Five nearby camps offer Jewish experiences

PHOTO: BB Campers enjoy tubing on Devil's Lake.

Portland is lucky to have five Jewish overnight camps nearby. B’nai B’rith Camp began in 1921. Camp Solomon Schechter was founded by Portland Rabbi Joshua Stampfer, z”l, in 1954. Each year, Congregation Ahavath Achim encourages families to explore the Sephardic Adventure Camp, the only Sephardic overnight camp in the country. In 2019, NCSY added Camp Kesher to the local overnight camp roster. Another Jewish camp in Washington is Camp Kalsman, which opened in 2007 as the newest camp in the Union for Reform Judaism family of camps.
Beyond the locally affiliated camps, the Foundation for Jewish Camp lists general and specialty camps ranging from arts and aquatics to sports and wilderness skills. Search by interest, affiliation, region, grade, dietary restrictions and special needs at
The site also includes information on One Happy Camper grants that are funded locally by the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland for first-time campers ( 
In addition to the One Happy Camper grants, families can offset the cost of summer camp with an interest-free loan from Jewish Free Loan sponsored by JFGP. Families can borrow up to $5,000. For more information, visit

503-452-3443 |
Overnight Camp Associate Director: Maddie Newman  
Campground: On the Oregon Coast by Devil’s Lake
Newly constructed ADA-accessible heated cabins (with bathrooms), lake activities, zipline, ballfield, ropes course, new gym and amphitheater.   
Since 1921, BB Camp has been a vibrant and inclusive Jewish community, creating immersive experiences for children of all ages, identities and backgrounds. Our intentional programming, based on our core Jewish values, provides each camper with formative experiences to build on as they develop their own personal Jewish identity. We create a balanced schedule of cabin and large group activities, daily elective offerings, and alternative and traditional Shabbat and Jewish programs to ensure that every child makes the most of their camp experience. Specialty camps: BB Surfs for Middle School; Teen Leadership Programs; Outdoor Jewish Adventure in Israel and Pacific Northwest for incoming 11th-graders; and Staff-in-Training program for incoming 12th-graders.
Sessions of one, two, three or four weeks begin June 27 and end Aug. 15, 2023, for rising 2nd- to 12th-graders.
Camp Fees vary. Financial aid and incentive grants available.
Scholarships and financial assistance: BB Camp offers needs-based financial aid and up to $1,000 in incentive grants for first-time campers. Visit for a full list of financial assistance options.
Early bird
Free BB Camp Nalgene water bottle if you register by Dec. 31.

206-447-1967 |
Executive Director: Zach Duitch 
Campground: Olympia, Wash. 
Amenities: 170-acre facility, private lake with dock and aqua park, boat house, art shed, amphitheater, dining hall, infirmary, sports shed, bog and river, full sports fields and ball courts, climbing tower, challenge course, zip line, hiking trails and yurt village.
Camp Solomon Schechter has a 68-year tradition of fun, friendship and Jewish experiential education in the Pacific Northwest. We create a unique, welcoming and spiritual Jewish environment for youth of all denominations entering 1st-12th grades. A summer at CSS enables children to try new activities, improve social skills, gain self-confidence, make Jewish friends, become independent and discover talents and abilities they never knew they had. These benefits last a lifetime. At CSS, we emphasize the values of integrity, derech eretz (respect) and tikkun olam (repairing the world). We do this through activities and teva (nature) to create our ideal Jewish community. At Camp Solomon Schechter, Judaism and joy are truly one!
Grades 4-10: June 25-July 16 or July 19-Aug. 9,  $3,945

 June 25-July 9 or July 19-Aug. 2, $3,100

 Grades 1-5 (rookie): July 9-16) or Aug. 2-9, $1,550

 Grade 11 Oded: June 21-July 20, $4,800

 Grade 12 Gesher Israel Trip: June 18-July 27, $7,500

503-757-3037 |
Director: Meira Spivak 
Campground: Camas and Ocean Park, Wash.
The first week of camp will take place in Camp Lacamas in Camas, Wash., and the second week and a half will take place in the Ocean Park Camp and Retreat Center in Ocean Park, Wash. Amenities include a week and a half at the ocean, rock climbing, bubble soccer and incredible trips (white water rafting, overnight camping).
With a focus of making Judaism fun and alive, Camp Kesher affords 3rd- to 9th-graders the opportunity to have an awesome time with friends while boosting Jewish pride. Activities include Jewish cooking and baking, sports, drama, kayaking and crafting. Campers make lifelong friends who they can travel to Israel with during a summer in high school.
3-7th grade, $2,499; 8-9th grade, $2,749. 
Staff in Training, post 10th-graders earn a $250 stipend. Post 11th- and 12th-graders earn $250 plus tips.
Scholarships, including the One Happy Camper Grant, as well as local aid, are available.
Early Bird
The early bird discount date has passed, but you can attend a virtual info session for a discount (see below).

Marketing Director: Beth Jacoby
Campground:  Cle Elum, Wash.
Amenities include a heated pool, trout pond, lending library, team building course, and sports courts and fields.
A host of traditional camp activities in addition to lots of fun, Sephardic experiential programming. Campers enjoy basketball, color war, mountain biking, arts and crafts, Sephardic baking, trout fishing, archery and more.
June 22-July 11: $3,250 for the three-week session for 4th- through 11th-graders. 
One-week sessions available for entering 3rd- and 4th-graders. 
Early bird
$200 off until Dec. 18. 

URJ CAMP KALSMAN | 425-284-4484
Director: Rabbi Ilana Mills
Campground: Arlington, Wash.
Camp Kalsman’s 300 beautiful acres offer a great balance of education and recreation with great sports and arts facilities and a pool.
Camp Kalsman is committed to our six core values: friendship, kehilah kedoshah (sacred community), Reform Jewish identity, chesed (kindness), connection to Israel and our relationship to teva (nature). Activities include: Arts – painting and ceramics; Performing arts – improv, theater, musical, writing; Music – guitar; Sports/waterfront – biking, archery, frisbee, soccer, basketball, lake, pool; and Experience – hiking, cooking, outdoor survival skills, gardening, animal care, high ropes course, climbing tower and swing. 
1-week to 21-day sessions June 25-Aug. 16 for current 1st- through 10th graders with fees ranging from $1,695 to $4,895 (depending on camp session and URJ member or nonmember).
Counselor in Training (11th graders) June 23-July 30 is $5,595 for URJ members or $5,995 for nonmembers.


Connect with camps in December

Several opportunities to connect with staff and/or campers are coming up in December.

Sephardic Adventure Camp Open House 
The SAC Open House will be Sunday, Dec.11, 4:30-5:30 pm, at Congregation Ahavath Achim, 6686 SW Capitol Hwy.
This will be a perfect opportunity to learn more about Sephardic Adventure Camp, the only Sephardic overnight summer camp in the country. Come learn about SAC adventures and activities, meet SAC families and staff, and enjoy dairy desserts. For additional details, contact Jodi Fried at or the SAC office at

Camp Kesher Virtual Information Sessions
By arrangement. Contact Meira ( to set up a virtual info session. Those who sign up for camp within a week of their info session receive a $100 discount.

Experience BB Camp
BB Camp has multiple opportunities to connect this month.
Ice Cream Social – Portland East: Dec. 8, 5:30-7:30 pm, Dairy Hill Ice Cream;
DIY Steel Dreidel Making Class and Chanukah Celebration: Dec. 17, 10-11:30 am & 12:30-2 pm;
Kids Night In (Parents get the night off): Dec. 17, 6-9 pm;
Teva Monthly Family Hikes: Dec. 18, 9 am, at Silver Falls State Park;
Winter Break Day Camp: Dec. 19-23, 9 am-4 pm, SW Portland (Multnomah Presbyterian);



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