Capital Camps is the premier Jewish community overnight camp in the region. Our program is designed to ensure only the highest possible standards of supervision, program and facility. Campers entering grades 3 through 12 live in one of four villages according to their grade in school for the coming year:
- Benjamin Village (grades 3-5)
- Reich Village (grades 6-7)
- Kaufmann Village (grades 8-9)
- Macks Village (grade 10)
We also provide a fun and engaging leadership training experience to teens in rising grades 11 and 12:
- Leaders-in-Training (LIT – grade 11)
- Counselors-in-Training (CIT Program – grade 12)
Our summer season is split into multiple sessions:
- Session I – 4 weeks (rising grades 3 through 5 may choose a two-week session option)
- Session II – 3 weeks
- Full summer – 7 weeks
Get a taste for Summer 2013 with these slideshows from this summer:
We offer all of the traditional activities you would find at the majority of quality overnight camps.In addition, we have chosen five areas: soccer, basketball, tennis, theater, ropes and adventure, in which to focus and develop programs of excellence.
Our schedule is a mixture of group activities and personal choice, designed to ensure children are experiencing new things and participating in programs that they love. As the camper grows older they have more choices that are their own. This group-work modality that, as a camper returns year over year, grows into individual choice is a formula that helps ensure camp remains fresh and that program is not repetitive. Moreover, it ensures bonding is primary for our youngest campers and friendship can be woven within the context of activities.
Activities are taught by qualified specialists under the careful supervision of our year-round staff. Staff is chosen for their maturity, understanding of the specialty area and of child development. In areas including sports, theater arts, fine arts, aquatics, ropes adventure course and nature we also offer ‘intensives’, where campers may immerse themselves in an interest area for a concentrated period of time and make greater strides in improving a specific skill or talent. Each day consists of six activity periods designed to provide a stimulating mix of fun, challenge, risk and skill acquisition.
At camp sometimes we just drop everything and enjoy a one-of-a-kind celebration. These events capture the imagination and hearts of our entire community and allow us to experience the ruach (spirit) and excitement that can only be found at camp. So whether it is Maccabiah (color war), ‘Backwards Day’, Israel Day, or an ‘80’s themed dinner, campers will have the time of their lives as they play, learn, compete and grow together.
Long Term Engagement
As you choose a camp we hope you consider the long-term impact and find one that expects the relationship to last for a decade or more! Our goal is for every camper to graduate our camper program and return as a staff member. This ensures that legend and lore is passed to the next generation.
To achieve this and help campers transition into fabulous staff, we provide a heavily subsidized two year leadership program that balances the needs of teens (and their parents) and that of camp itself. The two programs are invitation only and have entry criteria:
- Leaders in Training (LIT) provides our rising 11th graders an intensive experience for teens with leadership potential and is focused on the nuances and importance of program planning and execution. LITs participate in a multi-day off-camp experience.
- Counselors in Training (CIT) helps our rising 12th graders learn first-hand how to work with children and focuses on the developmental stages associated with childhood. The program includes an exciting community service trip that bonds the group and provides lifelong memories.
Part of the joy of a quality camp program is that some days have routine (which can help ensure stability during the first days of a new experience) and others are flexible. What is for certain is that no two days are ever the same! Below is an outline of a typical day, but remember, that every day at Capital Camps is new, different and exciting!
- 08:00 am B’yachad (Flag-raising)
- 8:15 am Breakfast
- 9:00 am Nikayon (cabin clean-up)
- 9:45 am Aquatics
- 10:45 am Chugim (camper chosen elective or hobby)
- 12:00 pm Lunch
- 12:45 pm Menucha (rest hour)
- 3:00 pm Sports
- 4:00 pm Canteen (snack)
- 4:30 pm Arts
- 5:30 pm Shower Hour
- 6:30 pm Dinner Younger Camper Evening Schedule
- 7:15 pm Evening Program
- 8:30 pm Cabin Time
- 9:00 pm Lailah Tov! (Goodnight!) Older Camper Evening Schedule
- 7:15 pm Free Play
- 8:15 pm Evening Program
- 9:30 pm Cabin Time
- 10:00 pm Lailah Tov! (Goodnight!)
Capital Camps is pluralistic and therefore welcomes all Jews to join us. Regardless of your affiliation or degree of observance we are here as your Jewish community home away from home. We encourage all participants to choose how they will observe and create a spiritual balance that is respectful of their beliefs (and those of their parents). This is not about formal classroom learning, this is literally the touch, feel and taste of Judaism being introduced in a way that allows campers to take ownership of their own spiritual journey.
For us, living Jewishly includes living in cabins named after places in Israel, eating delicious kosher food, enjoying Shabbat prayer services that are fun, vibrant and engaging and where Jewish values such as shomrei adamah (preserving the earth) are a part of the culture. These experiences create indelible impressions that build Jewish identity and pride. Bottom line – we make Jewish cool and research supports our approach as having a meaningful and positive impact on building Jewish identity.
Shabbat is Special
On Friday afternoon our most anticipated special day of the week begins – Shabbat. Each week, a different camper village leads our community in worship- prayer, song, dance and creative writings. We even offer multiple types of services depending on your level of comfort and observance. Following services we enjoy a traditional Shabbat dinner complete with fresh challah, matzo ball soup and chicken (with options for vegetarians, of course!). Add in some ruach (spirit) in the form of singing and dancing and you have the perfect Capital Camps style Friday night!
Saturdays at camp have a tone and tempo marking that this day is different from the rest of the week. Breakfast is served later than normal, followed by services by village. From food to afternoon program choices it is a different day. In the evening we gather together for Havdalah, arm in arm to sing songs and close out another wonderful camp Shabbat experience.
The safety of children is the filter through which we view everything that happens at camp!We have also established a set of obligations and core values that help focus our efforts in terms of staff training and oversight. These become the prism through which we view camp and help ensure everyone’s success.
The safety of every child is a sacred trust and the basis for the relationship with our camp families. You trust us with your child and we put that responsibility before all others. With this in mind, we provide the following:
- Risk Management
Over and above the Camp Director, Assistant Director and other seasonal senior staff are two senior agency executives who reside at camp. This team of people is constantly alert and vigilant to areas, program and activities that have the potential to cause harm. Our goal is to spot and prevent issues before they become of significance. Children will get bumped and sometimes bruised, however, our job is to let that be part of the regular life of a child and nothing more serious.
- Health & Wellness
Our Health Center is staffed by qualified nurses and volunteer physicians, in a state-of-the-art facility. In addition, we are fortunate to have Waynesboro Hospital emergency room less than ten minutes from camp.
- Mental Health Professionals
Social workers and allied professionals ensure the mental health of our campers and staff.
Comprehensive background checks are performed on all staff and staff wear photo IDs on site.
- Facility Security
We have a monitored electronic gate entrance that limits entry to those we wish to grant access. In addition, we work with local law enforcement agencies to ensure our community remains safe.
Senior staff are connected via walkie-talkies and emergency phones are located all around our property.
2. Role Models
Our staff must be exemplary role models at all times as their behaviors are going to be mirrored by campers. this obligation (as well as others) are emphasized throughout our staff training.
Camp is about fun. If camp isn’t fun, none of the serious child development and identity building can take place.
Experiencing life as part of a larger community is an important life lesson taught at camp. Campers learn responsibility for others and to appreciate how individual actions can impact the larger group.
2. Challenge & Risk/Etgar v’ Hishtadlut
Being away from home requires campers to think independently, to make choices that may result in them finding success, risk, failure, perseverance and myriad other emotions and outcomes. We help guide the children through the highs and occasional lows associated with communal life.
Campers are inspired to think critically and undertake daily living skills that are not typically found during the school year. This is what makes camp so unique and it is through this process of self empowerment that they can become more self confident.
4. Jewish Education/Chinuch
Immersion in a living and breathing Jewish community is fun and vibrant. We weave a tapestry of Jewish education in a way that appeals to children and makes it fun.
Food is a critical component to a successful summer. Campers and staff must have great tasting food in order to ‘fuel their engines’ and participate in all our amazing activities. At the same time surroundings make a difference and our air-conditioned and spacious dining hall makes sure no-one feels crowded. Food is, and always has been a social time where people sit, talk and eat as a ‘family’. When terrific tasty food is matched with stunning surroundings you have all the ingredients (pardon the pun!) for first class food service.
As a community camp that welcomes every kind of Jew, we are proud to be a Glatt kosher facility under the supervision of Star-K Kashrut.
Menus are reviewed annually by nutritionists and we go out of our way to ensure everyone eats well and thrives. With life-long healthy eating a national priority we include in our regular menu options that help children develop appropriate eating habits. Our salad bar is always available and a Healthy Choices menu option is available at all meals.
To ensure complete safety and remain all-inclusive our facility is peanut and tree-nut prohibitive. Other dietary needs can often be accommodated including vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, egg free, lactose free and sugar free. We have designated staff in our kitchen whose sole responsibility is to prepare these special menus and ensure children with special dietary needs are treated with care and respect and eat a well balanced menu. To ensure children have enough ‘fuel to burn’ we also serve snacks during the day and at night-time.
Healthy Choice Meal Plan:
At Capital Camps we recognize that eating habits are changing, with healthier choices a priority. While our regular menu carefully blends nutrition with ‘camp favorites’, for some children and young adults they would prefer a more healthful menu. With this in mind, we are proud to offer campers a weekly menu that emphasizes these options and allows them to make the choice for themselves. Sign up is voluntary, undertaken on a weekly basis (they can choose their first week in advance of the summer) and is another great example of how we encourage children to make choices for themselves.
Spaghetti w/ Meat Sauce
From inception, Capital Camps has had an abiding commitment to the concept of ‘camp for all’. Our Atzma’im (Independence) program is designed to provide a meaningful immersive Jewish Camp experience for children with special needs. A shining jewel of our camp program, this fully-inclusive option mainstreams campers into traditional cabins where they receive additional staff support to ensure their success. Our ADA compliant facility provides improved access for those with physical challenges, and our talented supervisory staff guide specially trained counselors to guarantee a superior experience. All new campers participate in a low-key pre-camp screening prior to formal registration to establish that the placement is appropriate and to set expectations that are realistic for each individual camper.
We are proud that we are one of the few quality Jewish residential camps to offer this type of program which at present is available to rising 3rd through 10th grades.
We truly believe that our entire community benefits from interacting with Atzma’im participants as we live, play, laugh and dream alongside one another. Please be in touch with us directly for more information.