Utilizing large tents for our art, block, dramatic play, and manipulative areas, we provide the children with interest areas and materials that are familiar. By bringing familiar materials outside, and by adding materials that can only be used outside, children experience the familiar in a completely different way! Our natural classroom located in the forest on the JCC’s grounds plays an integral role in Camp Keshet. In addition to our daily activities, Camp Keshet goes to Buhr Pool twice a week, and on many Wednesdays the camp takes a field trip to a fun Ann Arbor activity.
Every day at camp begins with Boker Tov, a greeting time when the entire camp gathers to greet the morning and each other. Singing our greeting song is followed by Message Board, when the children decode the special happenings of the day, such as swimming, a field trip, a special visitor, or any other change in routine.
Boker Tov is followed by Small Group Time, which is when the children work in groups of 6-7 children with a teacher. The group of children and their teacher remain consistent through the summer. Small Group is the time when the teacher initiates an activity such as painting, exploring a worm box, building, or classifying different kinds of leaves. Some activities will be similar to those that could be conducted in a classroom, but many will take advantage of nature as a material to be experienced!
When Small Group comes to a close, we begin the plan-do-review sequence. First, with their small groups, children plan what they want to do during Work Time; a plan may be as simple as “paint” or as sophisticated as “I am going to build a tower with Sarah – we’re going to use the lumber and make it tall!” Then, during Work Time, the children initiate their own activities, choosing from all of the resources in our outdoor classroom. Some children change to another activity quickly, some stick with their original intention for a long time. After Work Time, everyone cleans up, and then the small groups get back together for Recall Time, to review what everyone did during Work Time.
After the plan-do-review sequence, it is snack time! Children eat snack in their small groups, which contributes to group cohesion. After snack, we have Large Group Time! On Fridays we celebrate the coming of Shabbat at Large Group Time, but most of the time we do music and movement activities during Large Group Time! On swim days, this is when we leave for the pool.
After Large Group Time, we have Outdoor Activity Time, when the campers have access to the more traditional parts of our playground, such as climbers, sandboxes, and tricycles. Finally, the camp morning comes to a close as the campers move inside for lunch time.
- Camp Keshet begins at 9am, drop-off between 7:30am and 9am
- Children must be 3 years old prior to attending Camp Keshet
- Camp schedules are Monday – Friday only. There is a 2 week minimum registration. For families new to the program, first 2 weeks must be consecutive.
- Child Information Forms, Permission Forms and our Policy Pack must be completed and turned into the ECC office prior to the camper’s first day. Those forms can be found on the ECC Forms Page.