Daily life at CYJ is designed to nurture our campers’ most important life skills—resilience, confidence, cooperation, and more!
- By facing regular, achievable challenges with the support of our staff, campers can develop healthy self-esteem in every corner of the camp.
- Nothing quite teaches the values of cooperation and communal responsibility like sharing a bunk with a dozen friends.
- In a social setting very different from home, kids can freely explore new things, develop greater self-knowledge, and live with more authenticity.
- Through all our electives and activities available, CYJers discover unknown talents and passions.
With a caring staff and a family atmosphere, all kids belong at CYJ!
A summer with CYJ feels like a summer with family. We’re proud of our diverse camp family, made up of people with different disabilities, backgrounds and denominations. We all work together, respect and learn from one another, making the camping experience better for everyone. Together, we all become more compassionate, understanding, confident in diverse situations, and contribute to a culture of kindness.
Our camp staff is a big part of this culture — they’re caring, giving, and trained to develop cohesive and supportive dynamics among all campers. Understanding camper needs, and planning how best to meet them, is a big part of what we do. Our Inclusion Coordinator is an important member of our Camper Care team who helps support this process.
- The Inclusion Coordinator works closely with new families during the intake process (with may include phone interviews, in-home visits, meeting with other professionals) and is your point of contact throughout the summer
- We believe that each camper’s talents and strengths contribute to building a sense of community, and enhance the group cabin experience for all. Research also tells us that inclusive camp experiences benefit all children through friendships, social skills, and independence
- We welcome campers who are comfortable in a group setting, including those with ADHD, General Anxiety Disorder, High functioning autism, Asperger’s, Motor delays, Learning Delays, Hearing loss, and many more
We are all Jewish, we all belong, and we all have the opportunity to enjoy and grow together at CYJ!
The fun, beauty, and magic of CYJ are all thanks to them…
- CYJ-Texas has the most incredible staff! All at least 18 years-old, these amazing role models are talented, passionate, and ready to give.
- Our staff is committed—the majority returns for multiple seasons. Many were even campers themselves, coming back after all these years to pay forward the summer experience of a lifetime!
- They’re ready—each has passed a rigorous screening process and undergone a week or more of intense training. When camp begins, they’re fluent in camper care, emergency procedures, program development and beyond! Our specialists have even more training, and many practice their specialties professionally in the off-season.
An experience where children of all backgrounds and denominations can enhance their Jewish identity and pride!
- Most of our children are part of a minority at school. At camp, they can enjoy the feeling of being surrounded by friends like them with families like their families, other kids who understand their culture.
- Shabbat at CYJ is unforgettable, with incredible singing, delicious feasts, a relaxing schedule, and deep bonding.
- Campers get to learn Jewish prayers from a number of prayer service options, designed to cover every CYJer’s spiritual needs
- We have two kosher kitchens—one milk and one meat—so campers of all customs can be comfortable in the dining hall.
- Our kids interact with Jews from many communities, learning more about their own people and building new connections to their heritage.
Trade social media, TV, and video games for a summer full of fresh air, exercise, and the great outdoors!
- There’s nothing like having a peaceful lake to swim in, shady trees to relax under, and a night sky full of stars…
- Baseball, soccer, and basketball; tennis, archery, volleyball, and swimming… we’ve got it all! Sports-lovers, come on down!
- A summer at CYJ gives kids a much-needed screen-vacation—no laptops, TVs, phones, or tablets! Our campers connect to each other without distraction and have a rare opportunity to engage their creativity.
- Children find a newfound appreciation for the natural world by learning in our Camp Garden and visiting the animals in our Camp Farm.
At CYJ, campers connect to people of different backgrounds, ethnicities, nationalities, abilities, ages, genders, and anything else you can think of! While a lot of CYJ is Texas-grown, we have campers and counselors from around the country, from Mexico, Canada, Israel, and from even further-flung places like Australia and England! As one big camp family, kids of all ages will get to see and play with each other. When it comes to Jewish background, camp is open to kids who are reform, conservative, orthodox, and any other Jew ready for the summer of their lives!
Part of the oldest Zionist youth movement in America, CYJ-Texas is a supporter of Israel and its centrality to Jewish life…
- Through our programs about Israeli culture, sessions with the Israeli scouts, and support of the Tzofim Friendship Caravan, CYJ emphasizes our relationship with the Holy Land as a home for all Jews.
- We bring the very language of Israel into camp by replacing common camp terms with their Hebrew translations. For example—instead of calling it our “bunk”, we call it our “tzrif”! By softening the language barrier, Israel becomes more accessible.
- Many of our staff and campers are Israeli themselves, which means campers from a young age have personal connections that bridge the Atlantic Ocean!
Our teen summer programs are out of this world!
10th Grade’s Segel: Our sophomores embark on a crazy adventure trip across the American Southwest!
- Challenge yourself with rock climbing, canyoneering, whitewater rafting, camp building, and other outdoor adventure skills
- Learn incredible leadership, cooperation, decision-making, and planning skills
11th Grade’s Machon: Begin your summer in Wimberley before taking off around the world! It’s a life-changing, six-week journey across Israel!
- Expand your worldview—experience the most beautiful, historic, and popular locales across the land…with all of your best friends beside you!
- Learn what makes Israel the start-up capital of the world and one of the greenest countries on the planet by exploring sites and visiting the people who made it happen
CIT Program: A totally immersive counselor training program unlike any other!
- CITs live with a bunk, interacting with kids and apprenticing with counselors in the most immersive experience of its kind
- CITS get to learn from and connect with staff in a new way, even while enjoying the status of a camper
The minds behind CYJ-Texas are always looking for new ways to improve our programming. Here are some recent enhancements:
- In 2015, CYJ-TX won the Grinspoon Foundation’s Impact in Technology award, recognizing our advanced multipurpose communications system; the tech bolsters security and adds to the camp fun.
- We’ve recently introduced our Experiential Learning Center, a special activity center built using advanced environmental designs. If features solar panels, water-harvesting capabilities, and a prairie roof.
Imagine a community designed just for a child’s joy…you’ve got CYJ!
- No one gets bored here—every day is brimming with games and activities of every sort, keeping our campers engaged from wake-up to bedtime.
- You can always count on our staff members a goofy impression, a funny face, or a wacky new game that’ll keep kids laughing.
- Camping out across the lake, making s’mores by the fire, playing your heart out at Maccabia… when our alumni recall the warm memories of their childhood, these are the things that come to mind!
If you’re in the Lone Star State, Camp is a short road trip away!
- 4 hours from Dallas, 3 hours from Houston, 1 hour from San Antonio
- Just 45 minutes from Austin, so anyone flying to Austin Bergstrom International Airport has a short drive to CYJ!
- Those dropping their kids off at camp can spend the day in the historic and charming town of Wimberley!
Find your way to CYJ here!