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My children built friendships through a variety of enriching experiences, were immersed in Jewish cultural observances and engaged in outdoor activities with their cabin. These are connections we cannot create at home, all the more reason to send our children to Camp Mountain Chai - Camp Parent, San Diego
Everything I could think of for a Jewish camp. It is the best! - Camp Parent, Palm Springs
At camp, my daughter feels like she is home with her family and cries and cries when she returns home and all she talks about is going back and how much she misses it - Camp Parent, San Diego
Camp Mountain Chai serves boys and girls entering grades 2 through 12. Each cabin group consists of 8-16 campers. All of our cabins include indoor bathrooms and showers, carpeting and storage for clothing and equipment. Each cabin is staffed by two to three staff members, including some activity specialists. The cabins are grouped by grade and gender. A Unit Leader supervises each of the four age groups at camp. Campers will participate in some activities with their cabin group, and other activities including individually chosen chugim (electives), divisional and all-camp evening programs.
Shorashim: Campers entering 2nd, 3rd & 4th grade
Netzarim: Campers entering 5th & 6th grade
Amirim: Campers entering 7th & 8th grade
Atid: Campers entering 9th & 10th grade
Kavanah: Campers entering 11th grade
SIT (Staff-In-Training): Entering 12th grade
Camp Mountain Chai offers campers a variety of options. Campers may choose to attend camp for 2, 3, 5, or 7 week options depending on their session(s) preference.
ATID PROGRAM (9th & 10th Grade)
The Atid Program is Camp Mountain Chai’s Leadership Program, and is designed specifically for Camp Mountain Chai campers entering 9th and 10th grade. This program meets the needs of our oldest campers by challenging them to grow both as individuals and as future leaders of camp.
Atid, which is Hebrew for future, is the first step in providing Camp Mountain Chai campers with specific leadership skills that can be applied to countless situations at camp as well as in their everyday lives – participating, learning, and leading. Atid campers are viewed as up-and-coming leaders within our camp community.
The Atid Unit begins the transition from bunk mentality to unit, or group mentality. Atid campers are assigned to groups of mixed gender, age and bunks, and travel to their cabin activity periods in their Atid groups rather than by their bunk. Atid campers eat together with their friends at each meal, and not within their particular cabins. This is unlike the Shorashim, Netzarim & Amirim Units in which campers eat their meals and travel to and from cabin activity periods as entire cabins. Atid campers have canteen more times a week than campers in our other units, and get canteen in the evening and not during snack in the afternoon. This allows our Atid campers to hang out together as a unit before going to bed.
The culmination and highlight of our Atid Program is the Atid trip. Each session, our Atid campers embark on an incredible multiday trip that is the envy of the entire camp. Past Atid trips have explored and hiked beautiful locations within Bryce Canyon, Yosemite and Zion National Park, whitewater rafting and sliding down natural rock slides in Northern California, hiking in the Grand Canyon and Sedona and hiking and kayaking in Catalina Island. These trips offer one of the greatest experiences of our campers’ camp career in addition to helping each of them understand the true meaning of teamwork and personal growth. Campers wait patiently for years to return as an Atid camper so that they can take part in this incredible leadership program and go on their Atid trips.
KAVANAH (11th Grade)
Camp Mountain Chai offers an unforgettable five week volunteer program for teens entering 11th grade in the fall. Teens will travel to a small community in the continental United States where they will experience meaningful volunteer opportunities through a myriad of local service organizations. While physically building within the host community, they will be fostering and developing their own tight-knit community. At the conclusion of the summer, the teens will generally earn at least 150 community service hours.
The Kavanah program develops leadership skills in our campers so that they can more effectively assume leadership roles in school, camp, and later on in life. Our teens will live, work, and play together, creating a strong bond of friendship and community. They will be joined by returning Camp Mountain Chai staff members who will also live and work with our teens, providing guidance, leadership, and supervision. Housing during the duration of the trip is provided by a local community agency. Throughout the program, our campers will have opportunities to visit national parks, experience the culture and activities available within and around nearby cities, and to participate in local events unique to the host community and surrounding areas.
The Kavanah program is in partnership with the American Jewish Society for Service, a wonderful Jewish agency whose mission is to build Jewish leaders while simultaneously providing meaningful service to communities in need across America.
SIT (Staff-in-training) Program (12th Grade)
During the summer teens will learn about leadership, child development, group dynamics, programming skills and what it takes to become a successful staff member. It is a summer to transition from camper to staff member. SITs who successfully complete the program and are referred by the SIT director will be given first priority for hiring the following summer. During the summer, the SITs will be responsible for several camp activities and evening programs. An SIT application, interview and references are required for acceptance into the program.