and participate in activities at an age-appropriate level. Units have approximately six cabins, all of which are multi-grade.
(entering grades 2, 3, and 4)
Our youngest campers have smaller cabin cohorts, more staff, and a schedule that exposes them to all different the sports, arts, nature-based, and aquatics programming we have to offer. We guide campers as they navigate transitions throughout the day, including the opportunity to choose various components of their daily schedule. Staff in Nitzanim help kids focus on personal hygiene skills, basic organization, and being kind – all skills that will serve them well long past the end of summer! Bedtime is generally between 8:30 and 9:00 pm.
(entering grades 5 and 6)
At this age, we know campers are more conscious of friendships and interpersonal connections … and we create space that allows them to learn about both. We also start to acknowledge that they have their own likes and dislikes and, as we expose them to different activities, we recognize the reality that not everyone likes every activity. We encourage campers to pick choice-based activities that they are interested in, with the notion that they can be friends with people who don’t like all the same things as they do. Ilanot staff help campers focus on hygiene and how best to move through the day while maintaining organization for their own items and taking responsibility for their own actions. Bedtime is generally between 8:45 and 9:15 pm.
(entering grades 7 and 8)
By middle school, many campers have a picture of who they want to hang out with, which activities they want to dive into more deeply, and which parts of the day they will “tolerate.” Nehalim campers have a bit more unstructured time, but still follow a clear schedule. We encourage them to choose what they like during their choice-based programming … and we also recognize that some kids just want to be with their friends, so we make sure there’s a balance of both. Campers are encouraged to help lead younger campers in some activities, play competitive games (whether in sports or Magic: The Gathering), and share their passions at a much higher level in our weekly all-camp talent shows. Cabin cohorts can get a little larger (up to 14 campers) and campers are able to feel some “controlled” freedom – beginning to walk around camp on their own, share their ideas with camp leadership, and be responsible for their personal items without a lot of guidance from staff. (Well, we can hope!) Bedtime is generally between 9:15 and 10:00 pm.
(entering grades 9 and 10)
High schoolers live in our award-winning Eco-Village. In addition to all the fun, there’s a much larger emphasis on becoming who they want to be, how camp can help them learn more about their passions and their personal identities, and what it means to be part of a larger collective society both within camp and outside of our “bubble.” We talk about role-modeling behaviors for younger campers and we provide opportunities for being a leader in the camp community. There’s more unstructured free time and a few times when Harim teens can “takeover” their daily schedules, expanding camp’s offerings to meet their own needs in ways that are authentic to who they are as individuals and as a group. Campers travel campus on their own, are expected to know (and follow!) the schedule, and are personally responsible for their belongings and actions. Bedtime is generally between 9:30 and 10:30 pm.
(entering grade 11)
Over the course of four weeks, teens encounter varied experiences and viewpoints that help them build personal connections and make up their own minds. They explore all areas of Israel – seeing tourist sites and more out-of-the-way places, eating ice-cream and climbing mountains, surfing in Tel Aviv and celebrating Shabbat in Jerusalem. And they learn about creating a shared society with Jews and Arabs together at Givat Haviva, visit Bethlehem and Tekoa to hear from local residents on both sides of the security barrier, and meet Israelis from a myriad of backgrounds who help them gain a better understanding for what life is really like in this complicated and amazing place. Throughout, we aim to provide inspiring, empowering, and fun opportunities that help prepare them to speak thoughtfully and passionately about Israel when they get to college and beyond.
Camp Havaya is a truly extraordinary place—your kid will feel part of something bigger than themselves, and they’ll want to experience that magic year after year.