Bubble trucks, a petting zoo and ice cream – these are only a few of the fun experiences that await our children this summer, as local camps gear up to welcome them back. After a year of suspended activities, camp directors are eager to create an amazing season for their young campers.

With your support, the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County makes grants to Marleen Forkas Camps at Adolph & Rose Levis JCC, including Camp Kavod; Camp Keshet at B’nai Torah Congregation; and Billi Marcus Camp Nageela at the Jewish Education Center to help eligible families cover the cost of attendance.

Each camp is preparing to make the most of this “return to normalcy.”

Adolph & Rose Levis JCCMarleen Forkas Summer Camp offers stimulating activities, convenient schedules and experienced staff for children ages 2-14.

“We have heard from so many camp families who tell us that they are more than ready to get back to camp this summer, and our Camp team cannot wait to welcome them back for great activities, lots of fun, and of course, the opportunity to safely socialize after a year during which many students were isolated, learning from home,” said Camp Director Neal Buchholz.

“While it is true that our summer fun will look a little different this year, due to the necessary safety measures we have carefully put in place, we know we will be providing our campers with an outstanding — and safe – summer, just what we all need,” he continued.

The eight-week program includes an Early Childhood Camp, Upper Camp for elementary and middle school students, a Theater Camp, and Camp Kavod for children and teens with special needs (see below). The summer session begins June 21. For information or a tour, visit levisjcc.org/camp.

Camp Kavod is a year-round day camp for children, teens, and young adults with special needs, ages 3-22. Activities are designed to enhance social, motor, language and other vital life skills that promote greater independence. Program emphasis is placed on helping campers make new friends, while having fun in a safe, nurturing environment. The summer session begins June 21.

“I am really looking forward to this summer – after a challenging year for all of us, it’s time for kids to get back to fun, back to smiles, back to Camp Kavod, which is our area’s largest summer day camp for children and teens with special needs,” said Ali Landman, director of the JCC’s Helene & Roy Schwedelson Special Needs Department.

“This summer we will offer 6 weeks of day camp, and our groups feature very low camper to staff ratios. We will follow all CDC guidelines; our camp groups will be smaller, masks will be worn, social distancing will be implemented, and facilities and surfaces will be sanitized frequently,” she continued. “I’m very excited that our older campers will be able to participate in private field trips in addition to our wonderful on-campus activities, while our younger campers will get the most out of their summer with a wide variety of on-campus activities including daily swimming, as well as live entertainment.” For information, visit levisjcc.org/camp

B’nai Torah CongregationCamp Keshet provides an interactive experience with developmentally-appropriate activities and facilities for children ages 2-5. Camp begins June 14.

According to Camp and Preschool Director Naomi Gordon, the summer program is almost full, as of mid-May, with only 10 spots open. She anticipates a wonderful season with a new event each week, such as a bubble truck, mini-carnival, petting zoo and ice cream truck.

The day camp will also have its returning features, including a water park, music, and gym classes for the littlest campers.

“We’ve been back with our children since last September, when we opened the school; the summer camp is an extension of the school,” Gordon said. “We are so grateful to have our doors open, doing almost everything we’ve always done. We’re giving our children an opportunity to be children.”

All counselors and staff will be familiar faces, as the adult teachers will lead the summer camp.

“We’re keeping it very adult, top-quality educators for the summer,” Gordon said.

Jewish Education CenterThe Billi Marcus Camp Nageela of Boca Raton provides a summer of fun and character growth in a Jewish environment for children ages 5-13. Camp begins June 21.

Opened in 2010, it is one of seven divisions of the JEC that provides six weeks of fun, infused with exciting hands-on Jewish experiences. Woven throughout the crafts, sports, games, water fun and weekly field trips are daily prayer, study, and Shabbat programs that foster Jewish pride and education. An important principle of Nageela Boca is that no child is turned away because of financial restraints.

“After a super successful summer 2020, even during the pandemic, we are confident this summer is going to be even better! We have a bunch of exciting new activities planned, such as woodworking and a brand new swimming pool,” said Camp Director Rabbi Avrohom Richmond.