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Mountain camp experience in April set to bond PJ Library families

Rabbi Nate Crane (center) says the blessing over children during Saturday morning Shabbat services at a family camp at Camp Daisy and Harry Stein in 2018.

PJ Library will partner with Camp Daisy and Harry Stein in Prescott, Arizona, for a family weekend getaway April 17-19. The first five families from Southern Arizona to register will get $100 off the event.

“We are having family camp to give families the opportunity to spend the weekend together in the beautiful pines,” says Marcy Lewis, the program director for PJ Library. “They will experience Shabbat outdoors under the trees, participate in camp activities and bond with other families.”

Lewis says there are 18 families signed up but they are looking for more to register.

“Shabbat outdoors is like nothing else,” Lewis says. “Friday night under the stars is amazing. There is a chill in the air and it is the perfect time for families to snuggle together and pray. Saturday morning we take a short hike up to the chapel for services. The sound of the wind blowing through the pines is so calm and peaceful. It’s the perfect way to celebrate Shabbat.”

Lewis herself attended camp as a child and wishes family camp had been around when her children were younger.

Celia and Ryan Preble-Gaitz and their 3-year-old daughter, Sage, already have signed up for the event.

Celia attended a Jewish camp when she was a little girl and loved the excitement. “[I loved] experiencing Shabbat traditions and the feeling of sleeping away with friends and making new friends. Other Jewish culture things like the food, games, and dancing were exciting as well.”

Celia looks forward to experiencing Shabbat in the outdoors with new people. “We are always trying to find ways to bring Judaism into our lives. We are always trying to go to different events that are kid-friendly.”

The best thing about the getaway will be meeting other people who are at the same point in life as her, she says. She hopes other families will have kids around the same age as her daughter. She also looks forward to seeing her daughter have a good time.

“It would just be special to spend time together and celebrate Shabbat,” says Celia.

On Friday and Saturday nights there will be babysitting services available for families. Register for the camp at for a shared cabin with another family, for a private room with no bathroom, and for a private room with shared bathroom.