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Region’s summer camps designed in many models

Temple Beth Shalom youth join other Jewish youth at Jewish camp

Swimming is always a favorite. 
Photo courtesy of Camp Solomon Schechter

Iris Bernstein, director of education at Temple Beth Shalom, said about 30 of the 50 children and youth involved at the temple go each summer to Camp Solomon Schechter near Olympia. 

Children entering grades two to four go for one or two weeks. Those entering five to 10 go for three weeks and youth entering grade 11 participate in a five-week counselor-in training program.

Along with outdoor activities and sports, campers learn about Jewish life through worship, studies and everyday living in a Jewish environment.  Meals are kosher.

“The biggest value I see as an educator is that they experience a full Jewish life and return with a stronger attachment to the Jewish community,” Iris said.

They also build relationships with other Jewish children and youth from around the Northwest as they spend time at a lake with friends, singing, hiking, biking and doing water sports.

“It’s like heaven,” Iris observed.

Her three sons who are now adults built long-term relationships at camp.

Iris added that through the year, there are youth group retreats and conferences at the camp.

For information, call 747-3304.

Zach Snyder, assistant director of Camp Solomon Schechter, said the camp has existed for more than 60 years with different experiences at different locations.  It has been at the current property more than 30 years.

Four values the camp seeks to impart are trust, family, respect and repairing the world.

“Many values we practice at camp are not specific to the Jewish experience but are relevant to the human experience,” Zach said.

Activities include a challenge ropes course, a nature program, an arts department, sports such as tennis, soccer and basketball, and use of the lake with swimming, fishing, paddle boats, kayaks, canoes and now “corcls,” which are circular kayaks.

 “The goal is for campers to become leaders in their communities with values that create a better world,” Zach said.  “We want the next generation to have people who care enough to do things that make a difference.”

Zach started as a camper in the third grade and is now on the full time staff.

For information, call 206-693-3043 or email 

Copyright © June 2017 - The Fig Tree