Time to Start Thinking About Summer Camps

Posted by: Audra Martin on Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at 12:00:00 am
JCamps:  Jewish summer camp fun!

As I am writing this article, it’s cold and blustery outside. It seems odd to be thinking about camp. Nonetheless, it’s time to plan for your kids’ summer.

Here at the Merage JCC we’ve been coordinating summer camp since last year’s camp ended. Sure, this article is going to sell our camps. We believe in camp – we believe it is an important component of Jewish life. Statistics show that camp experiences are one of the top three indicators that our kids will remain engaged with Jewish life.

For many of us, summer camp is an irreplaceable memory of great friends and wonderful experiences. It is a rite of passage, like b’nai mitzvahs and graduations. For others, camp is a more fleeting thought. Then this article for you. Camp is fun, active, social and keeps kids busy during the summer. But it can be so much more. Jewish camp builds a genuine connection to our community and to making Jewish lifelong friends.

As we can all attest, our contemporary lives are busy and everyday our kids are surrounded by American culture. A JCC camp experience allows us just a few weeks to enmesh our kids in Jewish experiences and Jewish friends. While our kids are running, playing, swimming, traveling, busy with arts and science and all the camp fun, they are doing it surrounded by Jewish friends and Jewish values and traditions.

At the Merage JCC, our campers are surrounded by Israeli experiences. Shlichim join us every year and are an important part of the Merage JCC camp experience. They are Israeli citizens and trained camp specialists joining the camp staff to forge connections with our children. They add Israeli culture to every day’s programming, including Hebrew, Israeli arts, music and dance. They genuinely deepen the Jewish atmosphere that inculcates camp.

Shlichim live with host families and integrate into our community. Generally, they have just completed their military service in Israel and are eager to learn about American life, while sharing Israeli culture with our kids.

Merage JCC camps fill a fundamental need for our community.  We provide a positive Jewish environment and serve as a launch pad for engagement in Jewish life.



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