. She looks forward to building on all of the amazing programs that Coleman has in place, while also helping to shape the future of where Coleman programming is going.
She is an accomplished teacher with experience in early childhood, elementary, and middle schools, Beth currently teaches at Tritt Elementary School in Cobb County Georgia since 2015. Whether in her public school, at religious school, or while she was on staff at Coleman, Beth is known for creating experiences that are highly engaging for the campers—some that aim to be 100% fun and others that also have content beyond the fun. She is so excited to be apart to our year-round Coleman team!