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New Jersey Sleepaway Camps: One-Day & Overnight Programs for New Campers

Kids having fun in ropes course adventure park

Thinking about sleepaway camp, but not sure if you–or your child–are quite ready? Or maybe everyone is totally on board with the whole overnight camp idea, but not sure which one might be the right fit. You’re in luck–all of the camps listed below have opportunities to provide you, and your prospective camper, with an introduction to life at camp without signing on for a full session. But you have to get started now–these programs fill up quickly, so register as soon as possible.

Need the inside scoop on the different camps listed below and what they have to offer? We’ve got you covered. One Happy Camper grants and scholarships may be available for programs 12 days or longer. Contact One Happy Camper NJ for more information.

*Note: We know that the majority of these camps aren’t located in New Jersey, but they are listed here because they serve families from your area of New Jersey–specifically from Essex, Morris, Union, Somerset, and Sussex Counties. Visit One Happy Camper NJ to find information about additional camp options.

Brought to you in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest, New Jersey

Rookie Days/Open Houses

These one-day experiences give prospective campers a taste of camp life including camp activities, meeting peers, and getting a taste of camp cuisine.

Camp Zeke – Open House (Co-ed)
31 Barry Watson Way, Lakewood, PA, 18439
Affiliation: Non-denominational, pluralistic
Food at Camp: Kosher
Explore the 500-acre camp including the fitness and cooking facilities, meet staff, along with both new and prospective families. RSVP requested
Sunday, June 10, 1 – 4 p.m.

Camp Kinder Ring – Rookie Day (Co-ed)
335 Sylvan Lake Rd, Hopewell Junction, NY 12533
Affiliation: Non-denominational
Food at Camp: Kosher-Style
A full day of camp fun including sports, swim, arts & crafts, and lunch. Parents will tour camp and then have some time to explore Dutchess County. For prospective campers ages 6 – 9 years, RSVP required
Saturday, July 7, 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Camp Harlam Rookie Day (Co-ed)
575 Smith Rd, Kunkletown, PA 18058
Affiliation: Reform
Food at Camp: Kosher Style
Spend a full day at camp participating in group activities like art and sports, eat lunch in the camp dining hall, and get the inside scoop on camp from peers. Parents can take a camp tour and get answers to all of their questions during a Q&A session with the camp directors. For prospective campers entering grades 2 – 4. Advance registration requested.
Sunday, July 15 and Sunday, August 12

Camp Ramah in the Berkshires – Camper 2019 Day (Co-ed)
91 Ramah Road, Wingdale, NY, 12594
Affiliation: Conservative
Food at Camp: Kosher
Kids experience a mini-camp day while parents tour camp, meet staff, and attend an info session. Everyone comes back together for a BBQ lunchAdvance registration requested.
Sunday, July 8, 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Camp Louemma – Open House (Co-ed)
43 Louemma Lane, Sussex, NJ 07641
Affiliation: Non-denominational
Food at Camp: Kosher
Enjoy a BBQ lunch, take a tour of camp, and learn more about the camp program. Contact colleen@camplouemma.com for details.
Sundays, July 8 & 29 

Camp Havaya – Rookie Days (Co-ed)
108 Rabbi Jeff Way, South Sterling, PA 18460
Affiliation: Reconstructionist
Food at Camp: Kosher
Prospective campers entering grades 2 – 5 get a taste of camp activities and camp food while parents tour camp and learn more about camp life. Email Hello@CampHavaya.org for more information.
Sundays, July 1 & 29, Noon – 5 p.m.

Greater MetroWest Family Fun Day @ Camp Nah-Jee-Wah
A free, family fun day at Camp Nah-Jee-Wah – the NJY Camps overnight camp for kids entering grades 1 – 6. Check out everything camp has to offer including swimming in the outdoor lake and pool, boating, the ropes course and zip line, arts & crafts, a camp sing-a-long, and a kosher BBQ lunch. Free and open to the community, fun for all ages. Summer 2018 – date TBA. Contact Tracy Levine tlevine@jfedgmw.org for more information.

Rookie Camps

If you want more than a day-long visit, but aren’t quite ready to commit for an entire month, a rookie camp experience might just be the thing for your camper-to-be. Some programs are three days and two nights, while some go as long as a week (or two), but all of them give participants the opportunity to live, eat, and breathe camp.

Weekend & Short Stay Programs (1-5 nights)

Camp Louemma – Try-It-First Weekend (Co-ed)
43 Louemma Lane, Sussex, NJ 07641
Affiliation: Non-denominational
Food at Camp: Kosher
A weekend full of camp fun, camp food, and special events. Meet current campers, other prospective campers, and camp staff. The weekend concludes with a parent open house and BBQ lunch for everyone. Limited space available, contact colleen@camplouemma.com$200
Friday, July 6 – Sunday, July 8
Friday, July 27 – Sunday, July 29

Camp Nesher – Taste of Camp (Co-ed)
90 Woods Rd, Lakewood, PA 18439
Affiliation: Orthodox
Food at Camp: Kosher
All the fun camp has to offer, in a shorter time period. For prospective campers entering grades 3 – 6. Longer first-time experience also available – see below. $400 (50% back toward camp 2019).
Tuesday, July 24 – Friday, July 27

Camp Shoshanim – A Taste of Shoshanim (Girls Only)
119 Woods Rd, Lakewood, PA 18439
Affiliation: Orthodox
Food at Camp: Kosher
Sleep in bunks, try out one of the many camp electives and other fun activities. For prospective campers entering grades 3 – 6, transportation provided from Long Island and New Jersey. $200
Tuesday, July 24 – Friday, July 27

Camp Kinder Ring – KRJR (Co-ed)
335 Sylvan Lake Rd, Hopewell Junction, NY 12533
Affiliation: Non-denominational
Food at Camp: Kosher Style
Experience all aspects of camp life. Sleep in bunks, have fun at camp activities, eat in the dining hall, meet the counselors, and make new friends. For prospective campers ages 7 – 9 years. Advance registration required, limited space available. $300
Friday, July 27 – Sunday, July 29

Camp Moshava – Mini Mosh (Co-ed)
245 Navajo Rd, Honesdale, PA 18431
Affiliation: Orthodox, Zionist
Food at Camp: Kosher
A four-day, three-night introduction to camp life for prospective campers entering grades 3 – 5. Limited space available. $600
Monday, August 6 – Thursday, August 9

Camp Galil – Taste of Galil (Co-ed)
146 Red Hill Road, Ottsville, PA 18942   
Affiliation: Non-denominational, Zionist, pluralistic
Food at Camp: Kosher
Spend four days at camp enjoying traditional camp activities, explore the organic garden, meet the chickens and the lambs, bake challah, and learn some new Hebrew words. For rising 3rd graders, two-week option also available. $600
Wednesday, August 8 – Sunday, August 12

Camp Nah-Jee-Wah – First Step (Co-ed)
570 Sawkill Rd, Milford, PA 18337
Affiliation: Pluralistic
Food at Camp: Kosher
Experience camp life and activities include sports, waterfront, adventure, science, and more.  Choose from either a two-night experience (entering grades 1-4) or five-night experience (grades 1 – 5).
2-night experience: $50, 5-night experience: $200
2 Nights: Friday, August 10 – Sunday, August 12
5 Nights: Sunday, August 19 – Friday, August 24

Camp Harlam – Taste of Camp Weekend  (Co-ed)
1 Smith Rd, Kunkletown, PA 18058
Affiliation: Reform
Food at Camp: Kosher Style
Meet counselors and make new friends, check out camp activities and experience a Shabbat celebration at camp. For prospective campers in grades 2 – 5.
Saturday, Oct. 20 – Sunday, Oct. 21

One-Week & Two-Week Experiences

Camp Havaya – Rishon (Co-ed)
108 Rabbi Jeff Way, South Sterling, PA 18460
Affiliation: Reconstructionist
Food at Camp: Kosher
Rising 2nd graders can attend a one-week session, and first-time campers entering grades 3 – 10 can pick from the first two weeks of either camp session. Campers explore all camp activities and experience living in a Jewish community 24/7.
Rishon Aleph: Sunday, June 24 – Sunday, July 8
Rishon Bet: Sunday, July 22 – Sunday, August 5

Camp Young Judaea Sprout Lake – Taste of Sprout Lake & Nitzanim (Co-ed)
6 Sprout Lake Camp, Rt. 82, Verbank, NY 12585
Affiliation: Pluralistic
Food at Camp: Kosher
Experience camp life for a week or two weeks during either first or second session. Virtual open houses, parent orientation and the “Camp Mom” help new campers acclimate. For new campers entering grades 2 – 4. Taste of Sprout Lake (1 week): $1,430, Nitzanim (2 weeks): $2,870
Taste of Sprout Lake (1-week experience)
First Session: Tuesday, June 26 – Tuesday, July 3
Second Session: Wednesday, July 25– Wednesday, August 1
Nitzanim (2-week experience)
First Session: Tuesday, June 26 – Tuesday, July 10
Second Session: Wednesday, July 25 – Wednesday, August 8

Eden Village Camp Exploration (Co-ed)
392 Dennytown Rd, Putnam Valley, NY 10579
A 3-day Taste of Eden for campers entering grades 2-4, a six-day introduction to Eden Village for campers entering grades 3 – 5 and a 2-week option for campers entering grades 3 – 8.  Campers enjoy traditional camp activities along with organic farming, survival skills, herbalism, and other signature Eden Village experiences.
Affiliation: Non-denominational, pluralistic
Food at Camp: Kosher
3-day experience: $450; 6-day experience: $1,285

3-day Taste of Eden: Friday, August 10 – Sunday, August 12
6-day Exploration: Tuesday, July 31 – Monday, August 6
2-week session: Monday, June 25 – Sunday, July 8

Camp Zeke – Taste of Zeke (Co-ed)
31 Barry Watson Way, Lakewood, PA, 18439
Affiliation: Non-denominational, pluralistic
Food at Camp: Kosher
Sample Camp Zeke’s healthy and active elective-based program including sports, swimming, culinary arts, running, dance, and more. Transportation provided. $1,210 special discounted rate for new campers from Essex, Morris, Sussex, Union and parts of Somerset Counties ($1,610 without discount)
First Session: Sunday, July 1– Sunday, July 8
Second Session: Monday, July 23 – Sunday, July 29

Camp Nesher – Taste of Camp (Co-ed)
90 Woods Rd, Lakewood, PA 18439
Affiliation: Orthodox
Food at Camp: Kosher
Eleven days of camp fun for prospective campers entering grades 3 – 6. $1,100
Tuesday, July 24– Friday, August 3

Camp Galil – Mini-Session (Co-ed)
146 Red Hill Road, Ottsville, PA 18942   
Affiliation: Non-denominational, Zionist, pluralistic
Food at Camp: Kosher
Spend two weeks at camp trying out all of the activities, explore the organic garden, meet the chickens and the lambs, bake challah, and learn some new Hebrew words. For campers entering grades 3 – 5, choose from first or second session.
Mini Session Alef: Sunday, June 24– Sunday, July 8
Mini Session Bet: Wednesday, July 25 – Wednesday, August 8

Camp Nah-Jee-Wah (Co-ed)
570 Sawkill Rd, Milford, PA 18337
Affiliation: Pluralistic
Food at Camp: Kosher
Spend two weeks at camp during first or second session and experience all aspects of camp life. Parents can check in by email and with counselors to see how new campers are acclimating. For new campers entering grades 1 – 6.
First-time two-week campers from Essex, Morris, Sussex, Union, and parts of Somerset counties are eligible for a special discount. 
$1,475 (with discount), $2,150 (without discount)
First Session: Tuesday, June 26 – Sunday, July 8

Second Session: Tuesday, July 24 – Sunday, August 5

Cedar Lake Camp (Co-ed)
570 Sawkill Rd, Milford, PA 18337
Affiliation: Pluralistic
Food at Camp: Kosher
Make new friends while exploring your own interests with Cedar Lake’s elective program for campers entering grades 7 – 9.
First-time two-week campers from Essex, Morris, Sussex, Union, and parts of Somerset counties are eligible for a special discount. $1,475 (with discount), $2,150 (without discount)
Tuesday, July 24 – Sunday, August 5

Camp Moshava – Kaytana (Co-ed)
245 Navajo Rd, Honesdale, PA 18431
Affiliation: Orthodox, Zionist
Food at Camp: Kosher
An introductory, two-week camp experience for campers entering grades 3 & 4. Transportation from the New York area is included. Limited space available. $1,820
Sunday, August 12 – Tuesday, August 21

Camp Ramah in the Berkshires – Ta’am Ramah (Co-ed)
91 Ramah Road, Wingdale, NY, 12594
Affiliation: Conservative
Food at Camp: Kosher
Rising third graders get an eight-day taste of the Ramah experience. Choose from three sessions, transportation from the New York area included. $1,275
Ta’am 1: Monday, July 23 – Sunday, July 29
Ta’am 2: Monday, July 30 – Sunday, August 5
Ta’am 3: Monday, August 6 – Sunday, August 12

Visit One Happy Camper NJ for more information. Families in Essex, Morris, Somerset, Sussex, or Union counties in NJ can schedule an individual camp consultation with the Greater MetroWest, NJ camp expert, Tracy Levine to find the perfect fit. Interfaith families are welcome.

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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