Summer camp—the memory probably brings a smile to your face. You can practically still smell the bonfire and the pine trees. Summers at camp are some of the most intense experiences in a young person’s life. Camp friendships (and crushes!) come fast and strong.

Summer camp has always been seen as the antidote to the ills of (sub)urban life. Nature and fresh air are indeed a balm to the spirit and the body. For North American Jews, summer camp is a subculture of its own. Apart from the first taste of independence and adventure that camp provides, it is also the first time that some kids will live in an entirely Jewish world. The impact is profound; Jewish kids who attend summer camp are more likely as adults to feel a strong sense of connection to their Judaism.

Going to overnight camp for the first time can be scary. Read about how one little boy faces his fear in Sadie, Ori, and Nuggles Go To Camp. Before long, he might even decide that camp is better than home, like Max in No Baths at Camp. Much to his mother’s chagrin, Max explains how tedious he finds his bath time to be at home, while at camp the routine is way more fun.

Picnic at Camp Shalom celebrates those special camp friendships that blossom over canoe rides and midnight heart-to-hearts.  Maybe it will even inspire you to call that old camp friend to catch up.

After a year of no camp due to COVID, this summer is extra special for many kids. Have a wonderful summer, campers, and remember to savor every last drop of fun before fall!