“As I have gotten older, I’ve been able to form my own opinions and establish a more personal connection to Judaism. I’ve gone to Camp Laurelwood - a Jewish overnight camp - since I was eight years old, and every year it holds more significance to me. Not only are my camp friends my best friends, but when I am ever faced with antisemitism at home, they are always there to support me. On a more positive note, some of my favorite memories are associated with camp and being Jewish.”
Did you know that Camp Laurelwood has a podcast called 'Inside the Bubble?!' We kid you not!
In this podcast series, Tess (Office Manager/Registrar) and Louis (Camp Director) chat about our favorite place in the world….Camp Laurelwood!
We have chosen a variety of topics to talk about and each episode we will welcome a guest star/Camp professional extraordinare to join us!
These podcasts are made for YOU - our Camp community! You can now find all 6 of our recorded podcasts here on our CL blog!
We hope that you and your family find these videos entertaining, informative, and insightful!
Exciting news from Camp Laurelwood! We would like to introduce you to our Community Care Team, which is a big part of our work on Mental, Emotional, Social, and Spiritual Health (MESSH). The team is led by Elizabeth Kaplan, our year-round Community Care Director. Lisa Lebowitz is joining us as our summer Camper and Staff Care Coordinator, and Gretchen Miller Marino is joining us as our Mental Health Professional. Read more about each of these amazing individuals and how they are going to take the best care of our Laurelwood community this summer.
The Camp Laurelwood community is excited to welcome Cristina Garbalosa as the new Bonim Director!
"The holiday season means different things to different people. While some are busy shopping and baking for Christmas, there are many other celebrations happening at this time of year.
Throughout the month of December, several religions and cultures observe various winter holidays. And Another Thing explores these celebrations and learns about the diverse traditions they include."
"After graduating college, I had visions of myself in grad school, but when FJC’s email to Cornerstone Alumni let us know they were looking to hire three fellows to work on several camping initiatives and return to camp over the summer, I realized that the one constant in my life, the thing that has always made me feel the strongest and most empowered was camp - and I didn’t have to leave that all behind in pursuit of a graduate degree and some ambiguous career path.
Today, sitting at my desk at FJC, I realize that I have so much to thank all my camping communities for. The most invaluable thing they have given me is a community with shared values and traditions to belong to."
"Shabbat is a special time at Laurelwood. It is where the magic of Camp comes to life, and where we celebrate the uniqueness of our community."
Questions about what to pack your camper for a summer of fun at sleepaway camp?!
Check out the 2021 Suggested Packing List AND our Theme Day/Wacky Wednesday Calendar!
P.S. - It is NEVER too early to start packing for camp! Happy Packing, CL :)
Shavuot 2021 begins at sunset on Sunday, May 16 and ends at sundown on Tuesday, May 18.
What is Shavuot you ask? Shavuot marks the biblical story of receiving the Ten Commandments and the Torah at Mt. Sinai.
Although Shavuot was originally a harvest holiday, today people celebrate the day by studying Torah, staying up all night, crafting paper cut-outs, eating local foods, and indulging in cheesecake and blintzes.
Check out this latest blog post (originally posted in Shalom New Haven) in which Rabbi James discusses the midrash from Shir Hashirim Rabbah, which talks about children as the guarantors of the Torah and the connection to receiving the Torah.
“The independence of an overnight camp gives you that nice separation from your parents. You become more independent, more self-dependent,” he says, noting this is vital because, in isolation, kids have become less apt to take healthy risks.
Check out this article, posted in the CT Jewish Ledger on March 1st, 2021, to read about how the Camp Laurelwood team plans to safely open our doors this coming summer AND to learn more about the new and exciting activities here at camp that have an emphasis on the outdoors.
In this latest blog post, CL intern Coriann (who is studying psychology at Bay Path University), reflects on her own experiences at an overnight summer camp she attended for many years, and how the study of Positive Psychology - which includes practicing gratitude, acts of kindness, and developing her own strengths - can be found woven into every day life at camp.
As Coriann writes, "My experiences at camp helped me to more positive throughout my life, and I am grateful for that."
Camp Laurelwood, Connecticut’s only overnight Jewish camp, has been selected to participate in the inaugural cohort of JFAM, a new initiative of the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s (FJC). This innovative program, funded by the Maimonides Fund, provides overnight camps with financial and programmatic support to launch or expand their family camp offerings to provide meaningful Jewish experiences for families with young children.
However you may spell it, Hanukkah is right around the corner!
Looking for a new recipe to try for the holiday? Check out this blog post to learn how to make delicious Sufganiyot (jelly donuts) the whole family will enjoy!
Bete'avon (Bon Appetit!) Camp Laurelwood!
"The memories of my 252 days and nights at CLW are a blessing that I carry with me always. Many of the things I know how to do today, I learned at CLW: how to swim; how to work with a hammer and saw; how to fry an egg on an empty tuna can perched on a bonfire…and most important, how to get along with those who are not like me. Proudly, for the last half of my career, I was a fundraiser for Jewish agencies dedicated to supporting children and families, and what I learned about life at CLW informed my work.
A few years ago, thanks to the internet, I reconnected with a few friends, just in time to attend the 80th reunion at camp, with my Hartford-born husband in tow. It was so wonderful to see everyone, especially since we all still look the same!
Thank you, CLW, for all you do to enhance and strengthen the lives of Jewish children. I am who I am today because of you. Thank you to each donor who understands the power of camp. The life you change may change the world."
Edgar has been a camper at Camp Laurelwood for 5 summers and is hoping to return to CL for Summer 2021 as a staff member!
Click below to learn all the ways in which Camp Laurelwood has impacted Edgar's life and to hear more about his 10 year journey (!) to become an Eagle Scout.
The entire Camp Laurelwood family is so proud of Edgar and this incredible accomplishment (and so grateful for the awesome ping-pong tables!)
Great work, Edgar!
Camp Laurelwood is hosting an Education Panel with our team of CL experts.
Join us for this Zoom discussion on November 10th at 7pm EST.
"Families considering overnight camps in 2021 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. Our values-driven and welcoming environment means we have campers from around the state and across the Jewish identity spectrum. We are a true melting pot of Connecticut’s Jewish identity, and Camp gives children the opportunity to grow into their Jewish selves. Once you are connected to Laurelwood, you remain a part of the Laurelwood family."
Today our CL community recognizes staff member Amanda Thompson, who has been part of our family for 11 summers.
This past summer, Amanda worked as a Mental Health and Wellness Intern for the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC).
Check out this blog post to hear more about her internship experience and how her summers at CL shaped her into the amazing person she is today!
The devoted team at Camp Laurelwood is currently exploring different options to safely open camp this summer to the community. One of the ideas currently being considered is "Family Camp."
The vision for Family Camp is to have families come up to camp for 5 days during the summer (Wednesday - Sunday) and enjoy CL’s beautiful 140+ acre campus. CL would offer meals, classic summer camp activities, and of course, on-campus accommodations.
Questions about what to pack your camper for a summer of fun at sleepaway camp!? Check out our Suggested Packing List!
Join Rabbi James and his daughters in a lesson on Challah Braiding!
"As parents ask questions about this upcoming season, we will admit that we don’t yet have all the answers. That being said, we are committed to being transparent, thoughtful, and to do what is right for our community. At this time, we have not made any changes to the dates of our Summer 2020 sessions and all programs are moving forward as planned. We know that you look forward to the summer and the important role camp plays in the lives of our campers. We appreciate the trust you place in us when sending your campers to Laurelwood."
A healthy camp really does start at home. Here are some things you can do to help your child have a great camp experience!
"As news about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve, we want to assure you that the safety, security, and well-being of your children and our wider Connecticut community remain our primary concern here at CL."
Check out our recent blog post to read more!
The Laurelwood community is excited to welcome Rabbi James Greene and his family to the CLW family!
Riley, a 9 year old second year camper from CT, recently sent us this AMAZING letter that we wanted to share with you all! Thank you Riley for putting a smile on our face and for your sweet words. We agree with you, we think CL is the best camp ever!!
Check out her awesome letter below!
Read all about our innovating and exciting Robotics Program from our very own Digital Media Specialist: Sol Wozniak-Bendremer!
Working at a summer camp can be rewarding in ways you've never even realized. Molly Wernick shared how her experience as a counselor at a Jewish summer camp shaped her as a person and professional and we could not have said it better ourselves.