We know it's a large commitment and we're here and answer all your questions.
Most cabins have 10-12 campers and two college-age counselors. We work hard to place campers in cabins where we think they will thrive; this includes connecting first time campers with other first timers and with returners who will pull them right into the fun of Camp.
If they’re the same age and gender – and they both request to be together – we’ll do our best. In general, we work hard to place campers in cabins with other campers and staff members with whom we think they will thrive.
Our campers come from all kinds of backgrounds—and each has a different story to tell. We have interfaith families; campers and staff of all sexual orientations and gender identities, as well as those from LGBTQ families; people of color; individuals with special needs; and families from all socio-economic situations. We’d love to hear your story; please contact us to talk more about diversity at Camp.
Virtually all of our American staff grew up with us as campers. In addition, we have counselors and other staff from Israel, Aruba, South Africa, Mexico, Uganda, Australia, Netherlands, Colombia, Ukraine, and other places around the globe.
More than half of our families receive financial support in order to send children to Camp Havaya; many of these families have two parents with professional positions who, quite simply, can’t afford Camp without some help. Our scholarship committee works hard to try and guarantee, when possible, that no camper is turned away from Camp for financial reasons. Scholarship applications must be postmarked by January 31; for more information (even after that date), please contact us.
Kids love the food at Camp! Why? It’s not just because we don’t serve bug juice. It’s because we’re committed to serving food that is fresh, varied, and full of flavor. Our menus have been reviewed by a nutritionist to ensure they are healthy and well-balanced. All of our food is kosher and we have plentiful vegetarian food as well as vegan, lactose free, and gluten free options. (In a commitment to the environment, we generally serve meat no more than five times per week.) We strive to run a nut-free program and we work closely with families to accommodate other food allergies and needs. Check out our menu!
We have two nurses on-site throughout the summer; many weeks we also have a doctor. Medication is distributed by our nurses; we work with CampMeds to provide pre-packaged pills for campers who take medication on a daily basis. If a camper needs to be taken out of Camp for medical care, we are 20 minutes from an urgent care and 35 minutes from the hospital.
We have campers from across North America and the world! If you’re a plane ride away, we’ll set you up with our travel agent to make arrangements and then we’ll meet your child at the airport. (And we even provide travel subsidies … and free airfare for most first time campers.) If you live within driving distance, we may offer bus service from your area.
Part of the camp experience is learning to take care of yourself, and our counselors are great at helping our younger campers. From making the bed and cleaning up the cabin to making sure to get the shampoo out of your hair and writing a letter home (with paper and pen – not e-mail!), our caring staff members support campers every step of the way.
We create an environment that embraces diverse experiences and beliefs while remaining distinctly—and strongly—Jewish. Our havaya (experiential education) program changes every day and focuses in a fun and engaging way on values, tikkun olam (social action), Israel, and “hot topics” that impact our campers in their lives throughout the year. Each day begins and ends with a spiritual moment; throughout the week, we have services, meditation, yoga, and other opportunities (including camper choices) for connecting to something bigger than ourselves. Throughout all of this, our campers approach Jewish life on their own terms and, because it’s personal, the connection they make to Judaism is lasting.
For many campers, Shabbat is their favorite part of the week. On Friday night, campers dress up slightly for a music-filled service, followed by dinner and a raucous song session and Israeli dancing on the lawn. After sleeping in on Saturday morning, campers have a sweet breakfast and services in our outdoor chapel, followed by a picnic lunch. In the afternoon, all of Camp gathers together to relax, swim, play sports, read, and hang out with friends, before joining together for dinner, “Shabbat Unplugged” (our weekly all-camp talent show), a short havdalah service, and a campfire in the Eco-Village. It’s truly a day of rest like in no other place!
Please be in touch with us if you’d like to schedule one-on-one academic support or private sports lessons (or practice time) for your child. While this isn’t part of our regular program, we will do our best to find a staff member who can meet your needs.
The summer will be here before you know it and we know there may be a lot of questions. We’re happy to help!
Worry not! We have a new name but, deep down, we’re still the same incredibly diverse and welcoming community where kids explore Judaism in their own ways and become the best versions of themselves.