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Day and Overnight Camps

Did you know?
Surprise Lake Camp and Tamarack Camps hosted their first campers in 1902. Both JCC camps, they were the very first Jewish summer camps in the country!

The excitement of making new friends, the fun of exciting activities, the magic of community—camp lets kids do it all, Jewishly.

We all know that there’s something about camp that makes it like no other Jewish experience. The Foundation for Jewish Camp’s 2011 “Camp Works” research showed just that—Jewish camp, “creates adults who are committed to the Jewish community and engaged in Jewish practice.”

Our job is to help you create that kind of environment. We assist you and your JCC camp professionals in developing a vision of excellence and provide you with the tools to achieve it. We offer opportunities for your camp professionals to learn together and connect to one another, so that they, too, build a rich community of learning and support.

Find out more about our shlichim program, which brings Israeli staff members to JCC camps across the continent.

We understand the uniqueness of creating the highest quality camp experience within a pluralistic Jewish camp environment, and we assist camps in creating rich, meaningful, caring Jewish communities. And children who attend camp are more likely as adults to participate in Jewish life, with 30 percent more likely to donate to a Jewish cause, 45 percent more likely to attend synagogue monthly or more, and 55 percent more likely to be emotionally attached to Israel.

Today, JCC day and overnight camps represent the largest network of Jewish camps in North America, serving thousands of children, teens and staff each summer. Over the years, as Jewish camping has been recognized for the critical role it can play in developing Jewish identity, JCC Association’s camping department has grown in the scope of work.

And while overnight camp has long been seen as a conduit to Jewish engagement, starting in 2011, with the launch of our Day Camp Initiative, we have played a pivotal role in putting Jewish day camp on the map. Our publication, The Complete Guide to JCC Day Camp, published in 2014 is a comprehensive go-to manual for day camp professionals.

It’s not enough to create happy campers. Success is a network of day and overnight camps working together to create meaningful Jewish journeys for them, their staff and their camp families. JCC camps should be known for high quality–places that build community and promote individual growth while serving as hubs of Jewish innovation and excellence.