For children, it’s that wonderful, laid-back time of year when they don’t have to get up every morning and go to school. A time to play and grow and goof off. But what do you want for your child? Imagine your child learning a new skill and exploring a new idea, pursuing special interests, making a friend, being successful all while having fun. That’s exactly what you’ll find at the Jewish Community Center Summer Camp.
You can learn all the details, meet key staff members and register for the sessions of your choice at the 2016 JCC Summer Open House, Sunday, February 28, from 1-4 p.m.
With 49 specialty camps to choose from, there is sure to be one that is just right for your child. “The specialty camps run the gamut from arts (dance, visual arts and performing arts) to 12 different Lego camps to science camps and even four different cooking camps with a chef who is an educator as well as a bakery chef,” said Senior Director of Camping and Youth Services Betsy Schwartz. There are also sports camps, traditional camps and a new nature camp.
“Camp is education, not babysitting,” Schwartz added. Children learn one set of skills in school, she explained, but at camp, they acquire a “completely different skill set that will serve them for life.”
The most exiting change this year is the JCC Camp program has earned accreditation from the American Camp Association. ACA Accreditation means that your child’s JCC Camp cares enough to undergo a thorough (up to 300 standards) review of its operation – from staff qualifications and training to emergency management.
The American Camp Association collaborates with experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Red Cross and other youth-serving agencies to assure that current practices at your child’s camp reflect the most up-to-date, research based standards in camp operation. Camps and ACA form a partnership that promotes growth and fun in an environment committed to safety.
JCC Camp is the only day camp in the immediate area that has earned ACA Accreditation. In addition, JCC Camp offers several elements that can’t be found at other area camps. Every child in the traditional camp program gets swimming lessons, and all campers, including those in specialty camps, enjoy free swim every day, weather permitting.
The camp also employs a number of specialists to enrich the various programs. There will be a shaliach or shlicha, and emissary from Israel who will share Israeli games and songs, Hebrew words and other aspects of everyday life in Israel into the camp program, enriching the cultural experience for every camper. Specialists in culture, arts, games, sports and nature will add to the mix.
With funding from the National Inclusion Project, the JCC’s Yachad program integrates children with special needs into the camp program as fully as they are able ensuring that all children can participate; all children can learn new skills; all children can be successful and all children can make a friend.
Through Yachad, children receive the level of help needed to succeed, whether that be ensuring that a child with diabetes receives medication at the appropriate time or providing an advocate to work with a child who has autism throughout the day. Yachad advocates are available to families of children with special needs at no additional charge to the families.