The Competitive Edge
Specialty Tracks in Jewish Overnight Camps
Competitive Edge provides training and financial support for Jewish overnight camps to plan and implement new specialty tracks in their traditional camps. The lack of Jewish specialty options has driven many parents and their children to choose from among the many available secular summer programs, rather than attend a Jewish camp. Through Competitive Edge, Jewish camps offer innovative specialty programs (intensive tracks or a “camp within a camp”), enabling them to successfully recruit and retain new campers who may have otherwise pursued secular summer experiences.
Competitive Edge, generously sponsored by The Gottesman Fund, provides funding for camps to build or upgrade program facilities and equipment and increase staff capacity. Throughout the program, camps participate in workshops with experts and meet with coaches to develop cutting-edge programs, refine marketing and recruitment strategies.
The first cohort of Competitive Edge camps opened their specialty tracks in summer 2019 and the second cohort of camps will open their specialty tracks in summer 2022. To learn more about the participating camps and the specialty tracks, please see below.
*Opened in summer 2019
BB Surfs at B’nai B’rith Camp in Oregon – The BB Surfs is designed for campers to participate in both specialized BB Surfs programming and the beloved core elements of BB Camp including camp trips, Shabbat and other special all-camp programming. A typical day at BB Surfs is comprised of mornings at the beach for surfing instruction, afternoons of typical camp activities and specialized lake time and evenings with the wider camp community.
Berkshire Hills Culinary at Berkshire Hills Eisenberg Camp – Culinary campers spend each morning immersing themselves in the cooking activity of the day in the state of the art culinary studio. Daily content is designed to teach campers new recipes as well as introduce them to new techniques, tools and ingredients. Throughout the summer, campers take trips to local farms, specialty food markets, restaurants and the Culinary Institute of America. Campers also have the opportunity to participate in many non-culinary activities in the afternoons, evenings and Shabbat.
*Expected to open in summer 2022
Moshava Wild Rose is an affiliated camp of the religious Zionist Bnei Akiva of the US & Canada movement, located in Northern Wisconsin. Camp’s programming is focused on a love for the land of Israel and Jewish traditions. In addition to serving the Midwestern Modern Orthodox, Camp Moshava attracts campers from various religious backgrounds, seeking an overnight experience focusing on Israel, kashruth observance and religious practice. Each person is accepted and welcomed, and values the diversity at Moshava Wild Rose.
Camp Moshava Wild Rose will open Moshava Meyuchad, a high-quality Kosher Culinary Arts specialty camp. Under the tutelage of a professional chef, campers will learn the basics of healthy eating and nutrition while developing a wide range of cooking and baking skills and a kosher take on the different cuisines of the world.
JCC Camp Chi (Outdoor Adventure)
For 100 years, Camp Chi has been offering transformative summers on their expansive campgrounds in Wisconsin. From day one, campers are exploring their newfound freedom, making decisions for themselves, gaining independence, and discovering new interests and passions. Campers choose from among 50 specialties each week, many of which are new experiences that encourage them to step out of their comfort zone.
Camp Chi will introduce an Outdoor Adventure specialty track focused on activities related to outdoor education and adventure. Campers will learn about the outdoors and wilderness while developing a greater appreciation for earth’s finest gifts. Through engaging outdoor activities, specific wilderness survival and outdoor living skills, team building activities, learning to live as a group within a larger community and celebrating Jewish life, campers will leave the program with leadership, life and outdoor skills, growth in confidence and self-awareness, a greater sense of responsibility to the world around them and a new found exploration of their Jewish identity.
Ramah in Northern California (Ramah Galim) (Biking)
Camp Ramah in Northern California (also known as Ramah Galim, “Ramah of the Waves”) is an innovative Jewish summer camp located along the beautiful shores of Monterey Bay, California. Ramah Galim offers an overnight camp experience that combines the excitement of specialty programming in ocean exploration, performing arts, and adventure sports with the cherished traditions, nurturing environment, and community-building of a traditional Ramah Camp.
To add to the skill-development opportunities for campers, Ramah Galim will be adding a biking intensive to their adventure sports track. In this specialty, campers will not only build upon their biking skills, but will also learn about climate change, the environment, and mindfulness all through a Jewish lens.
Ramah Canada (Outdoor Leadership)
For the last 61 years, Camp Ramah Canada has empowered young people to become more independent, to gain an appreciation of nature and the environment and to develop important individual and team skills. Ramah Canada features outstanding programs in sports, arts, and waterfront within the context of a dynamic, fun, and caring Jewish community located in the beautiful Muskoka region of Southern Ontario. By combining a love for camping with meaningful Jewish experiences, Ramah instills a love of Judaism, the Jewish people and Israel, while fostering a commitment to community and exemplary local and global citizenship.
Ramah in Canada will be opening an Outdoor Leadership Program in Summer 2022. Campers will participate in an adventurous outdoor experience, through which character and moral development are cultivated in conjunction with a Jewish spiritual experience in camp’s beautiful, natural setting.
URJ Camp Coleman (Adventure/Courageous Warrior Camp)
URJ Camp Coleman, a program of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), has been transforming young lives since 1962. Camp Coleman’s core values of respect, peace, community, and kindness inspire and teach campers and staff to be caring, committed, and connected Jews through an extraordinary camp experience where campers have fun and experience the excitement and warmth of belonging to a Reform Jewish community.
Through Competitive Edge, Camp Coleman will open an Adventure Camp specialty track. Campers will partake and gain skills in adventure-based activities such as whitewater rafting, kayaking, mountain biking, rock climbing, and high ropes. The centerpiece of Adventure Camp will be the new Courageous Warrior Course, an ultimate outdoor custom designed course built to develop and improve campers’ focus, endurance, and strength, and to teach healthy risk-taking through fun and exhilarating individual and team-building activities.
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