Dear CSS Families & Friends:
Even as the last boats are pulled off the lake, cabins prepped for winter and our songs and prayers echo in the trees, we are already looking toward Summer 2013. I am eager to share that, because of your feedback and suggestions, we have made some significant changes for next year:
- Aleph will now be open to campers entering 2nd – 5th grade.
- Aleph campers will have a choice of attending camp for a one-week introduction, a two-week foundation-building, or a full three-week session.
- There will no longer be a session called “Echad.”
- The Aleph sessions will run during Bet.
- Both the Oded and Gesher (Israel) Programs will be open to 11th – 12th graders.
Here are the details:
Aleph I 2nd – 5th July 1-7 $780
Aleph II 2nd – 5th July 8-22 $1,670
Stayover Aleph I&II July 7-8 $80
Bet 5th – 7th July 1-22 $2,530
Gimmel 8th – 10th July 25-Aug 14 $2,530
Oded 11th – 12th June 24 – July 28 $2,925
Gesher 11th – 12th June 30 – Aug 4 $6,250 (tentative)
This new schedule was developed for a number of reasons. Primarily, there has been the growing issue of being able to fit all of our sessions into the summer with a number of schools ending later in June, especially when there are snow days. This past year alone, about a third of our staff arrived late to training week, as did many Odedim. And, as we all know, the weather improves greatly in the Pacific Northwest as we get into July; even a week makes a big difference in temperature and number of sunny days. Camp, especially those afternoons on the waterfront, is much more appealing when it is sunny and over 70°.
The new schedule also allows for more flexibility for both our younger and older campers. With this schedule, we can better tailor the experience for our youngest campers (2nd – 5th graders) at a time when they are just beginning as campers and taking their first steps into independence. Parents, in conjunction with our professional staff, can determine if it would be most appropriate for the camper to attend a one-week introduction, a two-week foundation-building, or a full three-week session. (Fifth graders who are ready for the full three-week experience should sign up for Bet.) Our older campers (11th – 12th graders) can now choose whether they want to go to Israel first and then participate in our highly acclaimed Counselor-in-Training and Leadership program, attend Oded first and then go to Israel, be an Oded for two summers, or even go to Israel for two summers!
Camp Solomon Schechter has had a long-standing tradition and philosophy of age-based camping – providing valuable, Jewish-based programming tailored to specific age groups. This new schedule allows us to gain the benefits of both multiage and age-based camping. Camp families with younger campers (2nd -7th grades) can send their campers at the same time, leaving the latter part of the summer open for family vacations. We will also have the flexibility of doing both joint programming and separate programs for our Aleph I&II and Bet campers, depending on the appropriateness of the activities. Our professional staff has
already started developing joint programming that is fun, “camp-y” and provides opportunities for positive youth development for both the Aleph and Bet campers.
We also recognize the importance of age-based camping for our Gimmel campers. These older campers will be able to have the discussions, play sports, show their ruach (spirit) later into the night, and do all of the other teen activities without negatively impacting younger campers, nor having the feeling of a younger sibling tagging along.
Personally, I am very excited about this next step in the evolution of Camp. I am also reassured that these changes will help make camp more fun,
engaging, and, most importantly, safer for our campers.