Camp Programs by Age Group (Units)

Habonim – Builders (one-week mini-camps for entering 2nd-6th grade)

Habonim is the perfect opportunity for first-time campers. Mini Camps offer campers the opportunity to “sample” the best of what Camp JCA Shalom has to offer. With a ratio of one staff to four campers, children will receive close attention and guidance focusing on each child’s physical and emotional well being. Designed to give kids a chance to try all of the different areas of camp, Habonim is an excellent program that will plant the seeds for future years of enriching camp experiences.

Rishonim – First Timers (entering 2nd-4th grade)

Rishonim is a program specially designed for campers excited about their first extended overnight camp experience. This program gives campers a wonderful introduction to camp life and our specialty activities. (Only available Sessions 1 and 3)

Giborim/Chalutzim – Heroes/Pioneers (entering 5th – 6th grade)

Giborim and Chalutzim offer campers a perfect combination of both camp and special interest activities. Campers are placed in small group environments to help them develop interpersonal skills. While older campers go on out-of-camp overnights, campers in these units have an “undernight” at camp.  These campers establish friendships which can serve as the foundation for a long, happy camp journey.

Alufim – Champions (entering 7th grade)

The Alufim camp program is designed to promote independence and responsibility through increased individual choice and camp privileges. Days in the Alufim unit are packed with activities, teambuilding, and a lot of fun.  Alufim campers go on an out-of-camp overnight and can attempt more advanced activities such as mountain biking.

Chaverim – Friends (entering 8th grade)

The Chaverim program features a strong focus on teamwork, adventure, and personal challenges. Campers will experience both Camp JCA Shalom activities as well as community-building programs.

As campers progress in the different units, they will experience new programs and activities that are geared toward their age group.

Gesher – the bridge (entering 9th grade)



The essence of camp community is captured in this program created by 9th graders, for 9th graders. The Gesher program is the ultimate culmination of the regular camp program. Being the oldest unit within the regular sessions, Gesher campers will experience special field trips, and advanced chug choices. Gesher campers hike to the beach, then have an overnight there.  Afterwards, they can choose to go ocean kayaking.  Part of the Gesher program typically includes some type of social action.  At the end of the summer, Gesher campers graduate to the Teen Leadership Programs.

TASC : Teenage Service Camp (entering 10th -11th grades)

TASC is geared toward developing leadership, through a group-oriented community project implemented by the campers, and through special programs. Throughout the session, TASCers experience pride and fulfillment as they enrich the Camp JCA Shalom campus. In addition, TASCers get to experience the best components of the general camp program along with a special out-of-camp overnight trip. For over 45 years, the TASC program has been one of our most popular teen programs.

Kibbutz – (entering 11th grade)

Kibbutz is a special program created just for entering 11th graders. This program is an immersive four week program designed to be the ultimate Jewish camping and leadership experience. In Kibbutz, we transport ourselves back a hundred years ago to feel what it was like for some of the pioneers who made their way to Israel. The “Kibbutzniks” will have to “create their own world” at camp. They will build their own living area, cook many of their own meals, and even help work the farm at camp! By creating a kibbutz at JCA, the Kibbutzniks will come together as a tightly knit community, grow closer to the land; learn about sustainability and organic farming; and gain knowledge of kibbutz life in Israel- all while having fun at camp! While the Kibbutzniks will spend the majority of time creating their kibbutz, they will still be connected to camp, spending sometime every day with the rest of the camp community, and still participating in many of camps offerings such as horseback riding and the ropes course. At the end of the program, the Kibbutzniks will leave with a sense of accomplishment, a set of friends for life, and a true finale of their last camp experience before becoming a Counselor-In-Training (CIT).

CIT: Counselor-In-Training (entering grade 12)

These future leaders have a lasting effect on both the spirit and welfare of Camp JCA Shalom. Workshops in Jewish programming, child development and leadership training, along with observation, individual supervision and actual work with younger campers, helps the CIT explore the functioning and philosophy of camp, and develop his/her leadership abilities. This is an enriching and exciting experience as well as an important step towards future staff positions at camp. By the end of the summer, the CITs have the opportunity to become junior counselors during Session 3, and will receive a small stipend. Personal Interview required.

All Teen Leadership Programs:

  • Have opportunities to gain community service hours.
  • Have a minimum and maximum number of participants.
  • CIT’s will have an additional application and interview prior to acceptance.