by Rabbi James Greene, Executive Director, Camp Laurelwood
Summer camp is unique because it is one of those businesses where flexibility, creativity and planning are foundational parts of the success equation. At Camp Laurelwood, the staff and lay leadership are using 83 years of experience and creativity as we plan for the summer of 2021.
Health and safety will continue to be a top priority as camp reopens in 2021 after its first canceled summer since opening in 1937. Camp will be more important than ever this year. It will create an opportunity to reconnect with friends, build new relationships, and avoid Zoom and screen fatigue. With many communities in a hybrid school schedule, a return to the simple experiences of camp will be critical for the social and emotional development of campers. I have watched my own two daughters gain confidence, grow into young leaders, and nurture their Jewish identities as part of the Laurelwood community.
Families should plan for overnight camps in 2021, and should give Laurelwood strong consideration. Our staff is dedicated and caring, and the depth of relationships at Laurelwood run through generations of campers and alumni in Connecticut. Our values-driven, welcoming environment means we have campers from around the state and across the Jewish identity spectrum.
Families also expect a great experience at camp. As a nature guide and avid homesteader, I am especially excited about the outdoor enhancements coming this year. In addition to our counselors and specialists, camp also has an array of facilities and programs. Set on over 140 wooded acres near the coastline, Laurelwood is expanding its nature programming to include new nature trails, a larger garden area and a chicken coop, giving campers first-hand experience with raising animals and growing their own food. We will continue to evaluate and improve camp facilities and program offerings to ensure campers have the best possible experiences.
We are excited and optimistic as we look ahead to next year. Camp Laurelwood has supported Jewish families in Connecticut since 1937; we will continue to do that for decades to come. I hope that families will join us through our year-round programs around the state, and next summer at our home in Madison.
For more information about Camp Laurelwood, or to schedule a complimentary in-person or virtual tour of Camp, call (203) 421-3736. Reach out to connect with a camp alumni or current camp family to hear firsthand about their Laurelwood experience.