Camp Shemesh
is located at the Cadigan Center
at 38 Woodside Avenue on
the Amherst College campus.

Contact Info
For questions regarding
registration, please contact
Camp Registrar Nora Mariano
at [email protected].

For questions regarding
programming, staffing
or scholarship aid,
please contact
Camp Director
Cara Michelle Silverberg at
[email protected]

413-256-0160, ext. 250
(voice–message line only)

Welcome Letter
from Camp Director
Cara Michelle Silverberg

  • Feb. 1: Early-Bird Registration Opens! (discount offered)
  • March 29: Shemesh Day
  • April 7: Camp Shemesh at the Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival
  • April 15: Early-Bird Registration Ends
  • May 5: JCA Mitzvah Day-
    Family Garden Project
    at the JCA
  • May 27: Shemesh Day
  • June 9: Second Annual Family Camp Kick-Off*
*Event details and registration at www.WeBeJammin2013.

Camp Documents

Click here to print a
registration form.

Click here for a complete
Admit Packet

(health form, etc.)
AFTER the Registrar receives your registration form and sends you a confirmation letter.

We have a significant scholarship fund for both JCA members and non-JCA members, thanks to generous grants from the JCA and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.
Click here to print the confidential scholarship application.

Apply to work at Camp Shemesh!
Click here for an application.
Join us for our 27th year!

Jewish Community
of Amherst's
Camp Shemesh

Summer day camp for kids ages 6–13
plus leadership development and
counselor-in-training programs for teens

Session 1: June 24–28:
Foodtastic: Garden goodies, solar ovens, Israeli salad and more!

Session 2: July 1–5:
Where The Wild Things Are: Animal tracking,
camp pets and a visit from a traveling zoo!

Session 3: July 8–12:
Mystery Madness: The trail is hot...put your detectives skills to work!

Session 4: July 15–19:
Mayim Chayyim: Beat the Heat - Cool off in the waters of life.

Session 5: July 22–26:
Maccabiah Games: Israeli Olympics - Shemesh Style.

Session 6: July 29–August 2:
Crazy Science: POP. BOOM! BANG. Sweeeet.

Mon.–Thurs., 8:45 a.m.–4 p.m., Fri., 8:45 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

Don't miss our NEW GARDEN PROGRAM, funded in part by the Gendler Grapevine.
All campers will have opportunities to visit the JCA garden to pick, plant and pickle garden goodies - and eat them up at lunchtime!
Located at Amherst College, Camp Shemesh provides a joyful and creative Jewish summer day camp experience for approximately 40 campers per session.
  • Crafts and cooking projects!
  • Creative arts!
  • Yoga, drumming, dance and martial arts!
  • Storytelling and music!
  • Nature exploration and gardening!
  • Daily free swim in the Amherst College pool!
  • Group games and sports, including Gaga!
  • Daily snack and lunch provided!
  • Weekly Family Kabbalat Shabbat, featuring singing, performances,
    family activities, and camper-baked challah

Get a taste of camp in a 2012 issue of our weekly summer newsletter,
the Shavuon Shemesh, created by campers!

Unit Descriptions & Sample Schedule:
1st–2nd K'tanim (Little Ones) and 3rd-4th Chaverim (Friends), 1 week — This is classic Camp Shemesh at its best! K'tanim and Chaverim will enjoy arts and crafts, collaborative team games, nature activities, Gaga, theater, yoga, dance, music and more based out of the Cadigan Center. These two groups will enjoy special guests such as local artists and storytellers, daily free swims at the Amherst College pool, and community lunches at the Cadigan Center. Each day will offer a balance of unit activities and mixed-age chuggim (electives) that campers can choose from.

5th–6th Chalutzim (Pioneers), 1 week — In addition to enjoying all of the classic Camp Shemesh activities and daily free swims at the Amherst College pool, Chalutzim will go on weekly field trips. They will visit sites such as the Amherst College Museum of Natural History and the Notch ropes course at the Mount Holyoke Range, where they will participate in exciting teambuilding challenges. While on site at Cadigan, Chalutzim will have a balance of unit time and mixed-age activities, and will choose from chuggim (electives) in the afternoons. Chalutzim will eat at Valentine Hall once a week, pack out lunches from the Cadigan Center on field trip days, and enjoy community lunches at the Cadigan Center the rest of the week.

7th–8th Tzofim (Scouts), 1 week — The Tzofim experience offers campers the opportunity to explore themselves as people and role models as they begin to transition into leadership roles at camp. Through teambuilding programs on low and high ropes courses at the Notch, off-site field trips, and classic Camp Shemesh activities, Tzofim get to enjoy the fun of camp while also reflecting on what it means to be a role model for younger campers. Tzofim may have a K'tanim (1st - 2nd) or Chaverim (3rd - 4th) buddy who they will get to know throughout the session. Camp will offer 2 sleepovers at the JCA for Tzofim; all Tzofim age campers who have attended or will attend Camp Shemesh in 2012 are welcome to attend the overnights.

9th–10th Bonim (Builders), 2 weeks — The Bonim experience is the next step in exploring what it means to work with children or become a camp counselor. In the first week of each session, Bonim will participate in daily workshops on subjects like "What Makes a Great Camp Counselor" and "Personal Leadership Styles." Bonim will be encouraged to reflect on their individual strengths and challenges as leaders, and will each get to choose a project that they want to carry out by the end of their session, such as planning and leading a chug (elective) or helping lead a song session. During the second week of their session, they will spend most of each day helping in a unit. Each session will be different, so Bonim can repeat the program and still have new experiences.

Sample Schedule:
  Mondays–Thursdays Fridays
8:45–9:00 a.m. Arrival and Boker Tov (good morning);
introduce weekly theme,
staff, and new campers
Arrival and Boker Tov
(good morning)
9:00–10:30 a.m. Unit Activity
(teambuilding activities, field games, etc.)
Electives and prep for Shabbat
10:30–11:00 a.m. Snack/walk to Amherst College pool Snack/walk to Amherst College pool
11:00 a.m.–12 noon Swimming/water play Swimming/water play
12:00–1:30 p.m. Lunch Lunch
1:30–2:00 p.m. Quiet time
(board games, reading, etc.)
Prep for Kabbalat Shabbat
2:00–2:30 p.m. Weekly Elective
(dance choreography, mask making,
media and photography, etc.)
Clean up/gather belongings
2:30–2:45 p.m. Family members arrive/
Kabbalat Shabbat!
2:50–3:30 p.m. Daily Elective (Gaga, nature activities,
creative writing, yoga and meditation, etc.)
3:30–3:45 p.m. Clean up/gather belongings Staff clean up and meeting
3:45–4:00 p.m. L'hitra'ot (see you soon!)
Camp Shemesh Counselors
The camp features a superb team of leadership staff, counselors, and counselors-in-training, with a staff-to-camper ratio of 1:5. Many staff members are former Shemesh campers. Staff members are selected for their experience working with children, their leadership capabilities, their unique talents, and their enthusiasm for providing a fun and meaningful Jewish summer camp experience.

Food & Kashrut Policy:
Camp Shemesh provides a well-balanced snack and lunch every day. At camp, we do not directly mix milk and meat, nor do we consume pork or shellfish products. We realize that Shemesh families adhere to a variety of diets at home and that this form of kashrut may be different from what your child is used to. We look at this as an opportunity for campers to become more familiar with this aspect of Jewish culture - not as a set of rules they should follow all the time, but as an aspect of Judaism that we can learn about together while enjoying delicious food. If you have questions or concerns about our Kashrut Policy, please contact [email protected].
Camp Shemesh is affiliated with the Jewish Community of Amherst, not Amherst College.
Camp Shemesh complies with the regulations of the
Massachusetts Department of Public Health and is licensed by the Board of Health.

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