JCamps Gets Kids Back to Camp | The Jewish Outlook | Shalom Austin

JCamps Gets Kids Back to Camp, Prioritizing Health and Safety

Community News, The Jewish Outlook

Jun 23, 2021

Campers have fun in the foam pit at Shalom Austin JCamps this summer. Credit: Jon Niss.

JCamps Basketball

Campers at JCamps enjoy everything the JCC has to offer, from large indoor spaces and a gymnasium to the lush grounds and the outdoor fields. Credit: Jon Niss.

As COVID-19 cases decline and more people are vaccinated every day, parents are ready to get their kids back with friends and enjoying outdoor activities at summer camp. 

Jessica Ochs, youth and teen director, said, “Here at JCamps, it’s your place to shine and we celebrate each camper, making sure that they learn, grow and have a great time throughout the entire summer. Kids are ready to hang with their friends, make lasting memories and connect with each other and their community.”

The JCamps experience is unlike any other that Central Texas has to offer. JCamps welcomes campers of all backgrounds and interests and staff members work hard to make sure there are ways for each camper to learn, grow and have a great time throughout the entire summer. JCamps dates are June 1 through August 19, 2021. 

JCamps is based on the belief that campers from both Jewish and non-Jewish backgrounds can thrive within the cultural treasures that Judaism offers, and therefore base their philosophy on six points to mirror those of the Star of David: perseverance to achieve dreams and goals, confidence to be oneself, integrity to do what is right, creativity that ignites imagination, friendships that last a lifetime, and compassion for all people.

JCamps ECP Playground

JCamps Water Slide

Campers enjoy daily outdoor time including water activities, song session, flagpole, and more. Credit (top): Dave Hawks. Credit (bottom): Jon Niss.

Open since July, the JCamps team successfully ran a day camp program and preschool during the pandemic, proving that camp can still be a safe and fun place for children. 

The facility will continue to be cleaned, disinfected and sanitized, and JCamps staff underwent extensive training on best practices in preventing the spread of COVID-19. The health and safety of participants, families and staff is JCamps’ top priority. JCamps’ COVID-19 policies and procedures include daily health screenings, outside activities and masks.  

Daily Health Screenings 

All individuals are required to undergo a health screening prior to entering the building, conducted by a Shalom Austin staff member. There may be additional health screenings at times of transition.

Outside Activities

JCamps is held on 40 beautiful acres in Northwest Austin. The property features nature trails, a meditation garden, and deer sightings. Campers enjoy daily outdoor time, from song session and flagpole to field and water activities.  

Masks

All campers and staff are required to wear masks when indoors and close to other people. Reusable masks must be cleaned daily. Frequent mask breaks will be scheduled throughout the day. Shalom Austin will continue to follow current protocols until advised by local and regional experts that it is safe to relax them. 

Jennifer Melrose, mother of three children, said, “JCamps is the place that our family knows and trusts completely and where we feel most comfortable and safe during this uncertain time. And of course, our kids always have a blast.”

To learn more, visit shalomaustin.org/camp. ■

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