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Behind the Scenes with DIY Creator Maureen Marchacos

Maureen And Ben

Maureen Marchacos, Director of Kids Space, CAP, and Vacation Camps at the J, has been instrumental in providing Do-It-Yourself content at Your Virtual J.



She has the perfect co-worker to help create videos so that your family can engage in at-home projects. “The best part of my week is my son Ben participating in the creation of DIY videos,” says Maureen. “We aren’t just creating projects – we are creating long-lasting memories to cherish always.”


Ben’s favorite DIY projects are mini volcanoes and slime activities. Be sure to check out how perfectly this preschooler can crack an egg in the pie video!

I hope that everyone has enjoyed our videos and are making great memories of their own each week. The J is part of our family and Ben, and I can not wait for the day when our family becomes whole again.

“Ben and the after school children are my true inspiration for the videos. Inspired by projects I find online, I try to link the activities with key subjects such as math, science, art, and literature.  My goal is for children to have fun and be able to create the activity at their own pace.  

When asked how her family adjusted to the current way of life, Maureen shared, “We had our challenges at first, trying to get into a good routine that worked for the whole family, 

especially with both parents working from home. I feel Ben is following a stable routine now. As a mom and a youth program director, I strongly believe it is important for any child, especially preschoolers, to have a good routine each week. Our routine consists of work time, activity time, academic time, and of course, playtime.”

Maureen set up a mini desk right next to her desk so that Ben can feel like he is doing his work at the same time mom is doing her job. 

“We always try to make enough room for family time so to alleviate feeling the stress and craziness of what is happening outside our home.”

Although Maureen, along with fellow J staff, are working from home, she longs to once again see our friends in the J’s KidsSpace and CAP programs.

“I miss seeing all the smiling faces, the children stopping by my office as they are arriving to share news about their school day or to see their faces light up while sharing a project they completed.”

While J program directors can often be found at the computer, taking care of payroll, writing grants, or planning for future program seasons, you might also find them doing what they enjoy most – interacting with the youth. Maureen misses joining in on the weekly dance parties with Jon O’Neill in the CAP program, playing on the playground with the children, or just having a simple conversation with the older tweens to see how everything is going. 

“A Mitzvah is the Hebrew word for a good deed. We all can choose a couple of different mitzvahs that we can do for their loved ones. It could be as simple as cleaning your room without being asked, doing the dishes, or making a special activity for someone special. A simple mitzvah can go a long way.”

As we wait with continued uncertainty, we remain filled with hope.

“I hope that everyone has enjoyed our DIY videos and is making great memories of their own each week. The J is part of our family and Ben and I look forward to the day when our J Family becomes whole again.”

You can view this mom/son team’s DIY videos on the J Summer Camps facebook page

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Your family can also create lasting memories through at-home projects. Send us a photo and caption of your DIY activities via email

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Click here to meet the J’s mother-son duo who create content for Your Virtual J…