Camps and Summer Fun

Camp builds character, resilience says new Camp J director

The Tucson Jewish Community Center’s Camp J — the only day camp in town accredited by the American Camping Association — is gearing up for summer with a new director, Josh Shenker; 11 specialty camps, including a new junior robotics camp; traditional camps that cater to four age groups;… Read more »

At summer day camps, ‘fun’ Hebrew immersion program catches on

The organizers of Kayitz Kef, a Hebrew language immersion program running at 10 Jewish day camps across America, want to expand it to 48 camps over the next decade. (Next Exit Photography)

On a warm summer day at a Jewish day camp east of Cleveland, an Israeli counselor instructs his charges in Hebrew to get their water bottles. The kids, none of them fluent Hebrew speakers, strain to comprehend. One of them, misunderstanding the instruction entirely, returns with a container of… Read more »

Camp weekend for adults coming to Southern California

Trybal Gatherings include classic camp activities.

Last year, Trybal Gatherings (trybalgatherings.com) launched a series of four-day all-inclusive getaways at Jewish summer camps across the country for young Jewish adults in their 20s and 30s (see azjewishpost.com/2017/finally-jewish-camp-for-adults). For 2018, Trybal Gatherings plans three new camps for young adults, including one Sept. 21-24 in Malibu, California, at… Read more »

At this Jewish camp, a 95-year-old Holocaust survivor teaches kids Yiddish

Mikhl Baran, who leads Jewish culture programming at Camp Kinder Ring, speaking at a Friday evening program. (Sharon Strongin/Camp Kinder Ring)

HOPEWELL JUNCTION, N.Y. (JTA) — The kids at Camp Kinder Ring mostly do what kids do at any Jewish summer camp. They hang out by the lake, play sports, goof off, find discreet places to, um, go on walks. But for an hour each day, groups of Jewish adolescents… Read more »

Summer camps offer kids an immersion in Israel’s tech prowess

Campers at Big Idea/JCC Day Camp in Tenafly, N.J., incorporate robotics into Lego projects. (Courtesy of Kaplen JCC on the Palisades)

CHICAGO (JTA) — Sam Rosen, a 10-year-old Minecraft player, builds virtual castles at his computer and protects himself from monsters. His mother, Carrie, a high school math teacher, knows the game teaches tech skills and engineering — valuable skills he can build on in school. So when JCC Chicago… Read more »

Tucson J creates week of day camp for adults

The Tucson Jewish Community Center will hold a weeklong day camp for adults, “Around the World,” June 12-16. The camp will explore the languages, cultures, and cuisines of Mexico, China, Italy, France and Israel, with each day devoted to a different country. Participants can register for the entire week… Read more »

Prescott is site for Jewish outdoor club event

The Mosaic Outdoor Club is planning a hike on Thumb Butte in Prescott during its Labor Day weekend ‘escape.’ (Courtesy Mosaic Outdoor Clubs of America)

The Mosaic Outdoor Clubs of America, the nation’s oldest and largest Jewish organization dedicated to fun and adventure in the outdoors, will hold its annual five-day international event in Prescott, Ariz., Aug. 31-Sept. 4. . The 27th annual Jewish Outdoor Escape, dubbed “r-AZ-ma-t’AZ: An Arizona Adventure,” will be based… Read more »

Camp becomes the endless summer — thanks to social media and smartphones

Sophie Golden, in striped shirt and headband, uses social media to coordinate meet-ups with her camp friends. (Davina Golden)

(JTA) — For 12-year-old Sophie Golden, camp is “kind of like a different world,” where electronics are a no-go and her bunkmates feel more like sisters than friends. When she misses that feeling during the year, there’s an easy way to get it back, even if just for a… Read more »

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… Read more »

Tucson J seeks teens for Maccabi Games

The Tucson Jewish Community Center is continuing to accept registration for teens ages 13-16 to join the Tucson delegation to the 2017 JCC Maccabi Games in Birmingham, Ala., July 30-Aug. 4. Teens can participate in basketball, dance, swim, tennis, soccer, flag football, track & field, table tennis, volleyball, baseball,… Read more »

Swim school teaches safety for kids, parents

Drowning is still a leading cause of death for children under 12 years of age. The authors of the Talmud recognized the importance of learning to swim when they specified it as one of the three things parents must teach their children (Kiddushin 29a), along with Torah and how… Read more »

Pennsylvania Jewish camp unites local couple

Allison Richter (nee Lachter) and Michael Richter at Capital Camps in Waynesboro, Pa. in 1991. (Courtesy Allison Richter)

As a kid, Allison Richter of Tucson spent many happy hours canoeing, shooting arrows, hiking and crafting at Camp Pearlstein, now called Camp Daisy and Harry Stein, in Prescott. Her parents never thought she would bring home a husband. She didn’t, of course, but those summers began a beautiful… Read more »

Horwitz mixes magic and mystery at local dinner theater

Ross Horwitz, who bills himself simply as “Ross the Magician,” has been practicing magic since he was 7 years old. He spent his early life in Chicago and attended a Jewish summer camp in Michigan, where he got his first taste of making the impossible possible from a camp… Read more »

Summer camps open bunks to transgender Jews

Camp JRF has embraced inclusivity since its founding, with activities that rarely divide up the boys and the girls. (Courtesy of Camp JRF)

WHIPPANY, N.J. (New Jersey Jewish News via JTA) — Bathrooms accessible for transgender children and staff are old news at Camp JRF, the Reconstructionist movement’s summer camp in South Sterling, Pa. Five years ago the camp posted signs on bathroom doors stating “This bathroom may be used by any… Read more »

Hydrate your way to a healthy summer

(Family Features) — Staying well-hydrated is especially important during the summer months, particularly in hot climates like the Sonoran Desert. Consciously replacing your fluid content becomes essential for overall health. “Every system in your body — from reproduction and digestion to circulation, mood and memory — depends on water,”… Read more »