Kids looking for something to do during the summer, and parents who want to make sure their child has a Jewish community while school is out, will have a new option to turn to next summer when Chizuk Amuno Congregation opens its summer camp.
The synagogue announced on their Facebook page on July 24 that they had plans to open a Jewish day camp on its grounds, and they are planning to start construction on a 25-yard swimming pool in December to prepare for the camp’s opening in 2023. CA Camps, as it is now called, will be open to children entering pre-K through eighth grade.
Chizuk Amuno has experimented with summer camps before — in the past, they have done a nursery camp, and have had a few small sports camps. CA Camps will be their first time opening a major camp program to a wider audience.
The camp provides Chizuk Amuno with “the opportunity to expand our community,” said David Schimmel, the congregation’s executive director. “There’s also an opportunity to serve our students, our [Krieger Schechter Day School] students, our Rosenbloom Religious School students and our Goldsmith [Early Childhood Center] students in a way we haven’t done previously.”
Schimmel worked at summer camps for 11 years and has a great deal of experience with them. The construction of the pool was necessary, he noted, as pools attract people to camps — especially during the hot summer.
CA Camps will offer general camp programming to its attendees, including swimming, arts and crafts, music and sports programs. Currently, they are also discussing the possibility of Hebrew immersion programs. Chizuk Amuno is also collaborating with other, more experienced summer camps to learn from them and how they operate.
Schimmel said that construction on the pool will not disrupt any regular Chizuk Amuno programming, and that its installation will be beneficial not only to their campers but their general congregation. The project’s Facebook announcement promises that the pool will be used for family programming, Sunday events and other activities throughout the spring and summer.
“We hope that the daycare [at the camp] will be of high quality, and that it will meet the needs of parents looking for another viable option in the community,” Schimmel said. “We’re very excited to have, for the first time in our more than 150 year history, the opportunity to provide a day camp to the larger Baltimore Jewish community.”
CA Camps will be launching its website at cacamps.org in a few weeks, where they will be providing more information about the program.