From kayaking to the kibbutz: day camps for all tastes and ages
to-sevens, offering horse-riding, tennis, football, swimming and archery with age-specific equipment such as small bows and arrows and short tennis racquets.
Eight- to eleven-year-olds will enjoy “Multi-Activity Mania”, where they can have a go on a 40ft climbing wall, attend a roller disco and get soaked in the Atlantic Zone, while “Teen Clubbers” (up to age 16) can take trips to a bowling alley, try their hand at raft building or quad biking and take part in watersports such as kayaking and windsurfing.
All camps offer a huge list of other activities, too, from face painting and bingo to acting and dancing.
Too old for camp? There is a limited number of work experience placements available for over-16s.
Edgware & District Reform Synagogue (EDRS) Youth Centre has been running a summer scheme for more than 30 years, based in the community centre at the synagogue. The emphasis is on fun, meeting new people and sharing new experiences.
Activities focus on a theme and include sport, drama, arts and crafts, music and even cookery.
There are lots of competitions and workshops and the children are taken out on excursions. They also make expeditions to the nearby park (weather permitting).
Five- to nine-year-olds attend the “Kaytana” camp, while the 10-to-14s go to “Kadima”.
Activities start at 9.15am and continue until 4pm and there is also the option to drop off at 8.30am for an additional fee.
Oxford Wizo runs a camp with an educational slant, aiming to teach children about their Jewish heritage while having fun.
The camp is led by specially chosen and trained young leaders from the Oxford community and the univer- sity, together with two schilchim (ambassadors) from Israel, sponsored by the UJIA and WIZO UK. Together they bring Jewish history and culture alive through arts, crafts, music, singing, dance, cookery and role play.
Now in its 10th year, the Kaytana scheme takes place in a field study centre just outside Oxford — a picturesque setting. It is a one-week scheme running from 9.30am to 4.30pm each day.
Every year the camp follows a different theme. Fifty children aged between five and 14 are divided into groups and spend the mornings doing activities related to the specific theme of the camp, while afternoons are more recreational, with such pursuits as swimming, sports, games and art.
Previous camp themes have included Masada, medieval Spain, medieval Oxford and the shtetl. Last year the theme was Israel. The children were taken on a virtual trip to Israel, where they spent a day in “Jerusalem”, sampled life in a “Bedouin tent” and visited a “kibbutz”.
This camp is full of ruach (spirit) and provides a fantastic opportunity for the children of the small Oxford Jewish community. Families have been known to travel from Liverpool and even Israel for their children to take part.
There is a teens-only programme, focusing on leadership and challenge, and a barbecue is held one evening for the older children. Camp Beaumont: Most camps run every week from July 14 to August 22 (some from July 21 until August 22), phone 01263 823 000, www.campbeaumont.co.uk Oxford Wizo Kaytana: July 28 to August 1, phone Fiona Leahy 01865 511 825 / Janet Baum 01865 763 232 EDRS: Every week from August 4 to 22, phone Lisa 020 8238 1021
Jewish learning in action, at Oxford Wizo