From kayak­ing to the kib­butz: day camps for all tastes and ages

The Jewish Chronicle - - SUMMER SCHEMES -

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

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