Planting the Seeds of a Bright Future: Celebrating Jewish Summer Camp

Summer overnight camp is about so much more than campfires and colour war. At Jewish camp, kids get the chance to explore who they are—and who they want to become—in an active, inspiring, and fun-filled environment. (Marshmallows included.)

Children enjoy fun in the sun while learning lifelong skills.

Children enjoy fun in the sun while learning lifelong skills.

We know that for children, Jewish camp is just plain fun. But it’s also much more than that—it’s camp with a soul. At camp, kids get the chance to explore who they are—and who they want to become—in an inspiring, fun-filled environment. Whether they’re playing basketball, zip lining, or dancing with their friends, Jewish camp creates a community of campers—and young leaders—who feel sure of themselves and proud of their heritage.

Jewish camp is more than just camp with Jewish kids. At Jewish camp, ruach (spirit) is part of every activity—from dancing to hitting a home run—allowing campers to explore their connection to Judaism in a meaningful way while having the summer of their lives.

7 out of 10 young Jewish leaders in their 20s and 30s attended Jewish summer camp.

7 out of 10 young Jewish leaders in their 20s and 30s attended Jewish summer camp.

Federation CJA’s supports Jewish summer camp through the One Happy Camper program, which recently gifted its 800th grant.  One Happy Camper is a program of the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC), in partnership with Federation CJA, which provides incentive grants of up to $1,000 to children attending Jewish overnight camp for the first time. Click here for more information about the program.

Registration numbers having increased at the participating camps over the last 3 years. More importantly, the children often return the following summer because they love the camping experience.

“Camp is a transformative experience in the life of a child,” says Camp B’nai Brith Executive Director Josh Pepin. “It’s wonderful that incentives like One Happy Camper exist because they open the door and make this experience accessible to kids who might otherwise not have found their way here.”

The impact of overnight Jewish camp is immediate and lasting. Studies show that children who go to Jewish camp are more likely to become adults who value their heritage, are engaged in their communities, support more causes, and take on leadership roles throughout their lives. Download the full study here.

Children at Montreal’s camp B'nai Brith, recipients of the One Happy Camper grant .

Children at Montreal’s camp B’nai Brith.

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