Countdown to Camp


“Mom, Dad, when is camp going to start this summer?”

“Mom, Dad, when is camp going to start this summer?” It’s the question many parents are fielding this winter as we approach the one-year-mark of living through a global pandemic. Fortunately, it appears as though families have found their groove and are looking for ways to celebrate the resiliency and strength of their children with a fun-filled summer – at camp.

We asked some local camp directors to give us an idea of what’s in store for campers this summer.

What can children (and by proxy their families) gain from attending camp this summer?

Emily – More than ever kids need a sense of normalcy in this very abnormal time and camp is a place where kids not only get to feel like kids again, but they can grow in a fun, safe and enriching environment. Children build friendships, develop teamwork, learn new skills and step out of their comfort zone at camp. After this school year, kids need to go to a place where they can be supported in their social and emotional needs that for many have been lacking in a virtual environment.

Marty – This summer – more than any other time – our kids are going to need camp. They need time with their friends, time outside, time away from home, away from screens. Camps will help them. Camp have supports in place and we will be working with our teams throughout the year leading up to camp.

Are there any special experiences planned for this summer? Can children expect to have a full camp experience?

Emily – We plan to add more on-campus special events this year to keep our campers at our JCC site by adding more covered outdoor program spaces to accommodate keeping the most of our programming outdoors. Hot lunch, Early Drop/Late Stay, and programming such as instructional swim, ziplining, high ropes and archery will be back this summer. These are in addition to our tried-and-true activities like arts and crafts, nature, science, Israeli culture, dancing, Shabbat and more!

Marty – Camps have wonderful facilities, we work hard to hire quality staff that inspire campers to pursue their athletic, adventurous and creative interests – whether it be extreme sports, performing arts, cooking or outdoor fun and camping. We encourage them to go out of their comfort zone and try new things. In addition to all of these, camps strive to build community.

And that is what camps do better than anyone else? We help our campers grow, build new friendships who become friends for life, become more independent and resilient, take positive risks, and learn about the kind of person they want to become. We give them role models to look up to and we give them a community they can be proud to be a part of.

Don’t let the snow and cold weather dampen your spirits. Warm weather and a summer filled with laughter, growth and friendship awaits your children – at summer camp. Camp leads to memories that last a lifetime.

There are so many terrific day and overnight camp options from Pearlstone and J Camp to Airy/Louise and Capital Camps. Learn more about the many Jewish summer camp options at associated.org/livecamp.

Emily Peisach Stern is the Senior Director of Camping & Children’s Services and J Day Camp Director.

Marty Rochlin is the Director of Camp Airy in Thurmont, Maryland.


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