A collaborative New York JCC is allowing three camps to offer a virtual summer experience called “Summer in the Cloud,” for their own and other JCC communities across the five boroughs, Westchester, and Long Island in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Summer in the Cloud is a partnership between Camp Settoga, Camp Twelve Trails and New Country Day Camp,” explained Genna Singer, the director of camps at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan in New York City. “Each morning starts with a camp-specific gathering filled with cheers, celebrations and games. The kids then have specialty activities for two 45-minute sessions, and we end the day with a camp-specific goodbye and gratitude time.”
Summer in the Cloud will be offered weekly for children ages five to 12 from 9:30 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday from July 6 to August 21. Campers have the option to add on activities from 4 to 5 p.m. Monday to Thursday.
Each camp day will feature camp-specific virtual gatherings and elective-based choices for campers, beginning with Boker Tov/flagpole/community gatherings as an opportunity to maintain the connection within each specific camp. Campers will then attend their choice of activities and form new friendships with campers from all over the New York area, while building skills and having fun. Singer said the elective specialties include a wide variety of activities like sketch comedy, cooking, songwriting, scratch coding, yoga, wacky science and more.
According to Singer, the response to Summer in the Cloud has been great. Both campers and their families have enjoyed the variety of activities and amount of choice in the kids’ schedules. So far, they have had over 100 campers registered.
“A silver lining presented to all of us during the pandemic was a chance to work with others and form partnerships, regardless of physical proximity,” said Singer in a press release. “For us, this was an amazing opportunity to utilize the strengths of three large agencies, broaden the options and activities we could each offer our campers, and work with other creative and thoughtful camp teams.”
Summer in the Cloud’s program is extending beyond the three partner camps leading the effort to include many area JCCs and communities. To date, these include JCC Brooklyn, JCC MidWestchester, MMCC, Camp Oshrat, Moise Safra Center, Educational Alliance, Sid Jacobson JCC, ShoreFront YM-YWHA of Brighton-Manhattan Beach, Edith and Carl Marks Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst, Barry and Florence Friedberg JCC, Marion and Aaron Gural JCC, Bronx House, The Center Day Camp, JCC Day Camp Staten Island, Mid-Island Day Camp, and Commonpoint Queens.