Gearing Up for Summer Kids and Youth Programs

With the start of summer just around the corner, families are contemplating alternatives to their usual summer fare in light of COVID-19.

For many people, young and old, some of their fondest summertime memories are of camp: the familiar rituals, the group activities, the enduring friendships that are forged and, in some cases, a first fully immersive Jewish experience. Jewish Federation supports a number of camperships to ensure all kids can have access to this wonderful formative experience, and provided $24,000 in emergency funding in April to Camp Miriam and Camp Hativah to help with increased costs due to the pandemic.

This year, many sleepaway camps have been forced to forego their traditional format of welcoming campers and staff to their campground facilities away from the city; day camps have also had to reimagine their structure and programming to ensure activities adhere to current public health protocols. In a wonderful spirit of collaboration, the camps are working together to create safe and fun camp experiences, with the shared goal of giving kids a great summer.  

Here is a summary to date of the variety of summer programs being offered by camps and other Jewish youth organizations.

Summer Camps

JCC Camp Shalom is once again running its full summer day camp program, with a new option that enables families to register on a weekly basis. This year, camp activities will be split between two sites to allow for physical distancing. 

Camp Miriam is coordinating several programs in late June through July for different age groups. A four-week day camp program will be offered in Vancouver for kids in grades two through 10, while a two-week program will be available in Victoria for elementary school students. Grade 11 students can try their hand at being camp counsellors by enrolling in the CIT leadership program.

Camp Hatikvah is presently developing a revised summer program that will include weekly online programming. They will be sharing more of their plans in the coming weeks.

Camp Gan Israel is offering summer day camp programming for kids between the ages of three to 11 years old. This year, activities will include a mix of virtual and face-to-face programs. 

Camp Solomon Schechter is collaborating with the JCC’s Camp Shalom and offering family day programming in July. Come August, they plan to provide a family camp program at their location in Olympia, Washington.  

Youth Programs

BBYO is planning a variety of virtual and in-person youth programs this summer, and will be announcing their summer schedule shortly.

USY is offering a wide range of online summer programming for young people entering fifth grade through those finishing high school, from cooking and performing arts classes, to Israel Affairs and Talmud/Torah programs.

For more information, updates and registration details, visit these organizations’ respective websites.