When the sun shines brightly, the temperatures are rising, and the world is full of green, it is summer and time for Camp Raanana, where the best summer memories are made!
Special 2021 Summer Information
For the 2021 summer season we will still be maintaining pandemic related safety protocols, with some exciting changes to enhance the camper experience! While our home base will remain at the Ann Arbor JCC’s property at 2953 Birch Hollow Drive, we will be taking campers on field trips to Cedar Lake Nature Center during each weekly session! Only two groups at a time will spend their day at Cedar Lake. This will allow us to maintain proper distancing at the J, on the bus, and at Cedar Lake. This will also allow us appropriate time to sanitize facilities between groups, and have appropriate indoor options in the event of inclement weather.
Groups in grades K-3 will visit Cedar Lake once per weekly session. In addition, those groups will enjoy a special activity by visiting providers at the J once per weekly session. Groups in grades 4 and 5 will visit Cedar Lake twice per weekly session, spending more time on their favorite outdoor activities. The J’s Camp Raanana Program Coordinator and Waterfront Director, Marlowe Susselman, will be our senior staff supervisor on site at Cedar Lake. We will be engaging in our “usual” summer activities at Cedar Lake including swimming lessons, fishing, kayaking (grades 3 and up), archery, and more to explore and utilize this wonderful natural space. We are excited to be able to bring campers to Cedar Lake and we hope you are too!
About Camp Raanana
The J’s Camp Raanana has provided summer day camp experiences for many decades for children as young as age 5 through the middle and high school CIT experience. Camp Raanana’s summer home the Michigan United Conservation Club’s (MUCC) Cedar Lake Nature Center in Chelsea, as well as the J’s building and property in Ann Arbor. Our enthusiastic staff begin each campers day with a personal greeting to get them excited for a full day of new experiences and exciting activities.
We maintain a healthy balance of structured and free play, along with plenty of peer interaction. Our counselors are caring, involved, and deeply engaged companions to our campers while providing constant supervision. The Camp and Youth Director plans and coordinates a summer of enriching activities and leads the highly trained and experienced staff.
As your child grows, so does their Camp Raanana experience. Those in grades K, 1, and 2 have more planned activities throughout the day, while children in grades 3, 4, and 5 have “choice periods,” for which they choose from a menu of activities at the beginning of the week, for example, advanced art.
One of the highlights of the Camp Raanana experience, and in great demand, is our overnights at Cedar Lake. We pride ourselves on providing the best of a resident camp experience in a day camp setting, and are one of the few day camps you’ll find that offer an overnight camp experience.
Have a middle schooler or teen that doesn’t know what to do with their time? Camp Raanana’s leadership program for those in grades 6 through 8, provides the fun of camp with important skill building. The Ozrim counselor-in-training program for those in grades 9 or 10 offers fun, leadership training, and hands-on experience under the mentorship of our experienced staff. This program has proven that being an “Ozo” is the way to learn the necessary skills to become a successful counselor.
Camp Raanana Mission Statement
Camp Raanana is a pluralistic Jewish day camp that strives to create a transformative and fun summer experience. We provide each camper and staff member a safe environment that nurtures identity, builds character, and promotes a true sense of community.
Our Core Values
At Camp Raanana we are surrounded by a natural beauty in the truest sense. The trees that line our camp each have stories of growth and development not unlike each of our campers and staff. Our trees, not unlike ourselves, are firmly rooted. Our shorashim (roots), or foundation, was planted upon the ideals of Identity (zehoot), Character (ofi), and Community (kehila). Our anafim (branches) grow from these roots and help support our campers and staff on their own journeys. These branches are the central values for our camp community. We make time to accentuate our six branches every day and in doing so, they become something even more valuable to us: the skills we use to traverse an ever-growing and developing world.
Our six branches are:
Ruach* – רוח (ruach) *loose English translation is “spirit”
Friendship – חברות (chevrut)
Independence –עצמאות (atzma’ut)
Creativity – יצירה(yetzirah)
Kavod* – כבוד (kavod) *loose English translation is “respect”
Kindness – חסד (chesed)
Jewish Community Center of Greater Ann Arbor Mission Statement
To enhance Jewish identity, culture, and values for the community, through a wide range of resources and excellent programming.
JCCA of North America
The JCC Association of North America is the continental umbrella organization for the Jewish Community Center Movement, which includes more than 350 JCCs, YM-YWHAs, and camp sites in the U.S. and Canada.
JCC Association offers a wide range of services and resources to help its affiliates to provide educational, cultural, social, Jewish identity-building, and recreational programs for people of all ages and backgrounds.
JCC Association supports the largest network of Jewish early childhood centers and Jewish summer camps in North America, and is also a U.S. government accredited agency for serving the religious and social needs of Jewish military personnel through JWB Jewish Chaplains Council.
The camp program is licensed by the Department of Human Services. The program is operated on a not-for-profit basis as a service to families of Ann Arbor and the surrounding area. Michigan Licensing rules enforce a strict School Age ratio of 1 teacher to 18 campers. The JCC of Greater Ann Arbor strives to maintain a 1:10 ratio.
The camp program is mandated by the Child Protection Law and will report to the Child Protective services, any suspected cases of child abuse, neglect, child sexual abuse or sexual exploitation. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Child Protection Law, and the program’s reporting guidelines, please speak to the director.