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Camp at the JCC Offers Many Choices

Julie Hollander, director of programs for youngsters in kindergarten through fifth grade at the Jewish Community Center, including the summer camp program, is excited that camp enrollment is definitely up this year compared to last year’s figures. In fact, three of the five sessions at Camp J-Tots for children from ages 20 months to 4 years are already full.

If your children or grandchildren are between the ages of 20 months and grade 8, there is a JCC camp program that’s just right for them. The traditional camps run for two weeks sessions and the specialty camps are either one or two weeks. Each session of Camps J-Tots, Keff and Chaverim has a theme that is carried on throughout the period.

At Camp J-Tots for the youngest campers, experienced preschool educators and enthusiastic junior counselors guide children through arts and crafts, music and games. Three- and four-year-old campers have both instructional and free swim times and all campers are eligible to participate in extended day care before and after camp. A sample schedule for daily activities includes Whole Camp Ruach (spirit), a group activity such as cooking, which is new this year, music, creative movement, water play, swimming and art. A mid-morning snack is included and a lunch can either be brought in or purchased at camp for $5.

“You and Me” is a new one-week camp in August that invites moms and dads to accompany their two-to-four-year-olds for a morning of stories, cooking, creative movement and more. Each day offers a different themed activity and includes an optional lunch and swim in the afternoon.

Camp Keff , the traditionally popular camp for children in grades K-3, has all the traditional camp activities with a few twists. The last Thursday of each session has campers participate in field trips to places like the Louisville Nature Center and Incredible Dave’s and then return to camp for a pizza party and other activities.

Pick-up is extended to 6 p.m. There’s also an optional overnight for campers entering second and third grades. Two-week sessions start on June 17 and run through mid-August.

There is lots to keep Camp Chaverim participants in grades 4-6 busy too, with a mix of traditional camp activities such as arts and crafts, Israeli culture, music, mitzvah (social action) projects and scavenger hunts. Special events and dress-up days include Olympics, Carnival, Luau, Pajama Day and Hat Day and twice-weekly field trips to places like the Atlantis Waterpark and Frazier Arms Museum.

The last Thursday of each session campers participate in an overnight off-campus stay. They leave camp on Thursday morning and return Friday afternoon. Destinations are different for each session and include trips to Cincinnati, Camp Livingston and Indianapolis.

Kids in grades 6-9 have summer camping opportunities too that help them learn about themselves and assist the community at the same time. Community Service Camp for ‘Tweens and Teens” in grades 6-8 includes volunteering their time at the Ronald McDonald House, Dare to Care, Four Courts, Brooklawn, Gilda’s Club and Volunteers of America and also taking part in recreational activities, daily trips and a late night activity. The camp provides a great way for teens to fulfill Pledge 13 and Beta Club hours.

Young people entering grade 9 can enroll in the CIT (Counselor in training) Program that allows them to learn important skills while working with children at the fun and exciting JCC camp. They may choose to be a CIT for four weeks or for 10 weeks.

Specialty one- and two-week camp sessions for all age groups are scheduled at various times throughout the summer. Camps include Craftrageous, Dance Mix, What’s Cookin’, CenterStage Academy for youngsters in grades K-6; Locker Soccer Academy and Multi-Sports Camp for grades K-7; Horseback Riding for grades 2-6; Football Futures for grades 1-5; Jaws for grades 3-5; Guardstart for grades 6-9 and Wiley Brown Basketball Camp for those in grades 1-12.

Thanks to a grant from Jewish Hospital HealthCare Services, a JCC Garden will be in full swing this summer with camp groups visiting and working on the garden. Some of the garden area will be devoted to flowering plants and herbs and part will be set aside for growing vegetables. The activity will actually become a mitzvah project as part of the crop will be donated to the Jewish Family & Career Services Food Pantry.

For more information about the JCC Summer Camp Program or to inquire about openings, please contact Julie Hollander at 238-2708, by email at jhollander@jccoflouisville.org or by clicking here.

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