Camp Kalsman has almost 300 acres, perfect for a wide range of activities. (photo from Camp Kalsman)
Rabbi Ilana Mills, director of URJ Camp Kalsman, started attending camp when she was 8 years old. “I remember being uncertain what the experience would be like, trying to picture how it would feel to live in a bunk. It was greater than I ever imagined,” she said.
“Jewish camping helped me learn more about myself and my Jewish identity,” she added. “I learned independence that served me my whole life and what it means to be part of a community. I have experienced the powerful impact camp can have on someone’s life and now get to watch my children experience it as well.”
Camp Kalsman knows kids need places to be celebrated for who they are and places that help them grow. Camp Kalsman is one of those places – where a child can feel comfortable being their true self and learn independence while they climb the tower, play pool volleyball, and tie-dye.
Located in Washington, the camp has almost 300 acres, perfect for a wide range of activities: arts, sports, team-building, hiking, high ropes, guitar, and so much more. Each camper can explore all aspects of camp and participate in various programs, while exploring and gaining pride in their Jewish identity. Camp isn’t just a fun thing for kids to do when they’re out of school. Studies have shown that camp is one of the most powerful tools in a parenting toolbox for successfully launching an adult.
Discover new passions
Camp Kalsman strives to make every camper’s experience nurturing and fulfilling, and does so by making sure that every child feels welcomed and supported, while challenging themselves. Campers engage in activities and programs, develop lifelong friendships and live with a super staff. Jewish values infuse everything the camp does and, each year, new and returning staff members bring unique chugim, activities, based on their passions, so there are always more options being added to an already long list.
Arts: painting, ceramics, improv/drama, guitar, song writing/leading, digital media, Kalsman musical, photography, dance, cooking.
Sports: balloon volleyball, giant soccer, archery, Gaga, tetherball, ultimate frisbee, basketball, softball/kickball, Kalsman football (extra special/silly combination of sports).
Waterfront: pirate ball on the lake, cardboard box boat-making, mermaid contest, water polo, canoeing, kayaking, pool volleyball, pool basketball.
Teva (Nature): hiking, outdoor cooking, outdoor survival skills, wilderness first aid, gardening, animal care.
Ropes: high ropes obstacle course, tower, giant swing, zipline, low ropes team-building.
Unit programs: Israeli cooking, ice cream pool party, messy night, scavenger hunt, and so much more.
Everyone can feel the magic that falls over Camp Kalsman every Shabbat. The entire camp community changes into white clothes and cleans up after a very busy week. The camp joins together in a Shabbat walk that ends at the outdoor beit tefilah (sanctuary). There are interactive services, a traditional Shabbat dinner in the dining hall, with challah and grape juice, and the night ends with Shabbat Shira (song session), where campers and staff alike can dance and sing the night away.
Since it is still Shabbat, Saturdays also look a bit different at camp. There is chofesh, free time, where campers can choose activities more freely and for longer amounts of time than during the full schedule of the rest of the week. They can focus on finishing their art project, challenge themselves on a different path on the high ropes course, or even chill on the quad with friends and really rest and reset for the days ahead.
– Courtesy Camp Kalsman