Camps and Summer Fun | Local

Tucson J to accent summer with movie theme, ‘Lights, Camera, Camp J’

Campers from the Tucson Jewish Community Center's Camp J enjoy a field trip at Breakers Water Park in 2016. (Courtesy Tucson Jewish Community Center)

At the Tucson J Summer Camp, this year’s theme is “Lights, Camera, Camp J.” Each camp week will celebrate a different genre of movie history, from the silent film era to fantasy and sci-fi, and everything in between. Programming will connect campers to the energy of the world of cinema, and to cultures from around the world.

“There is no place like camp!” says Emily Malin, the Tucson Jewish Community Center’s interim camp director and director of special needs services. “Having grown up participating in summer camps every year as a child, then working as a camp counselor and also a camp director, I know how fun and enriching camp can be. I also know how important camp is for a child’s emotional and behavioral development. Now as interim director here at the J, I can bring all of that experience to Summer Camp J — Lights Camera, Camp J!”

The J’s traditional camps will include all the favorites: dance, drama, music, science, sports, cooking/nutrition, community service and culture. Sports campers will learn and improve on their skills, teamwork and good sportsmanship as they enjoy healthy competitions. Campers in middle school will enjoy travel camps where they will get a chance to venture out to new destinations, spending quality time with new and old friends.

This year Camp J has added chugim (choices) for its traditional day campers. For chugim time, campers and their parents can review afternoon options and pick their favorites. These include time with a variety of specialists. Additionally, the camp is introducing more specialty camps including tennis, robotics, coding, minecraft, photography, flight school, chess, sports, cooking and arts. Each of the specialty camps end at 12:15 p.m., but Camp J offers afternoon camp with traditional camp activities, including daily swims.

All Camp J staff members are educated in and/or have experience in child development related fields and most have camping backgrounds. Children entering kindergarten will be well prepared for their new school environments by participating in activities in small groups, with staff support and encouragement. Many Camp J campers return year after year, and many become counselors themselves.

Camp J is the only day camp in Tucson accredited by the American Camping Association. An ACA survey found that 96 percent of campers say that “camp helped me make new friends”, and 92 percent said, “Camp helped me feel good about myself.” For parents, 70 percent reported, “My child gained self-confidence at camp.”

For campers who live in Marana and Oro Valley, Camp J now offers low-cost transportation from Northwest Tucson with a morning pick-up and afternoon drop-off service from Foothills Mall in front of Barnes & Noble.

All camps are open to members and nonmembers, whether campers attend for a week, a few weeks or all of camp.

For more information, call 299-3000 or email