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"The major strength of Camp Mountain Chai is the sense of community and camaraderie. My children have so much fun at CMC! They can't wait to go back each year. It is clear that a lot of thought and energy is put into every aspect of the camp experience."
- Camp Parent, Los Angeles, CA
"Camp Mountain Chai embraces a positive spirit, supports a Jewish identity and cultivates independence and confidence"
- Camp Parent, San Diego, CA
"CMC is the glue to all the Jewish education and experiences I provide the kids over the year. CMC is what makes them proud to be Jewish."
- Camp Parent, Phoenix, AZ
In addition to standard camp activities and programs, CMC divides our campers into two divisions, four units. Programming for these units are age specific and give our campers an opportunity to continue experiencing new, exciting and challenging moments as they advance through their camp careers.
Our lower division is home to our Shorashim (entering grades 2-4) and Netzarim (grades 5-6) campers. Our upper division houses campers in our Amirim (grades 7-8) and Atid (grades 9-10) units. As our campers transition from unit to unit, the program structure is adapted to each age group in order to provide them unique and meaningful opportunities for growth and development.
Atid, which means future in English, and Kavanah are examples of programming that is specifically designed to meet the needs of our older campers while challenging them to grow as individuals. The Atid program is the first step in providing our campers with specific leadership skills that can be applied to countless situations at camp as well as their everyday lives – participating, learning and leading not only within the unit, but with younger campers throughout the summer. They are viewed as up-and-coming leaders within our camp community.
The culmination and highlight of this program is the Atid trip. The Atid campers embark on an incredible multiday camping trip that is the envy of the entire camp. Past trips have included exploring beautiful locations such as Bryce Canyon, Yosemite & Zion National Parks, whitewater rafting in Northern California, hiking in the Grand Canyon and hiking, kayaking and snorkeling in Catalina Island. The Atid trips are specifically designed for our teenage campers to not only have one of the greatest experiences of their life, but also to help each one of them understand the true meaning of teamwork and growth.
Campers entering 11th grade are eligible for our Kavanah program. Camp Mountain Chai offers an unforgettable five week social action, volunteering, travel program for teens entering 11th grade in the fall. Teens will travel to a community within 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.
Camp Mountain Chai also offers a seven-week Staff-in-Training program for teens entering 12th grade. For these seven weeks, SITs create relationships with fellow SITs as they learn valuable skills about being a counselor, programming, leadership skills, and the operations of camp. The summer is an evolution from camper to staff for SITs as a group and as individuals.