In each of the past five years, nonprofit Jewish overnight camps—through their association with their movements, JCamp 180 and the Foundation for Jewish Camp, have entered their data into JData. This year's report shows how camps have remained the same and how they have changed. It also includes new information about the field. Data are based on Summer 2014 and were retrieved from www.jdata.com on January 12, 2015.
Definition of the Field
Same: Foundation for Jewish Camp continues to have the most comprehensive list of nonprofit Jewish overnight camps and to represent the broadest swath of the field.
Changed: In 2014, FJC's list included 156 organizations, an increase of six camps over the previous year. In fact, FJC gained eight camps (four start-ups and four pre-existing camps), but also lost two camps that discontinued their overnight camp operations.
New: The six additions include specialty camps and other summer programs and experiences. As alternatives to traditional camp join the network, the meaning of "camp" is shifting to include a broader array of summer experiences.
Changed: In Summer 2014, the total count of campers was 73,453, an increase of about 4.5% from the previous summer. (Based on 155 reporting camps.) This growth is attributable both to the addition of the new camps and to increased numbers at existing camps.
Looking only at the 132 camps for which we have five years of data, we see steady growth. Total enrollment for these camps increased by 6% between 2010 to 2011 and then by 1% in each succeeding year. Sum total, they grew by 9% over the four-year period.
Same: Over half of the camps have grown over the years and a third have declined. The others served about the same number of campers in 2014 as they did in 2010 (within one percentage point).
New: Almost 18,700 campers were new to their camp in Summer 2014. On average, this represented 35% of a camp's total enrollment. Camps in the South and West had the highest percentage of new campers. A high percentage of new campers can indicate that camps are doing a good job building enrollment from the ground up or it can indicate that they are not retaining their former campers and the incoming campers are thus a higher percentage of the total. (Based on 144 reporting camps.)
View the entire report at JData.