7 Reasons to Choose Jewish Camp…and 3 Reasons People Don’t

As the school year winds down and Passover approaches, it’s time to face facts: A much longer school break is just around the corner…How are you going to fill those summer months?!

Let us make a suggestion – JEWISH CAMP!

While it might seem that everyone you know is going to Jewish camp, the reality is quite different – only 20% of Jewish kids go to Jewish camp. 

Knowing that Jewish camp is a solid predictor of adult Jewish engagement and knowing that camp friendships endure life’s challenges when the world turns upside down, we want to turn those numbers around!

To help, we’ve made a list of the top reasons to choose Jewish Camp and the main reasons people don’t…

Top 7 Reasons to Choose Jewish Camp

  1. Lifelong Friendship. When you sign up for camp, you aren’t buying a couple weeks in a cabin, you are investing in lifelong friendships that anchor your child within the Jewish community, providing support through thick and thin. 
  2. Second Set of Friends. As your child navigates the challenges of adolescence, having multiple friend groups can be invaluable. Having camp friends can be a refuge when your child isn’t getting along with school or sports friend groups.
  3. Life Skills! Camp isn’t just about traditional activities such as ceramics or archery. Camp is the place to practice the skills that will carry your child through to a happy adult life. Things like making your bed, doing your part, asking for help…At camp, your child will develop independence, resilience, and confidence.
  4. Skills Building! From Waterskiing to cooking to Ultimate, whatever floats your boat (and we have those, too!) Camp provides a space for your child to discover and excel in activities they’re excited about, fostering a sense of accomplishment. 
  5. JEWISH Pride. Campers are immersed in a vibrant Jewish environment, filled with singing, praying, and community. Camp instills a deep sense of pride that won’t be shaken even in the face of adversity.  
  6. Camp makes the Jewish stuff fun. At camp, learning about Judaism is FUN! The learning is disguised in playing and sitting still is not only not required, it’s discouraged! 
  7. The Role Models. Raising good humans really does take a village. Adding camp to your village gives your child more loving grown-ups who will keep them on the right path. Those camp counselors will be another source of support and insight for your child as they navigate life’s challenges. 

Despite these compelling reasons, many parents hesitate to send their child to camp.  Here are some common reasons and our takes on them: 

  1. It’s expensive: No getting around it, it is expensive. However, financial aid is available from various sources. Herzl Camp, for one, provides over $450,000 in scholarships every year and there are lots of other sources too – your Jewish federation, One Happy Camper, synagogues, local Jewish family service organizations, and more. On top of that, all new Herzl campers get $750 off tuition and depending on where you live, you could get another $1,000 just for giving Jewish camp a try from One Happy Camper.
  2. It’s scary: Trusting others with your child’s well-being can be daunting, but it’s also an opportunity for personal growth for both you and your child. It is an act of parental bravery to give your child this chance to grow.
  3. It’s too Jewish OR it’s not Jewish enough: Every family, every individual is a little different. For some families, camp is the most Jewish thing they do all year, and for others, it’s the least Jewish thing they do all year. That’s one of Herzl Camp’s special strengths – all kinds of Jews come together at Herzl. That said, there is a Jewish camp for everyone so if we aren’t the right fit, we’ll happily connect you with a colleague at a camp that is right for you!

What do you think of our list? Did we miss the one you were thinking of? Let us know!

This article is sponsored content from Herzl Camp. For more information, check out our media kit.