Sleep away camps

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Post  Sun, Jan 05 2014, 9:54 pm
I'm looking for recommendations for camps for an OOT family who are shomrei Shabbos but have not had a lot of growing or learning opportunities. I'm not sure if we should be looking at Kiruv camps, or what. Their community is not really set up for Kiruv and is very small. The younger kids are in the Jewish Day School - older are in Public School. Parents have been keeping Shabbos since the kids were little - but they're really not immersed in Jewish life.

I'd like to know of suggestions for regular kids, as well as special needs (aspergers, medical conditions), boys and girls.
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Post  Sun, Jan 05 2014, 10:10 pm
I would think that Oorah's camps would be a good fit. I think they're called BoyZone and GirlZone or something similar, and can be googled for more information.
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Post  Mon, Jan 06 2014, 12:33 am
I do not think Oorah camps would be good for kids with Aspergers or medical conditions. My DD went to Girl Zone last year & my learning partner's son's went to Boy Zone.

Oorah may be a good camp for the typical siblings.

They do have a very high ratio of camp staff to students. But most of the counselors are pretty young & volunteers. Just based on my observations & what my learning partner told me about her son's experience, I think they are pretty loose some times with tuning in to the kids needs.

An additional caveat would be, if they are sensitive to how animals are treated, they may be disturbed by how the animals are treated at the Ooorah camps and retreats. I was disturbed by what I saw on visiting day, in the rabbit area. I spoke with one of the rebbim & the Rabbi I spoke with seemed aware of the issue, but conflicted about changing the current situation.

My DD was also upset by how the rabbits and other animals were treated. She really loves animals & it was disturbing to her to see kids mistreat animals & adults not respond to her concerns.

There are camps that have specific programing for kids with special needs & integrate them into the program. It depends on how intense the child's needs are. I would look into those camps & get referrals from parents who sent kids there.

Maybe a local day camp would be a better choice? The Chabad run camps are usually very good. Many OOT communities have Chabad camps.
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Post  Mon, Jan 06 2014, 12:45 am
My girls went to Camp Dina other years.

I think if the kids are in a day school, Camp Dina is very nice. The girls are from all over & the families are very diverse on the Orthodox spectrum. And the girls are from all over. So it is not like a kid will end up in a dorm with 20 kids from the same school in "Frummiesville" & not be able to break into the group.

I think the kids, if they are comfortable with the idea of shomri mitsvot life can grow a lot in camp. The learning, at least for girls, is fun, a little serious, but not very academic.

IDK much about the boys camp, Dora Golding but my friends who send there are happy with it. I think it is pretty sports-y.

No idea if they could do anything for kids with special needs.
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Post  Mon, Jan 06 2014, 1:14 am
Check out camp lmaan achai.
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Post  Mon, Jan 06 2014, 11:07 pm
OP here

Thanks so much for your.replies.
Any other feedback on Oorah, Dina, Dora Golding and the last one mentioned? I've never heard of that one.
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Post  Tue, Jan 07 2014, 1:33 am
I'm sending my daughter to Camp Nageela Midwest. The Jewish Federation is offering a partial scholarship for first time campers who attend public school.

My daughter has Fragile X Syndrome, high functioning.
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