HABONIM D’ROR Camp Miriam
Since its establishment less than 7 decades ago, Camp Miriam has grown along with the Jewish community and today the camp sees close to 300 campers each season. Although the camp has changed locations and names, its objectives of educating Jewish youth and fostering positive social relationships and the foundation for an active future in the Jewish community locally and with Israel are still at the core of the Camp Miriam experience.
The original Camp Miriam was founded in 1948 under the name Camp Kvutsa (Kvutsa means “group”) and was located at Crescent beach in White Rock, BC. The camp was renamed to Camp Miriam in 1951 after Miriam Biderman who was an influential member of the Habonim Dror movement, and moved to Gabriola Island, BC in 1956.
Although there are many more non-Jewish camps open to Jewish youth today than there were in the past, Jewish summer camps “profoundly shape [Jewish children’s] identity” and each summer they provide campers “with lifelong friendships, a commitment to Jewish community, and unforgettable memories”
Camp Miriam is still very much a similar experience, especially ideologically, to what campers would have appreciated from it in past generations. Unlike so many other Jewish institutions that have evolved their missions over time, Camp Miriam, along with the parents who send their children there, still seek to provide the campers with a place where they can truly enjoy the freedom and fun that only childhood summers allow.
Camp Hatikvah YOUNG JUDAEA
Jewish summer camps are one venue for informal education, a core component of child and youth development that contribute to a well rounded education, Jewish friendships, and identity. Camp Hatikvah has provided a Jewish and Zionist atmosphere for campers and a beautiful setting on Kalamalka Lake in the Okanagan for the past 57 years.
In recent years, with the generosity of the community, the camp has been able to update many of the camp buildings creating dynamic facilities that support the high caliber programming of this camp, especially in the areas of leadership development, love of Israel, and water sports. Camp Hatikvah, like so many other Jewish camps, strives to endow campers with a “deep love and respect of [Jewish] tradition” and continues to see its relevance in the current era.