Search results for: Camps
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Veteran staff members play a key role in a camp’s success. They preserve camp culture, maintain traditions, and serve important roles in the peer-training environment that camps depend on. It is not surprising, then, that camp counselor retention is important to the business of camping. This study focused on five counselors from Jewish camps in the United States, all of whom were about to return for a fourth summer. The research explored common phenomena of young adults’ experiences as counselors, how they made sense of their experiences, and their motivations for returning to camp. The data offer insights to camp directors interested in increasing counselor retention.
Updated: Jan. 30, 2019
Given the centrality of Shabbat celebration to the weekly cycle of Jewish residential camps, it is surprising how little Shabbat-at-camp has been studied. This participant observational study of three American Jewish residential camps has focused on how Shabbat-at-camp is created and how the ritual celebrations engage the older campers.
Updated: Jan. 27, 2019
Jewish overnight summer camp has been touted as an especially well-suited venue for Israel education. This article brings an institutional lens to test this proposition. Data come from the survey responses of 1,382 campers, CITs, and staff at 12 overnight and day camps.
Updated: Jan. 27, 2019
To understand more about Jewish camping in Europe, I spent time this summer visiting four Jewish youth camps. While much has been written about the successful Szarvas International Jewish camp in Hungary, most European Jewish communities organise their own summer (and sometimes winter) youth camps.
Updated: Oct. 07, 2018
I asked Zachary Lasker, the director of Melton & Davidson Education Projects at the William Davidson Graduate School of Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary (and former director of Camp Ramah in California), what makes camp the incredibly potent experience it is. He answered, “Studies have shown us that the more immersive an experience is, the more ‘sticky’ it is, in a good way. That goes for learning anything: language, music, culture.” Because overnight camp is an immersive, shared experience, it feels hyper-real and intense. You’re with your friends 24/seven. You see them in multiple contexts: You see what they’re good at and what they struggle with; you gain insight into your own accomplishments and struggles. You and your bunkmates fight and you make up, because the intimacy of camp means you can’t (and don’t want to) fight indefinitely. “An hour in camp is like a month in the outside world,” Lasker said. “Everything cycles so quickly.”
Updated: Jul. 11, 2018
Engaging young people in their 20s and 30s, the so-called millennial generation, is a high priority for Jewish philanthropists. Some funders have banded together to create new initiatives, including free trips to Israel, with the express purpose of drawing members of this generation into Jewish life. Others have gravitated to the so-called innovation sector, supporting millennials who dream up new programs to entice their peers into some form of Jewish participation. But for all the energy and money expended on such programs, one question remains unanswered: Will these efforts move people from shallow engagement to actively live a Jewish life or deepen their knowledge?
Updated: May. 02, 2018
Foundation for Jewish Camp Rolls Out New Initiative to Address Issues of Gender, Sex and Power Dynamics in Camp Community
As more than 750 Jewish summer camp professionals, educators, philanthropists and communal leaders gathered on March 18 for Foundation for Jewish Camp’s (FJC) seventh biennial Leaders Assembly, FJC unveiled a new initiative to prevent harassment and abuse, sexist language and behavior in the camp community. The “Shmira Initiative” aims to change camp culture on all levels, implementing a shift in staff programming, training, policy and enforcement around issues of gender, sex and power. Shmira, in Hebrew and in the vernacular of Jewish summer camp, means guard duty, embodying the social and individual responsibility every community member must ensure a safe environment.
Updated: Mar. 28, 2018
Kayitz Kef is a program in Hebrew language immersion running at 10 Jewish day camps across America that its backers hope will grow to 48 camps in the next decade. For six hours a day, a staff of mostly Israeli counselors speaks only Hebrew to the campers as they participate in the routine activities of summer camp. English isn’t used unless there’s a safety concern.
Updated: Mar. 13, 2018
A collaboration between The iCenter for Israel Education, Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), and Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) is working closely with eight Jewish summer camps as part of a 20-month intensive process to infuse dynamic and meaningful Israel experiences throughout the fabric of camp. Program teams from the three organizations work closely together and with camp leadership to fully leverage camps’ diverse activities, their young staff members who are Jewish role models, and an increasing number of shlichim who help create camp programs.
Updated: Feb. 12, 2018
A unique summer camp welcomed Jewish teenagers from all over Ukraine in the hot days of August. Set up in the picturesque Karpaty Mountain region, the EnerJew Gan Israel camp provided over 200 teenagers with a “Jewish experience of a lifetime”, giving them a charge of energy, fun, and inspiration to take back home for the upcoming school year. Most of those who participated said they will now include a lot more “EnerJew” in their lives, trying to foster personal development, learning and getting involved.
Updated: Sep. 24, 2017