Some people say there’s nothing new under the sun. But, after 85 years, new and exciting program just keep on coming to Camp Laurelwood, the beautiful and bucolic overnight Jewish camp located in Madison, CT.
Here’s a quick look at the program additions and enhancements that have been instituted over the past few years to make Connecticut’s only Jewish overnight camp a shining star.
Though the 7 weeks of overnight camp are still the core of Laurelwood’s programming, in recent years new Jewish families have been joined the Laurelwood community through program partnerships with PJ Library, Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, Mandell JCC of Greater Hartford’s Camp Shalom (and other Mandell JCC programs), and the Jewish Federation of Western Mass.
Laurelwood launched a small day camp a few years back, that numbered about 20-30 kids per week. Our day camp was put on hold for the 2020/21 seasons due to COVID, but when we brought it back in 2022 we had a huge increase in interest. We currently have about 100 day campers a week, from rising kindergarteners to rising 7th graders.
Two Family Camp opportunities are now offered in partnership with Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, Mandell JCC of Greater Hartford, and the Jewish Federation of Western Mass. Family Camps feature fun in the lake and pool, a family-friendly Shabbat celebration, and a wide variety of camp activities, such as arts and crafts, archery, and sports. Camp is stroller-friendly, our camper cabins are transformed into family housing, and camp traditions are shared with younger generations.
Beyond the summer, we are engaged in year-round programming with our community partners. We hold community events at camp, and in public places, at JCCs, Federations an synagogues. This past year, we held events at locations like the Essex Steam Train and the Shoreline Trolley Museum - we brought PJ Library books, snacks, and opportunities to follow up with other Jewish families.The relationships we have helped foster between families has helped to build a stronger Jewish community on the shoreline.