For the past three years, I’ve promoted Jewish camping opportunities to the Boulder Jewish community. Considering the fact that I worked for the Foundation for Jewish Camp, this should come as no surprise. Now, as a staff member of the Boulder JCC, I want to talk about a few more compelling reasons as to why a Jewish camp experience is important.
Camp Works, a recent study commissioned by the Foundation for Jewish Camp, revealed that Jewish camp builds Jewish identity, Jewish community and Jewish leadership. As adults, campers are 21% more likely to feel that being Jewish is very important, 37% more likely to regularly light Shabbat candles and 55% more likely to feel very emotionally attached to Israel than peers who did not attend Jewish overnight camp.
One out of three Jewish professionals (rabbis, cantors and teachers) started out as camp counselors and one out of five Jewish educators credit Jewish summer camp as a key experience that caused them to enter the field. My five sessions working at Young Judaea camps in California, Wisconsin and New York infused in me a profound love of Israel, Judaism and K’lal Yisrael (Jewish Peoplehood) which led to me spending a year in Israel before majoring in Jewish Studies in college and embarking on a career in the Jewish community. And I am not alone. The staff of the Boulder JCC has spent 77 collective years at one of 11 different Jewish overnight camps. And this summer, we will offer a robust calendar of day camp options.
Now that I have your attention, consider that Colorado is home to three fantastic Jewish overnight camps: JCC Ranch Camp, Ramah Outdoor Adventure Camp and Shwayder Camp. Representatives from all three will be on hand Sunday, February 12th from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm at the home of Jennifer and Andy Goldman to answer questions about their programs. (To register for the event, call the Boulder JCC at 303-998-1900. The Goldman’s address will be provided upon registration.) All three camps provide nurturing Jewish environments in which campers create Jewish memories, make friends that last a lifetime and enjoy a wide variety of camp activities including horseback riding, sports, ropes course, music, arts and crafts and many more!
If you have or know children in grades 2-11 who might be interested in spending one or more weeks at Jewish overnight camp in Colorado this summer, please attend the Camp Info Program on Sunday, February 12th at 2:00 pm. Who knows? Your camper might just be the next leader of the Boulder Jewish community.