The Values of Camp: Trying New Things 

posted by on Dec 4, 2019

When you sign your child up for camp at CYJ, what are you really signing them up for? Summer at CYJ is about a whole lot more than canoeing and s’mores (although we have plenty of both)! While campers are building friendships to last a lifetime and strengthening their connection to Judaism and to Israel, they’re also testing their limits by trying new things from the moment they step off the bus. Camp is the best place in the world to try something new, and we believe that learning to embrace that spirit of exploration is one of the most important ways we set our campers up for a lifetime of success.

Taking a Risk at Summer Camp is Safe!

It might not seem like it at first, but stepping off the platform and zooming down the zip line at CYJ is perfectly safe. Soaring down the waterslide and into the pool is also safe! Leaping into the lake, knowing that the water is too deep to touch the bottom is actually very safe. The reason that all of these wild, sometimes scary things are safe is that we have the awesome CYJ staff working all summer to double check everything! They make sure life jackets are secure and carabiners are properly attached. If there was ever a time for your child to try something outside of their comfort zone, it would be at camp under the supervision of the experienced CYJ team.

The Environment Is Supportive!

Trying something new doesn’t always mean jumping from somewhere high up. Sometimes it can mean tasting a new food, learning a new craft, or playing a new sport. Trying new things is always better when you’re surrounded by friends who are there to cheer you on and who are also trying something new! Whether or not your child develops a lifelong passion for painting or a zest for cooking, they’ll be learning new skills with friends every step of the way. What could be better than that?

Did We Mention That It’s Fun?

Camp activities are designed to be age-appropriate and lots of fun, so the reward for trying new things is guaranteed to be worth the risk. We don’t put campers in situations that they aren’t ready for, but we still give them plenty of opportunities to test their limits and grow. They might be learning a dance from Israel or learning to paddle a canoe; in both cases they will walk away having tried something, having learned something, and having had a ton of fun along the way!

Courage Takes Practice!

Pushing through fear to find out what’s on the other side is a big part of life, but courage is a muscle just like any other and it requires exercise. Practicing courage in a safe, supportive, fun environment will teach your child how to react the next time they feel fear holding them back from something awesome. We hope all of our campers will bring that courage home with them and encourage their whole family to try new things and be courageous. It’s what life is all about!