By Ruben Arquilevich, Executive Director of URJ Camp Newman
“I am my best at Camp”
“My best friends are from Camp”
“I love celebrating Judaism at Camp”
“Camp is home”
“I learn and grow so much at Camp”
“Camp saved my life”
“Why can’t camp be all year long?” “Why can’t I take camp home?”
As thousands of children, staff, faculty who have spent weeks or months in Jewish camps across the country begin to sunset their summers, with endless goodbye hugs and tears, we yearn for one more hour in our camp utopias.
While camps may not be able to replicate the full summer experience throughout the school year, camps are uniquely positioned to provide the touchstones all year long. Camps know how to create the immersive Jewish community, filled with friendships, mentors, and the joy of Jewish living that translate to greater meaning, purpose, and connection for a lifetime.
Perhaps camp can be all year long and we can take camp home!
URJ Camp Newman began exploring with providing the blessings of year-round Camp and NFTY about eight years ago, growing from serving about 3,000 campers and staff per year to almost 9,000 per year. Campers, staff, and faculty reunite for weekend and school retreats all year long, building on the community and relationships they formed during summer and building towards future summers for new campers.
Considering the success of Jewish camping on strengthening the Jewish community, the exploration of year-round camp might be a new trend, a new chapter in Jewish camping’s 100+ year history. Numerous URJ Camps (like URJ Greene Family Camp, Harlam, URJ Eisner Camp) are exploring year-round engagement as well as many other camps.
We look forward to continuing the journey with you all, all year long, life long. Here’s how – click the button below for our printable year-round calendar of Jewish experiences and the many opportunities we give you to see your camp friends again and again before Summer 2018!