“You’ll see, he won’t want to leave in the end,” my wife, Cynthia, said. “He’s going to have the time of his life.” “Not if his soon-to-be bunkmates see him cryi... Read More >
No matter your practice, there is a Jewish camp where your child will have fun, be comfortable and love being Jewish. Some camps are part of specific Jewish movements such as Orthodox, Reform, Reconstructionist, and Conservative. Some camps are focused on Zionism and the role of Israel in Jewish life. Other camps are non-denominational, and focus on providing positive Jewish identity-building experiences through Jewish culture.
Below are some things to consider when deciding which camp is right for your child. Once you've narrowed down your own criteria, please use our Find a Camp tool.
There’s a Jewish camp that’s perfect for your child.
- Jewish summer camp is for all ages! Camps offer programs for children, pre-teens, and teenagers, with specific programming geared toward the interests and experiences of every age.
- Jewish specialty camps enable your child to hone a specific skill or interest within the context of Jewish values like teamwork, fair play and ruach, spirit. Whether your child is interested in perfecting her jump shot, sharpening his painting skills, improving his swim stroke, directing a film, or learning how to farm organically, there is a specialty camp that fits his/her needs.
- Jewish camps offer a variety of models to accommodate special needs campers including mainstreaming, separate programming, and exclusive special needs camps specifically targeting children with autism, Down Syndrome, Asperger’s Syndrome, and others. Regardless of your child's function level, there is a Jewish camp ready to provide him or her with the summer of a lifetime.
- Check out a camp's website to learn about camp features, including programs, facilities, and daily schedules. Keep in mind, however, that while websites can provide plenty of useful information, the best way to get a sense of the camp environment is to visit the camp during the summer while it’s in session.
- If you are planning ahead, try and visit prospective camps the summer before you hope to send you child there. Look for drive-up appeal—not whether it is rustic or modern but how well it is maintained, cleanliness, how the staff greets visitors, and if they know the campers by name when walking through the grounds.
- If you have missed the summer tours, try to gauge camp culture through conversations with the camp director, veteran families, or your child's friends who have attended the camp before. Ask them about the details of day-to-day life at camp. Keep in mind, however, that just because a camp works for your friend's child does not mean it is the right camp for your child.
Narrow down your options to about five or six camps. Take into account camp size, activity offerings, atmosphere, security, cost, and location. Look for a camp that best accommodates both your and your child's interests. It may be helpful to involve your child in the search to ensure that his or her needs and expectations are met.
With these points in mind, we encourage you to search our helpful camp directory to find the perfect summer community for your child. Start your search.
Please Note: FJC is not an accreditation body for Jewish camps. There are several accreditation bodies, including the American Camp Association and its Canadian equivalents. We encourage you to ask the camps you are considering for accreditation and parental references.