With the ground outside covered with snow and the frigid temperatures keeping us huddled inside, warm thoughts of summer and dreams of JCC Summer Camp may be just what we need.
JCC Camp is the special place where every child can succeed and every child can make a friend. “Everything we do is imbued with Jewish tradition and values,” said Camp Director Betsy Schwartz. It’s just part of camp.
What Jewish values? The first one Schwartz names is “everybody should be kind.”
Every school-age child will have swimming lessons every day as well as time for free swim. Schwartz pointed out, “Jewish law says you must teach your children to swim.”
Jewish values also teach us to take care of the earth and to do things for others. Campers will have opportunities to work in the community garden where they will learn how to take care of plants and harvest vegetables. They will also be able to participate in mitzvah projects all summer long.
With this summer’s theme, Camp Tales, campers will explore their creativity through stories. Each week focuses on a different story and has a special dress-up day to go along with the theme.
Throughout the summer, they will learn the importance of social action and how they can make positive social change. Camp will foster self-esteem and help campers develop their understanding of, and an appreciation for, the world in which they live at camp, at home and in the greater community.
Campers will also get a taste of Israel as camp once again welcomes a shaliach or shlicha – an emissary from Israel – who will teach Israeli songs and games, providing a sampling of Israeli experiences throughout the summer.
As a special treat, the Tzofim – Israeli scouts – will stop at camp in July to put on a music- and dance-filled show for campers during the day and for the entire community in the evening.
Many of the specialty camps are back this summer including Lego, travel, sports, arts and science camps and many more. A special new addition this year is Gaga Galore for campers who love the Israeli game. They’ll have plenty of opportunities to play and even make their own gaga balls. JCC Camp is even adding another gaga pit in time for camp.
The JCC Camp program for 7th-9th graders has been expanded as well. Now, these older campers can participate in the Young Leaders program for nine weeks.
Horizons are also broader for these campers when they sign up for Road Rulz. For nine days, these campers will travel to JCCs and Jewish communities within a four-hour radius of Louisville. Once there, they’ll meet Jewish youngsters in the host communities and join forces to do service projects. They’ll be staying at Jewish overnight camps, JCCs and campgrounds and doing a little Jewish sightseeing along the way.
Learn more about camp this Sunday at the JCC Summer Camp Open House. From 1-4 p.m., you can tour the JCC facility, meet the year-’round camp staff, get answers to all your camp questions and register your child for the sessions he or she wants.
All the JCC Summer Camp information, including registration packets, is available here.