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What’s the Best Age to Start Sleepaway Camp?

You’ve sent your kids to day camp and they’ve had a great time. This summer, you are wondering if your child will be old enough for sleepaway camp. Unfortunately, the answer to that question isn’t always an easy one to come by. Some experts recommend one age, while others recommend another. It boils down to this: Your child is ready when they are ready.

For some children, being school-aged is old enough to go to sleepaway camp. For some, this is still too young. Many camps offer overnights to children as young as 6. Other camps don’t allow children to spend the night until they reach age 7. For children this young, overnight camps often take place during a “starter week.” Children spend the days with counselors and friends, and many camps also have parental volunteers.

If you are gasping, feeling as though there is no way your first-grader is ready to spend a week away from you, consider these reasons that young children often do so well at camp:

  1. They are able to develop their confidence and independence early.
  2. They aren’t typically as homesick as older children.
  3. It is often easier to find a spot at popular camps for younger children.
  4. Your children can develop social skills and positive relationships with same- or similar-aged peers.

At the end of the day, it really comes down to you knowing your child. If you are interested in your little one attending a Jewish summer camp this year, reach out to our team. We may be able to help you with financial aid to make camp more affordable.

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Experience Jewish Summer Camp in Podcast Form!

Thousands of children attend summer camp every year. The relationships that are developed at those camps and the stories that arise out of activities, events and socializing can last a lifetime. If you are a parent considering sending your child to a Jewish summer camp this coming season, you are making a great choice that will affect your little one long past the time that they come home.

One “kid” had such a good time at a Jewish summer camp that he has turned his experience into a podcast. Finding it difficult to keep up with all of the friends he made at camp now that they are adults with their own busy lives, Micah Hart decided to start a podcast to share his stories and hopefully get back in touch with the good friends he made when he was younger.

While your child may not be inspired to make a podcast or write a book about their experiences, they are sure to have the time of their lives. Here are a few things that you can expect for your child when they attend summer camp, according to Hart’s podcast, “Campfires and Color Wars.”

  1. Physical Activity

What would camp be without participation in sports or other physical activity? As Hart points out in his podcast, dodgeball and tetherball were great activities. Those may or may not be activities your son or daughter will participate in, but they will surely be active in some way. Many camps offer swimming, baseball, kickball and more. Instead of sitting in front of a television, your children will be active, at least for a week.

  1. Education

If you want your child to learn more about their Jewish faith, get a little bit better in math or even participate in science experiments, you can find a camp that is perfect. Camp is about more than sports, aiming to teach your child how to be a well-rounded person.

  1. Social Skills

Some parents today are simply stumped at how to help their child develop social relationships when relationships are constructed online. Instagram, Snapchat and other social media giants seem to have taken over what used to be visiting homes, calling people on the telephone and going to the movies. A favorite part of camp, Hart says, was “messing around with friends” after the structured activities were over. It’s a great opportunity for your child to develop social skills.

Some parents don’t always want to know what goes on at camp, but if you can take the stories with a grain of salt, Hart’s podcast could give you a better idea of the fun your child can expect. It’s been aired every two weeks since 2016 and has dedicated followers.

If you are interested in sending your child to a camp but are wondering how you will pay for it, we are happy to offer financial aid for Jewish summer camp to make things easier for your family. Reach out to us today to learn more.

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3 Things to Do While Your Kids Are at Camp

For many parents, the thought of their child being away from home at summer camp is a stressful one. Parents worry that their children will be homesick, won’t be taken care of or will be injured. Most find that these fears are not the reality and that their children have a great time while they are away.  

Instead of getting emotional at the thought of your kids leaving for a few days, start making plans for yourself. There are several things you can do to pass the time. Here are some ideas.

1. Take a Trip

Take a trip of your own. When was the last time you had an adults-only vacation? Now would be a great time to take a break by yourself or with your partner. If you decide to go off on a short trip, make sure that the camp has emergency contact information on file in case they can’t get ahold of you.

2. Eat Like an Adult

Forget frozen nuggets and mac-and-cheese. Now is the time to eat that adult food you’ve been craving. As a bonus, you can eat it without complaints sounding from little faces. Try some sushi, go out for a four-star meal, whatever you desire. The time is yours.

3. Catch Up With Friends

Getting together with friends can be difficult when everyone has little ones. Now would be a great time to catch up with some of those people you haven’t seen in a while. Grab a cup of coffee in the middle of the afternoon or head out for a night on the town. You get to decide.

Treat your kids’ time at summer camp like a small break for yourself. Use the ideas above or come up with some of your own. If you are interested in pursuing financial aid for Jewish summer camp this year, reach out to our helpful team. We will be happy to help you.

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Biggest Myths About Summer Camp

Is summer on your mind yet? If you are like many, the hottest months of the year seem a long way off. The fact is that summer really isn’t that far away, and you may want to start thinking about which camp your kids will be attending. If you’re still up in the air about whether or not you will send your children to camp at all, let’s talk about a few of the myths surrounding summer camp.

1. It’s Not for Everyone

This simply isn’t true. There are thousands of Jewish summer camps out there, both sleepaway and day camps, that will provide a wealth of experience for anyone. There are camps based on interests and needs, ensuring that you can find the perfect one for your child.

2. It’s Expensive

Camp isn’t cheap, don’t get us wrong, but it isn’t cost prohibitive. Add to that the large amount of help that is out there and money shouldn’t be a concern. If you want to send your kids to camp, there’s definitely a way that you can afford it, whether through fundraising, scholarships or some other means.

3. It’s All Fun and Games

While summer do camps want your child to have a good time, Jewish summer camps are centered around specific ideals and experiences. This means that your little ones will have fun, but they will learn while they are doing it. Don’t think of camp as a time waster.

If you are interested in sending your children to camp, you should look into it. Whether you are looking to send your kids away for a strictly religious experience, an educational one or a physical one, there is a Jewish summer camp out there that’s right for your family.

We understand that the cost of camp may be a luxury that some can’t afford. We are happy to provide financial aid for Jewish summer camp for families in need. Please contact us to learn more about how we can assist you and your family this summer.

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How To Roast the Perfect Marshmallow

One of the best things about camp are the memories made sitting around a campfire and exchanging stories. But the best part of a campfire? Roasting marshmallows. Follow these steps, and you’re sure to have the perfect marshmallows when you go to Jewish summer camp.

1. Build a Fire

To have the perfect fire for roasting, start building your fire an hour before you break out the marshmallows. Be sure that you have a safe fire pit area and appropriate fire-starting tools. Using dry tinder such as paper or dryer lint, make a pile along with small twigs. Once the fire is lit, add in dry branches to enhance the size and longevity.

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Fundraising for Camp? Here Are Some Easy Ideas

Summer camp is often the highlight of a child’s year, but it can be difficult to figure out how you’re going to pay for this experience. Here are some fundraising ideas to keep your Jewish summer camp dreams funded.

1. Recycle for Cash

Teach kids about the value of recycling, while sending in the materials collected to a center that will pay you for items such as ink cartridges and aluminum cans!

2. Bake Sale

A classic fundraiser, have kids and parents provide homemade snacks that practically sell themselves. You can organize a bake sale with other families who are raising money for camp, or do it on your own.

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Why Jewish Summer Camp Is Worth Every Dime

School ends, and kids have nothing to do for three months. That may be true of other children, but not yours. You have no desire to let your children spend the summer sitting on the couch playing video games. You know they need something to keep them active, but you aren’t sure you have the money for summer camp. The truth is that if you can afford it or get financial assistance, Jewish summer camp is worth every single dime you will spend. Here’s why.

1. Social Growth

Any type of camp that includes multiple children gives little ones lessons in social skills. Your child will learn to be part of a team, lead others and work to achieve a common goal. These are skills that your child will carry into adulthood.

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What to Include in a Care Package for Jewish Summer Camp

Attending Jewish summer camp is a big deal for kids. It is often their first time away from home, and they may be left feeling a bit lonely and anxious. A great way to send a bit of love from home is with a care package. But what should you include? Here are some ideas:

1. Craft Supplies

If your little one is a budding artist, a box of craft supplies is a great idea. A sketchbook and some watercolor pencils can give your child something to do in their downtime.

2. A Group Activity

Help your child make friends by sending something that they can do as a group. Plain fabric bags and a bow or two of fabric markers will allow the entire cabin to come together to participate in a fun activity.

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Find the Jewish Summer Camp That’s Right for Your Family

When you are looking for a Jewish summer camp for your kids, the choices can be overwhelming. Many parents begin to wonder if camp really matters. The short answer is yes, camp does matter. Camp is more than bonfires and roasted marshmallows; it provides your children with an experience that they may not get elsewhere.

If you are looking for the perfect Jewish summer camp for your child, here are some tips that can help you narrow down your choices.

1. History

The first thing to look for is a camp that has been active for years. Experts agree that a poorly-run summer camp wouldn’t stay in operation. You can feel safe when you find a camp that has been running every summer for decades.

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How to Save for Jewish Summer Camp

It’s almost winter, meaning that it may seem to you as if next summer a long way off. If you want to send your child to Jewish summer camp, now is a great time to start saving. On average, it costs about $85 per day to send a child to camp, which can make coming up with several hundred dollars difficult for some families. Saving now could mean that your child gets an opportunity they wouldn’t otherwise have. Here are six tips for saving.

1. Start Early

Start saving now. Research the costs now and start putting money away. Many camps have savings for early registration, so the sooner you have the money, the more you may save.

2. Look for Aid

Many organizations, such as the Jewish Federation of  Atlanta, provide scholarships and aid for camp. Start researching your options now to determine what you will need to do to qualify.

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