Summer camp is a big deal in the Jewish community, and with so many options in Georgia it can be hard for parents to pick. In the City Camp is trying to make that choice a little bit easier by bringing a full Jewish camp experience to your backyard with its third location opening this summer at Congregation Dor Tamid in Johns Creek.
“One of our founding principles was to offer a Jewish, choice-based camp where nothing else like it was available,” CEO Eileen Snow Price said. “We are bringing a new option to families who may have not had the chance to experience ITC.”
In the City Camp launched in 2012, when Snow Price figured out that overnight camp wouldn’t fit all four of her kids’ needs. With a long history of Jewish camp experiences in her family – her parents met at an overnight camp – she wanted to find a way to capture that same feeling a little closer to home.
With its first two locations in Atlanta and Sandy Springs, In the City Camp grew from a few dozen kids in the first year to 700. The third location allows the camp to reach Jews a little further north.
“There’s a large and growing Jewish community outside of the city, so when the opportunity to partner with Dor Tamid presented itself, we quickly sprang into action to bring our community to theirs,” she said.
Snow Price explained that one of the unique parts of Jewish overnight camp has always been in its hands-on interaction with Judaism.
“Our culture is something you have to live to understand. You have to experience it, and camp is an experiential learning opportunity,” she said. “When you get to practice these Jewish values in a community that is supportive, and you can grow in those ways, that is the power of camp.”
Keeping that experiential nature was an important part of creating a new kind of Jewish camp in 2012 and remains at the core of In the City Camp today.
“Since day one we have always seen camp through the eyes of a child,” Snow Price said. “Our choice-based model teaches children critical thinking skills and empowers them to participate in activities they love while trying new things.
While the other locations include Kid Camp (K-6) and Tween Camp (rising seventh- through ninth-graders), the Johns Creek location will only include the younger groups, at least for its first summer.
Snow Price explained that starting at a younger age is a unique draw to In the City Camp, as many overnight camps don’t offer programming for those younger than rising third-graders.
“We start at a young age, and so it’s an earlier step on a child’s Jewish journey,” she said. “It allows us to have and create community close to home that has the specialness of camp.”
In The City Camp’s Atlanta location, at Morningside Elementary School, runs from June 3 until June 21; the Sandy Springs location, at The Weber School, from June 24 until Aug. 2; and the newest location at Johns Creek from July 15 until Aug. 2.
While camp can be expensive, part of In The City Camp’s mission is to ensure it remains affordable and accessible for all members of the community. Part of Snow Price’s goal is to make sure that every Jewish child has the opportunity to experience camp.