Day camps traditionally have been a place for youth to have fun, socialize and learn new skills. At Jewish camps, children also gain a sense of Jewish culture and community through Jewish values-based programs.
Two years into a global pandemic, the need for socialization and community are greater than ever. Combined with falling case counts and available vaccines for children 5 and older, the demand for and availability of Jewish day camps is growing.
“Our program is filling up fast, and it may be a trend day camps will be experiencing this summer,” says Celinda Llanez, director of Portland Jewish Academy’s Summer Discovery program. “Enrichment programs and summer day camps help children feel a sense of normalcy and consistency.”
BB Day Camps have expanded to multiple communities to help meet that need. This year, BB Day Camps will serve children in Corvallis, Eugene, Lincoln City, Portland Northwest, Portland Eastside and Salem. Chabad’s Camp Gan Israel has added new sites, as well.
“We are headed into our third pandemic summer with experience and confidence under our belts to support our campers in having a safe, meaningful and fun Jewish summer camp experience,” says BB Day Camp Director Chanel Bourdeau. “BB Day Camps are accessible to everyone, as we believe that Jewish day camps are vital in raising Jewish values-based leaders for our communities.”
“We often hear from parents that BB Day Camp has been the only sense of normalcy and community for their families throughout the pandemic, which is a responsibility we do not take lightly,” adds Bourdeau. “Since the pandemic, we have increased our mental, emotional, social and spiritual health supports to aid our efforts in assisting children with ongoing disruptions to their everyday lives, to rebuild their Jewish community.”
At the Mittleman Jewish Community Center, the day camps are being tailored to help children with social skills and to facilitate friendships.
“Now more than ever, summer camp is a much-needed
place where children develop a sense of community and belonging,” says MJCC Day Camp Manager Daylee Shaw. “Camp is an amazing space for youth to develop within their community, learning and building interpersonal relationships.”
BB DAY CAMPS (Six Locations)
Locations: B’nai B’rith Day Camp is hosted at Congregation Beth Israel and Eastside Jewish Commons in Portland; additional locations in Corvallis, Eugene, Lincoln City and Salem.
Grades: Kindergarten to Grade 8
Dates & Times: Weekly sessions,
9 am-3:30 pm with extended care available at CBI.
BB Day Camp Portland, at CBI:
June 27-Aug. 19.
BB Day Camp Eastside, at EJC:
Visit website for other locations' dates.
Cost: $350 a week, sign up by March 31 to save $25 a week. Financial assistance available.
Program: At BB Day Camp, we value and cherish each camper, striving to meet the individual needs of all children in our care. We create an environment where personal interests and growth are fostered and celebrated. Creating plenty of opportunities for choice and structured free play within a Jewish environment, BB Day Camp develops opportunities for campers to play, interact meaningfully and grow.
CAMP GAN ISRAEL-CLARK COUNTY
360-993-5222 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Location: Chabad Jewish Center, 9604 NE 126th Ave., Vancouver, Wash.
Dates/times: July 18-22 & July 25-29, 9 am-3 pm.
Cost: one week $225; two weeks $425.
Program: Camp Gan Israel is enhanced with games, drama, sports, science, swimming, Shabbos parties, challah baking, exciting field trips and so much more. Judaic themes are taught through exciting activities, stories, songs, games and contests.
CAMP GAN ISRAEL-EASTSIDE
503-309-4490 | Mushkawilhelm@gmail.com
Location: Portland's east side
Dates & Times: Weekly sessions June 20-July 1, 9 am-3 pm.
Cost: $325 for 1 week; Early Bird discount $299 for 1 week. $595 for both weeks; Early Bird discount $547 both weeks. Early Bird discount before March 31st.
Program: Camp Gan Israel is a comprehensive program designed to strengthen the body and soul. It provides your child with a rich and wholesome summer vacation of fun and excitement along with friendship and meaningful educational experiences. Camp Gan Israel will strive to be a truly fun and unforgettable experience; to be a place where children will learn the importance of caring, sharing, patience and working with others; and to provide an opportunity for Judaism to be felt, lived and experienced in a fun and all-encompassing way.
CAMP GAN ISRAEL PORTLAND
ganisraelportland.com | 503-309-4185
2022 schedule not yet set; see website for updates.
MJCC SUMMER DAY CAMP
971-254-8332 or 503-244-0111
Location: Mittleman Jewish Community Center, 6651 SW Capitol Hwy., Portland.
Dates & Times: Weekly, June 13-Sept. 2, 9 am-4 pm (half-day options); pre-care: 7:45-9 am; after care: 4-5:30 pm.
Cost: From $144 to $320 per week.
Program: Have an AWESOME summer at MJCC Day Camp. Our camp is imbued with a sense of joy, community, spirit and fun. Health and safety is our top priority. Enjoy quality, fun, and age-appropriate programs including sports, cooking, Jewish culture, drama, nature and more. Campers create crafts, play games and do activities that revolve around each week’s theme.
PJA SUMMER DISCOVERY
503-244-0126 | email@example.com
Location: Portland Jewish Academy, 6651 SW Capitol Hwy., Portland.
Dates & Times: Weekly, July 5-29, 9:15 am-1:15 pm; pre-care (ages 4 and up): 7:30-9:15 am; after care (ages 5 and up): 1:15-5:30 pm.
Cost: $180-220 per week of camp; contact camp for pre- and after-care costs.
Program: Open to everyone! Explore your creativity, discover your talents, nurture your curiosity and broaden your horizons at PJA’s Summer Discovery Program. With safety and security as a top priority, PJA offers enriching classes from experienced, enthusiastic, professional teachers who incorporate STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) to enhance learning in a fun and nurturing way.