“I’m taking the campers to a homeless shelter for the first field trip of the summer,” I shared with my director.

“Okaaaay…,” she replied, unenthusiastically.

“This is going to be such an incredible summer! I have so many fun field trips and activities planned!” I continue without missing a beat.

“You mean, besides the one to the homeless shelter?” she questioned.

“What? No! That one’s going to be great!”

To provide some context, we were visiting Homefull’s Family Living Center to work in their urban garden and learn about the challenges many children in Dayton are facing. Chesed (kindness) was the Jewish value that was our focus that summer. The staff at Camp Shalom envisions camp as a holistic experience where our campers become part of a community that plays, learns and grows together.

“One thing that makes Camp Shalom unlike any other camp is its emphasis on exploring the world around us. Campers have the chance to experience the outdoors, interact with people from different backgrounds, and discover new places in the community. Each day at  Camp Shalom is unique, and even as an adult, I found myself learning new things every day,” shares senior counselor Rachel Boyd. Jese Shell, another counselor adds, “Camp Shalom promotes an atmosphere of mutual respect and works to develop the mind of each camper through a variety of experiences that are fun, challenging and engaging.”

Campers cooling off with their toes in the water at Smale Park

Because Camp Shalom is a smaller camp we have the flexibility to share more unique experiences with the campers. Know how to rope a dummy calf? Our campers do!

Each year brings a new camp theme and Jewish value. Our theme for 2019 is “The Summer of Possibilities” and our Jewish value is Ometz Lev (courage). Throughout the summer we will explore different destinations around our region, talk with professionals from various backgrounds and cultivate campers’ courage, which Judaism believes is innately endowed in each of us.

Shoshana Farrell has two boys enrolled in Camp Shalom. “They have attended other camps, but Camp Shalom is unique in that they enjoy the cultural education, focus on doing good in the community, and celebrating Jewish holidays. They have built long lasting relationships with their counselors and camp friends and continue to enjoy all the awesome activities.”

How does Camp Shalom look from a camper’s perspective? Lena Elder shares, “There is always a big adventure to go on (or a) big surprise coming!” Counselor Jese would agree, “No two days are alike! The camp day flies as we move from activity to activity and build strong friendships and bonds over the summer that last years.”

…Camp Shalom is unique in that they enjoy the cultural education, focus on doing good in the community, and celebrating Jewish holidays. They have built long lasting relationships with their counselors and camp friends and continue to enjoy all the awesome activities.

~ Shoshana Farrell
camp shalom parent

…Camp Shalom is unique in that they enjoy the cultural education, focus on doing good in the community, and celebrating Jewish holidays. They have built long lasting relationships with their counselors and camp friends and continue to enjoy all the awesome activities.

~ Shoshana Farrell
camp shalom parent

…Camp Shalom is unique in that they enjoy the cultural education, focus on doing good in the community, and celebrating Jewish holidays. They have built long lasting relationships with their counselors and camp friends and continue to enjoy all the awesome activities.

~ Shoshana Farrell
camp shalom parent

Noelia Polanco, Assistant Camp Director at Camp Shalom for the past two summers, is a school psychologist in the Fairborn School District. “Camp Shalom is a one-of-a-kind experience for campers where they are exposed to learning opportunities that focus on the importance of community, culture, and the value of new experiences. Campers are able to experience all of these things in engaging and fun ways that encourage them to continue to seek out these experiences in their everyday lives.”

Once you watch a hesitant camper strap on a harness and scale a climbing wall, pet a dog they were terrified of, capture a flag for their team, braid a beautiful challah, make a new friend, or hug their counselor—then you’ll understand what Camp Shalom is all about!

As for the trip to the homeless shelter—in case you’re wondering if the kids had a good time, check out the picture of the boys in the green t-shirts and decide for yourself!

Campers showing off the seeds that they planted at Homefull’s Family Living Center in Dayton

Specialty Camps

We are excited to announce a range of one-week specialty camps in addition to our traditional camp offering for 2019! These camps are designed for children who are passionate about a topic and have a desire to learn more. The specialties will take place in the mornings, then the campers will join the traditional camp for lunch and the remainder of the afternoon. So if your child can’t get enough art, soccer, theatre, or computers, we’re saving a spot for them in one of our specialty camps!

Art
Campers will have opportunities to explore several art media, both 2D and 3D, and explore how the arts are used in various careers. We will explore graphic design, illustration, jewelry making, and even conduct scientific investigations to create artworks. Students will closely observe elements of nature to create their very own nature-inspired jewelry, batik paintings, prints, and clay sculptures.

Soccer
Campers will be exposed to guided-discovery games allowing them to fall in love with the game while learning the basics. We promote a creative environment where campers explore new skills and strategies in a fun and fluid way. Our soccer specialty camp is led by Andy Szucs, a nationally licensed coach, and the Technical Director of the Dayton Players Academy.

Theatre
Theatre specialty camp will teach campers the fundamentals of acting, where it started, how it has evolved over the years, as well as the basics of blocking, movement and stage directions. They will have the opportunity to create their own individual piece of theatre from inception to final curtain call, including creating a story-line, writing a script and studying character development.

STEM
Campers will learn to code and create their own computer games using Scratch, a programming platform developed by MIT used worldwide to introduce kids to coding. The camp will encourage kids to improve critical thinking, use logic and creativity, and learn effective problem solving.

For more information on Summer Camp, please contact Meryl Hattenbach, Program Manager at (937) 401-1550 or mhattenbach@jfgd.net.

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