Jewish teenagers from embattled areas of Ukraine enjoy a Jewish Agency summer camp experience in Israel..
(photo credit: EMANUEL SHECHTER)
Registration for summer camps is in full swing and many of those camps offer more than just fun and games.
The summer camps run the gamut from hi-tech to rhetoric to self-defense and give added value beyond baby-sitting kids while parents are working. Camps are offered to a range of age groups throughout July and some run for part of August.
FunZone offers a number of different hi-tech options for kids in grades two through nine. Sessions include animation, graphic design, photography, robotics, website and app building and electronics, alongside more traditional camp activities such as swimming, sports and hiking.
This camp has two locations, in Herzliya and in Be’er Ya’acov, catering to all the nearby towns.
Another option, One World, is an international camp for nature lovers who like adventures in the wild. Campers can learn survival techniques such as lighting (safe!) fires, building shelters, camouflage and navigation.
They can learn communication techniques to speak about the importance of nature and improve self-esteem through debate sessions.
Campers can explore their artistic side with photography, pottery, knitting, and other techniques. Those interested can experience horseback riding and taking care of farm animals and also have the opportunity to milk cows and make cheese. This camp option is a sleepaway experience in the Jezreel Valley.
Big Idea is another international camp, this one focusing on technology. The camp is for seven- to 18-year-olds from Israel and over 30 other countries. Session options include 3D jewelry design, special effects, science, space and app design.
A debate camp run in Lod by the Yoni Cohen Idov Center for Debate and Rhetoric offers kids of ages 13-18 a chance to improve their critical analysis and public speaking skills, and also promises them a chance to start winning arguments against their parents. Many of the camp participants have gone on to represent Israel at international debate and public speaking tournaments.
A slightly different experience for girls ages five to 17 are the summer sessions at El HaLev. All incorporate learning essential self-defense techniques with different emphases in the different groups. Some deal with emotional aspects of maturing as a young woman in society today, while others focus on self-empowerment through experiencing new challenges such as martial arts, sciences, carpentry, cooking and theater.
A three-day sleepaway option is available for young women preparing for military or civil service. It deals with challenges such as peer pressure, emotional violence, sexual harassment and dangers of social media.
The cost of the camps range greatly, depending on the amount of time and services provided. Fun educational experiences can run anywhere between NIS 800 and over NIS 4,000 a week.