Building Bully-Proof Bunks

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I’m a big believer in the transformational power of summer camp. No doubt it’s a belief that stems from my long-ago Santa Cruz Mountain summers spent under the canopy of redwood trees at Camp Swig. In so many ways, camp has had a lasting influence on me; I can even credit my career as an… Read More

Home Away From Home

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Growing up in Minsk, Belarus in the 1990s, Olga Cherches knew better than to call attention to the fact that she was Jewish. The post-World War II Jewish community in Minsk was already small but it became even tinier as most Jewish families began to emigrate to the U.S., Israel and elsewhere. In the early… Read More

Immersion Technique

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It used to be that parents who wanted to expose their children to conversational Hebrew over the summer had to travel to Israel. Now a growing number of American Jewish day camps are offering Hebrew-immersion programs, where kids do the standard day camp activities — swimming, arts and crafts, music, zip-lining and field trips —… Read More

Flashback: Debbi Weinberg

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Debbi Weinberg grew up attending Jewish camps. From Milldale to Louise to Timber Ridge, camps have been a major part of this Baltimore native and Pikesville High School graduate’s life since she was very young. In addition to her full-time role as founder and director of GEM (Girls’ Empowerment Mission), Weinberg also serves as co-chair… Read More

Beware of Poison Ivy!

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It’s green, bushy and lurks in leaves of three: It’s poison ivy. Urushiol is an oily allergen that is found on the leaves of poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac. This toxin causes an uncomfortable skin rash that can easily spread to another person. With an abundance of nature-rich camp activities, it is important… Read More

It’s Spring Break: Time for Camp!

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Summer is not the only time that kids can enjoy a fun and educational camping experience. Nip boredom in the bud: Get your 9 to 12-year-olds away from TV and video games and give them an enriching spring break by enrolling them in Junior Achievement of Central Maryland’s Biz Town Spring Break Camp in Owings… Read More

Great Beginnings

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One dollar was all it took. At least, that’s how longtime director Sara Yudlson recounted the start of Camp Louise in a self-published history. Post World War I, she writes, immigrants were pouring into the United States. Many young women worked long hours in crowded, unsafe factories. Lillie Meyer Straus, the wife of Aaron Straus,… Read More

‘They Were So Cool’

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She met them nearly 30 years ago, but Jenny Wingrat still remembers her three favorite counselors from good old Camp Wohelo. Even though Camp Wohelo is no more (the Waynesboro, Pa., property is now Capital Camps), Wingrat will never forget the impact Penny, Beth and Jenny had on her life when she was a camper… Read More

Best Of Both Worlds

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When the first Jewish summer camps were founded over a century ago, they offered youngsters respite from urban blight and disease, opportunities for friendship and independence and a taste of Jewish culture. Nowadays, the relationship between Jewish summer camping, Jewish identity building and the continuity of the Jewish people is well documented. Yet, in order… Read More

Habonim Dror: A Recipe For Engagement

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When asked to summarize the 78-year-old Habonim Dror Progressive Zionist movement, Camp Moshava executive director Jen Silber is understandably overwhelmed. “It’s a kibbutz-like environment dedicated to inclusion and social justice; campers are challenged to develop a strong and personal connection to Israel and the Jewish people and in doing so gain leadership skills and form… Read More