Benjamin Village, home to Capital Camps’ youngest campers, builds the foundation for Jewish camping. Campers experience much of what camp has to offer, most often alongside their cabin-mates. This helps campers to adjust to camp life and learn to live as part of a community. In addition to daily activities like swimming in the pool or the lake, Benjamin Village campers participate in Jewish-themed programs, such as attending a mock Jewish wedding; and personal growth opportunities, such as learning about personal care and enjoying an overnight camping trip (on camp property).
Reich Village allows campers to experience age-appropriate space and independence. Their overnight camping trip takes place out of camp at a local state park and focuses campers on hiking and camping fundamentals. Reich Village campers are empowered to make choices about how to spend their free time and assist in designing their evening programs.
Continuing to build on developing independence, Kaufmann Village campers choose all of their daily activities. Their programs focus on building self-confidence, highlighted by participating in a three-day camping experience out of camp, balancing community-building between their cabin and their Village, and exploring their post Bar/Bat Mitzvah Jewish responsibility.
Macks Village is our campers’ culminating year at camp. The program provides the perfect environment for campers to transition into camp’s Leaders-in-Training (LIT) and Counselor-in-Training (CIT) programs. Macks Village is smaller in size, which lends itself to camper independence and additional communal programming. Programmatic highlights for Macks Village are the “Macks Takeover,” where they plan programs Benjamin Village, and a four-day, out-of-camp adventure trip.
Our LIT program focuses on the intention behind everything that happens at camp. The experience begins with training from Disney’s Youth Education Series (YES). The YES program draws attention to what happens “behind the scenes.” Back at camp, the LITs learn about the core components for effective programs, including timing, space, supplies, and developmentally appropriate material. The LIT in-service program includes placement with activity areas, where the LITs shadow members of our activity specialists including sports, aquatics, arts, and the ropes course.
Whereas the LIT program focuses on what happens at camp, the CIT program highlights the care that we provide to each camper. Transitioning to our staff community can be challenging, and the CIT program is built to teach CITs how to be appropriate role models, handle complex camper situations, and simultaneously manage a group of 14-16 campers, while providing individual care. During the first half of the summer, CITs split their time between in-service placements in cabins and Hadracha (training). Hadracha topics include communication, conflict management and resolution, working with campers with special needs, role play situations, and developing meaningful relationships. During the second half of the summer, CITs spend nearly all of their time with campers. When they are not with campers, CITs spend time as a group, reflecting on their experiences and debriefing the many layers of what they have experienced. The CIT program also includes an important service learning component, which encourages CITs to appreciate and embrace the value of being part of a global Jewish community.