Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Camp J is ready for summer 2014


Summer is quickly approaching and in less than two months Camp J will be starting its 42nd summer at the Roth Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando. The national award-winning summer camp in the heart of Maitland prides itself on being a safe and fun environment for children to spend the summer infused with Jewish values and national award-winning programming.

“Camp J is unlike any camp around because we have so many different activities in one place,” said Abby Paulson, Camp J director. “Not all children have the same interests, so we have different options for campers. For example, we have a theater camp run by Starving Artist Studios, for campers entering 4th-9th grade who get to experience what it is like to put on a full-length show from auditions to the last bow. For more athletic children, we have sports camps for everything from soccer to taekwondo to golf and even SCUBA diving.”

The activities aren’t the only things that set Camp J apart from the rest. Because of its location, campers in Camp J often have younger siblings attending Camp J Junior, housed in the same building. Parents don’t have to drop their children off at multiple locations; they have programming for children as young as 18 months all the way through 15 years old.

How does Camp J manage to provide programming for campers entering kindergarten through tenth grade all in one place? According to Paulson, they use a model that the JCC Association recommends called aspirational arcs.

“Aspirational arcs is a step program where every year campers will have something new to look forward to. For example, campers entering kindergarten look forward to coming back in first grade when they have a late night and can stay through dinner. Campers entering first grade look forward to having their first overnight, which happens in second grade,” Paulson explained.

“As a parent of five kids ranging from five to 16 years old, I have had the pleasure of having my children experience summer camp at the JCC for the past 10 years,” said Tara Harris, JCC board vice president of Children’s Programs. “My children have had the choice of exploring other camp options over the years, but always decide that Camp J is their home,” Harris explained.

Think that Camp J is just for kids in elementary school? Think again. Thanks to its new middle school travel group, campers entering 6th-9th grades get to go to Miami, Savannah, and Tampa for a 3-day, 2-night overnight. Campers also participate in community service projects once per week.

The staff has been hired, the activities have been planned, the field trips have been booked, the supplies have been ordered, and Camp J is ready to open its doors for its 2014 season. Campers who have never attended Camp J before are eligible for the New Camper Discount and can receive $100 off. For more information, please contact Abby Paulson at abbyp@orlandojcc.org or call the Camp Office at 407-621-4049.


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