CRS Alumni Associations

CRS Alumni Associations ("CRSAAs") keep alumni involved with CRS and with one another. CRSAAs make the concept of camper for life a reality and promote the mission of LAJF and the commitment to the ideals of Camp Rising Sun. These regional associations help sustain our program around the world.


What do Alumni associations do?

Associations gather for a variety of reasons. CRSAA activities include social events, reunions and selection of campers. Many associations raise money to sponsor a camper or counselor, or perform service projects in their communities. All CRSAA members share a desire to remain connected to fellow alumni, reaffirm the values of Camp Rising Sun and enjoy the delight and reminiscence that result when they sing a few camp songs.

If you don't have an alumni association where you live, consider starting one! Ideas and tips for starting your own alumni association can be found here.

Looking for ideas for events and service projects to engage your alumni association? Look no further. Available here are an events toolkit, service toolkit, songbook, and highlights from past service projects.




California Alumni Association

Since the early 1980's students from California have been given the opportunity to represent one of the largest states in the United States of America.  Our Alumni Association has grown by leaps and bounds over the years and we look forward to the new directions in the future.  California's Association is primarily responsible for the selection of our state's participants for the summer programs sending first and second years to all three sites.  We also strive to promote growth, fundraising, mentorship and fun through our events.  Our Association plans both informal and formal gatherings for alumni throughout the year, including the Western Reunion: keeping the CRS spirit alive and reconnecting alumni from over five Associations.

As we continue to grow, we'll need more alumni to keep our western community close-knit.  If you find yourself in sunny California, we'd love to hear from you and be your personal tour guides!

For More Information, Contact:

Sarah Uttermann-Merritt,
Eric Nguyen,

Colorado Alumni Association

The Colorado CRS Alumni Association is a very new organization since the first camper from our state was selected and attended Clinton in 1999.Since that time we have created a thriving alumni group in Colorado. Our alumni group meets:

  • in June for a picnic to send-off the news campers,
  • in October to participate in a reflection pot-luck,
  • in November and December our alums energetically recruit at their high schools 
  • in February some will participate in interviewing candidates, and 
  • in the summer, our current campers receive personal letters from the Colorado selector and their parents are contacted to see how they are doing. 

We stay in touch with our alums throughout the year by email.

Colorado has also hosted reunion weekends with other western state organizations including Utah, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

We look forward to hosting CRS alumni if they travel west and come through Denver! 

For more information, contact: Olivia Wischmeyer

DC Alumni Association

The CRS alumni in the DC region have an informal association, centered around camper recruitment, sendoff and reception of new campers, and support of Foundation activities. We do not have a formal charter, structure, or officers. Approximately 40-50 individuals are active in some capacity, including several members of the LAJF Board and various Board Committees. Social gatherings occur from time to time when Foundation staff are visiting the area. We are anxious to receive suggestions and input from other alumni groups around the world so that we can make our group more vibrant and vital.


Minnesota Alumni Association - CRSAAMN

The “early years” of sending MN campers to CRS date back to the 1950’s. The annual selection process in the early years was supported by the local newspaper, the Minneapolis Star and Tribune. As their support diminished in the 1970’s, the local alums (lead by Rick Luis), began to drive the underpinnings of the current day alumni association. Rick was joined by Steve Domine in organizing and developing our ability to send highly qualified campers to Camp Rising Sun every year.

The Minnesota CRS Alumni Association is aware of approximately 110 alumni and friends of CRS who reside in Minnesota.  This group ranges  from first year campers to campers who are now in their 70's.   Our alumni host, engage and attend a number of events each year, including the following:

The alumni organization would invite you to participate in our annual activities.  Our anchor events are:

  • Selection Event  (February)
  • Service Event (April)
  • Send off Event (June)
  • Reflection Event (October)
  • Quarterly Local Alumni Association board meetings

Our Board consists of:

We welcome everyone in the CRS community to Minnesota.  If you're attending college here, traveling on business, or just visiting friends or family, send us a note if you'd like to get together or have someone contact you.  We will do our best to expose you to "Minnesota Nice"!

Mississippi Alumni Association

Contact: Tommy Cobb,

New Mexico Alumni Association

Allison Block-Chavez,

New York Alumni Association

The New York Alumni Association is the largest and most diverse of the CRS alumni groups worldwide. Serving as a cross-roads of the world, New York area alumni have engaged in a variety of activities over the past 80 years, including selection, social gatherings, networking opportunities and community service initiatives.

To learn more about upcoming events and opportunities to be part of the New York Alumni Association, visit their Facebook page or contact the Andrea Alexander or Pete Comas. You can also email the CRS NY Alumni Association directly at

New England Alumni Association

The CRS alumni in New England recently created an informal group, the New England Alumni Association, aiming to promote networking in the area through meetups and casual gatherings centered around the Boston area. The association hopes to grow in membership, offer more gatherings, support transient CRS alumni attending college in the region, and create and additional pathway for camper selection. If you life in the region or are passing through, feel free to reach out. There's always a welcome for you! 

Contact: Johnny Ross, Camper in '10 & '11.
Phone: (973)525-8338

Association Email:
Facebook page:

South Carolina Alumni Association

Mickey Seabrook,
Kristy Nichols,

Utah Alumni Association

Contact: Joseph Riddle, 

Alumni Association of China - CRSCAA

The CRS Alumni Association of China is the official organization of Chinese alumni living in China and abroad.  All CRS alumni living in China, regardless of their country of origin, are invited to join.  Our Alumni Association promotes exchanges and contact among Chinese alumni, provides support to new campers and also has various charitable and volunteer activities.

For more information visit our website at:

Contact: Kate Yuan, or Ziheng Zhou,

Alumni Association of Denmark - CRSAAD

In 1952, the Danish alumni of the LAJF formed The Camp Rising Sun Alumni Association of Denmark. One of its principal tasks was the selection of the Danish participants in the LAJF summer programs. The association now has more than 70 members of the age between 15 and 70 years.

In 1996, the association embarked on an amazing journey when it initiated The George E. Jonas Foundation with the aim of establishing a similar European summer school in Denmark. Now entering its fifth summer season, Camp Rising Sun Europe has modeled much of the structure and content of its programs after the New York State programs in Red Hook and Clinton. By all accounts, CRS/E has achieved tremendous success and is the ultimate in Alumni Action Projects!

The CRSAAD is now responsible for the selection of Danish participants at all three LAJF summer programs and their support both before and after their participation in the summer programs. The association also organizes several annual events, including its New Year’s Council. This serves both as a time to conduct business and planning for the Association, as well as a fantastic time for alumni from Denmark and all over the world to celebrate!

Website:,  or find us on Facebook!
Contact: Mads Nissen,

Dutch Alumni Association - CRSDAA

For more information visit our website at: or contact Willeke Foppen at

Alumni Association of Finland - CRSAAF

Finland has sent representatives to CRS since 1946. Now the Association consists of 49 active members, and there's more to come! In Finland, the CRSAAF is responsible for the selection of CRS participants and has been successfully selecting outstanding young men and women for several decades. This process includes pre-selection contact with schools all over Finland, a review of all applications by selection committee, and a final interview with association Board members. The Association also holds annual official meetings at least twice a year, but there are also many informal social interactions, such as parties, movie nights, picnics and more!

The Association’s activities are mainly concentrated in the Helsinki area, but as there are alumni representatives all over the country, the Association tries to organize events throughout Finland. In the Summer of 2000, CRSAAF organized and hosted a worldwide CRS alumni reunion in Espoo, Finland. That weekend-long reunion hosted about 60 alumni from all over the world. The reunion was a truly unforgettable experience for everyone!

The chairperson of the Board of CRSAAF is currently: Ms. Jenny Mansikkasalo '07, '08


For more information visit our website at:

Alumni Association of France

The French Alumni association, which is not formal, has been in existence for over sixty years. Our main activity is camper selection and debriefing after their return from Camp. We don't usually meet as a group at other times, but recent campers do maintain contact, as they attend the same lycée. Informal contact occur among other alumni as well. 

Contact: Oliver Gillet,

Alumni Association of Germany - CRSAAG

A group of active CRS alumni is representing the CRS community in Germany. The CRS Alumni Association Germany - AOD as we call ourselves - is particularly proud to have hosted the CRS World Reunion in September 2010 in Berlin. We welcomed over 100 alumni from all over the world and spanning eight decades of camp. 

Every year in the beginning of October we hold a reunion where up to 20 alumni gather. If you are in Germany - contact us and join in!!


Contact: Stefan Wilhelm,

Alumni Association of Hungary - CRSAAH

The Camp Rising Sun Alumni Association of Hungary was founded in 2003. Its members consist of campers, counselors, and other participants from either the American or the Danish CRS camps.

The Association's primary duty is to organize the selection of the future campers, a task undertaken voluntarily by its members. The Association also organizes numerous meetings throughout the year, with the first held just before the start of each CRS summer season. These meetings allow future campers and their parents to gather information about the CRS program and the CRS Hungarian alumni community before the summer. After the summer, another meeting is held to allow campers to share their new experiences. Smaller meetings are also organized for the purpose of discussing issues and topics regarding the Association.

The current President of the Association is Gábor Fazekas, a Red Hook camper in 2001. The Vice-President is János Bucksku, a Red Hook camper in 1998 and a counselor in 2003-2012 and 2015, 1998. The Secretary is Alexandra Pleier, a Clinton camper in 2001

Campers from Hungary have been sent every year, with few exceptions, to the USA ever since the mid-80s. Since 1998, the selection process has been conducted by former campers, who officially formed the Association in 2003. Thanks to the hard work of the members, Hungarian campers have been able to participate in the CRS Program every year since 1998, and since 2000 they have been able to participate at all CRS Program locations (Clinton, Red Hook and Stendis).

Contact: Gábor Fazekas,

Alumni Association of Iran

The Alumni Association in Iran is not one of the older ones as we had to start anew after the revolution. The first camper to attend Camp Rising Sun recently was in the summer of 2006 with the first Iranian girl going to Clinton. Since than 6 more campers have followed. Three have attended Stendis, two were in Red Hook and one in Clinton. The group has been wonderful and it has been my great pleasure to be involved with such a talented group. All of the families, without exception, noticed extraordinarily positive changes in their children upon their return home and all of the families and the campers are so very grateful and supportive and helpful in introducing the camp to new people. We intend to work together to continue finding campers who can both benefit from CRS and learn from it ways to enrich the environment wherever they end up.

For more information about our group in Iran, please contact me at the following address:
Mary Hill,

Alumni Association of Israel

Contact: Klil Karmon,

Alumni Association of Japan - CRSAAJ

The Camp Rising Sun Alumni Association of Japan (CRSAAJ) has been maintaining
our ties with CRS since its founding. We are proud to have been sending young talents from Japan to CRS since 1951.

CRSAAJ members meet for the annual camper selection, followed by a
farewell party for the selected campers in June. When the campers return, we also organise a presentation session for the precious summer experiences to be shared
with the alumni community.

Contact: Keisuke Goto,

Korean Alumni Association - CRSKAA

The Camp Rising Sun Korean Alumni Association (CRSKAA) represents all Korean CRS campers, including Honorable Dr. Sung-Joo Han, '56.  We have been growing in numbers since 1995, when Dr. Han took the initiative to re-introduce this wonderful opportunity for young Korean Students.  We have been delighted to uphold this tradition ever since, and now we look forward to making a lasting relationship with the camp as we remember the great experiences we had as campers.

As we grow, CRSKAA is continuously involved in the promotion of CRS in Korea. With Dr. Han’s support, we have also been active in the selection process of new campers since 2004. Annual and occasional gatherings are held in Seoul, while many of us are excited to meet with fellow campers. As of 2011, CRSKAA plans to expand its support to new incoming campers and nurture a stronger relationship among the Korean alumni group.

With CRSKAA, we seek to continue the tradition and spirit of camp in Korea. If you happen to stop by Seoul, don’t forget that CRS is here as well. If you wonder how your Korean fellow camper is doing, don’t hesitate to contact us and we will do our best to relay the message. And most of all, keep the council fire burning tall and bright!

For more information, please contact:
Yein Lee (CRS Clinton 2010):

Alumni Association of Norway - CRSAAN

In CRS Alumni Association of Norway is responsible for the selection of CRS participants each year and has been successfully selecting outstanding young men and women for several decades. The association is governed by a Board of Directors. 

For more information, consult their helpful website at:
Contact: Tonje Hamre or Liza Franke

Alumni Association of Peru

The Peruvian Alumni Association was formed in 2004 as a way to unite all Peruvian campers and to better organize our fundraising and selection efforts. CRS Peru is run by a team of 6 actively involved members and we have 3 advisors that are fundamental in our legal, fundraising, and secretarial work. The Peruvian Alumni Association has more than 30 members that are always very willing to host visitors and organize small yearly events that promote CRS and the Louis August Jonas Foundation.

Visit us on Facebook or contact us at

Daniel Garcia, National Selector,
William Torres, Associate Selector,
Max Perez-Leon, Association Advisor,
Soulange Polar, Selections Committee,
Jessica Vargas, Selections Committee,
Analucia Arenas, Selections Committee,

Alumni Association of Poland - CRSAAP

The Alumni Association of Polish is registered as a public benefit organisation with over 30 active members. Most alumni donate 1% of their tax (as Polish law allows us to donate this percentage for charities and organisations of our choice) and support the selection of Polish campers from all around the world. Two main events are held every year, a selection of campers in February (in Krakow) and an annual May meeting (in Warsaw). 

The selection of campers from Poland is based on four phases: 

- In december and January, the Alumni Association advertises for Camp Rising Sun via Facebook, tumblr and by sending mail and emails to Polish schools.

-After having received all applications, more than 10 members of the organisation are involved in reading through them all. 

- When all applications have been read, 18-20 finalists are invited  to Krakow where they have fun during bonding activities and are interviewed individually by the Selection Committee.

- Finally, the selection committee then selects two campers for the season and informs the others about different international opportunities.

The Polish Alumni Association covers the cost of a return flight to CRS for both campers. 

Website:, or visit us on Facebook
Contact: For selection and general information please contact Sonia Wargacka at

Alumni Association of Spain

Contact: Miguel Fresneda, 

Website:, or find us on Facebook.

Alumni Association of South Africa

Contact: Gopolang Mohlabeng,

Alumni Association of Sweden - CRSAAS

Swedish students have had the opportunity to attend CRS since 1939. Our alumni association was founded on November 6, 1957. Today, our Association wishes to involve Alumni of all ages at informal gatherings such as dinners at homes of alumni and meetings at cafés. Our Association is governed by a Board that holds a formal annual meeting in February where alumni are invited to attend and where the final selection process is executed for the students who will attend CRS the next summer.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you are interested in our Association or if you are planning to visit Sweden. We will be happy to show you around!

Contact information:
Association chair: Maria Sörman 

Alumni Association of Turkey

Campers from Turkey has been living this wonderful experience since 1955. And our purpose is to make sure more generations will benefit from the same experience.

We hold meetings throughout the year to keep in touch and keep the camp spirit alive. We annually hold a farewell meeting before camper departure for everyone to meet our new campers and their families. This is also like a welcome party for the new members.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you wish to re-bond with the group or if you are just passing by Turkey and want to see a friendly face.

For more information, please contact:  Uyum Ülgen,

Alumni Association of the United Kingdom - CRSAAUK

Contact: Eva Stylianou,