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Perfect Birthday Gifts for Your “Year-Round Camper”

For some kids, a week or two of camp every year is more than enough time spent hiking, swimming and being constantly outdoors. But for others, going to Jewish summer camp is simply a supplement to a year-round urge to be in the wilderness. If your child is one who would rather spend their free time blazing new trails in the woods instead of playing video games, here are a few gift ideas for birthdays, Hanukkah and other holidays:

1. High-Quality Boots

Depending on how fast your child is growing and how often they are outdoors, they may outgrow athletic shoes seemingly as soon as you buy them. But for teenagers whose feet are pretty much done growing too much, a pair of high-quality hiking boots could be the perfect gift. Though they will be pricey, the right pair can last for years, even under rigorous conditions.

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Why Disconnecting from Tech Is Good for Kids

It’s no secret that our world is more connected than ever before. Between your phone, your laptop, your tablet and your TV, there isn’t much you miss these days. Chances are, your kids are just as connected. Even if they don’t have the same arsenal of screens as you, they probably rely on technology for everything from entertainment to education.

While a more connected world certainly has its benefits, it also has its drawbacks. It probably isn’t realistic to completely disconnect your kids from technology all summer long, but attending camp can provide a welcome reprieve. Here’s why disconnecting from tech for a week or two is good for kids:

1. Create Instead of Consume

When your kids are constantly connected to technology, there is little reason for them to be creative. At camp, the option to simply sit back and consume media all day isn’t available. As such, kids have to be more creative. Further, interacting with nature has been shown to boost problem-solving skills. Often, this newfound creativity comes back with campers, even when they are able to resume their normal level of media consumption.

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The Secret Must-Have Packing List for Summer Camp

When you register your kids for Jewish summer camp, you’ll usually get a list of items that they must bring with them. It will seem to fully list everything your camper will need for their experience, from proper footwear to toiletries to Shabbat clothing. However, there are some items you may want to include that won’t be listed, but will make your camper’s experience even better. Here are just a few secret must-have items for your kid’s summer camp stay:

  1. A Headlamp

While flashlights are always helpful at camp, a headlamp is even better. It frees up your camper’s hands to build fires, pitch tents and do other activities without the inconvenience of finding somewhere to balance a flashlight while doing so. Plus, headlamps just look cool — experienced campers know the value of a good headlamp!

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Life Lessons Only Summer Camp Can Offer

Sleepaway camp is often the highlight of the summer — for kids and parents alike. Kids get to spend time learning new skills and forging new friendships, while parents get a week or two to themselves. Yet, when the kids come home, they often do so as new people. Though camp may be over for the summer, it transforms how they see the world. The life lessons they’ve learned at camp will stay with them for a lifetime:

  1. A Bolder Self-Image

At camp, one of the main goals is to get kids out of their comfort zones. No leap is too big at camp, especially when your new friends are cheering you on. Even when campers come up just short of the

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