Camp Raanana takes the day by storm by offering rich experiences and skill building every day of the summer (excluding July 4th – Independence Day and weekends, of course)! Camp Raanana is a great place for campers of all backgrounds and religions. We explore “Element J,” aspects of Jewish life that we weave through the daily camp experience by celebrating Jewish themes in music, games, art, and our core camp values. We believe these core values improve everyone’s life. For more on our core values, visit About Camp. You are always welcome to visit our calendar during the summer to see what’s going.
Camp Raanana Activities @ Cedar Lake
Camp Raanana runs most weeks at the Michigan United Conservation Club (MUCC) Chelsea, Michigan campsite, the Cedar Lake Nature Center*. During the drive from the Ann Arbor JCC to Cedar Lake, about a 30 minute drive, we will be singing songs and playing games. When the bus arrives, campers participate in the Pledge of Allegiance as well as Jewish and camp themed songs to begin the day. Campers then break in to their groups and participate in a wide variety of activities including:
- Canoeing (Kindergarten and up)
- Kayaking (3rd grade and up)
- Red Cross certified swim lessons
- Field Sports (ex: Soccer, Kickball, Volleyball)
- Omanut (Arts and Crafts)
- Nature hikes
- Music and rhythm
- Daily snack time (healthy, both nut & meat-free)
- Chugim (Electives)
- And more!
*In the event of severe rain or inclement weather, camp will take place at the Ann Arbor JCC. Camp will not be cancelled.
Camp Raanana Activities @ the J
Camp Raanana will offer a session or two at the J each summer, when Cedar Lake can no longer host our program. We offer many of the same activities at the J that we do at Cedar Lake, some with a bit of a twist, and a few we cannot offer at Cedar Lake, including:
- Swimming at the Spruce Knob outdoor pool (across the street from the J, life jackets are available as needed)
- Field Sports (as listed above)
- Gymnasium Sports
- Arts and crafts
- Chugim (electives)
- Daily snacktime (healthy, both nut and meat-free)
- And more!
Overnights make Camp Raanana extra special. Who wouldn’t love an evening with extra snacks, extra free swim, a campfire complete with singing and making S’mores, and a delicious breakfast to begin the next day? Few day camps can brag that they offer overnights to all campers, but we offer THREE of them! For more information about overnights, please click here.
Theme Days & Silly Fun
Sometimes we get a little silly at Camp Raanana and have a lot of fun! Each week we provide a day where Campers, CIT’s, and staff can be silly, dress in costumes, or participate in special themed activities. Sometimes we play with water and sometimes we simply get messy! We also hold an annual Got Talent showcase where each unit comes up with something fun and entertaining for the whole camp to enjoy! During the summer, theme days will be posted on the calendar and communicated via emails to campers’ families.
Friday & Shabbat
Fridays at Camp Raanana we switch it up! Instead of our usual routine, we have more free swim, a kosher hot dog lunch (must be purchased in advance), and our very special Shabbat at the Lake, an all-camp celebration at the Amphitheater overlooking Cedar Lake. This is a special way finish out each week. Families are always invited to attend.
Shabbat at the Lake
Each Friday beginning at 2:00 PM we share skits, songs, Shabbat blessings, snacks, and of course, Challah and Grape Juice (usually in juice box form).
Families are are invited to join us. When you arrive, a staff member will direct you to the amphitheater. You may choose to sit with your camper or you may prefer to sit higher up the amphitheater as we welcome the Jewish Sabbath. Campers may leave with authorized family members directly after our Shabbat at the Lake celebration, but please be sure to sign out with their counselor first!
After our Shabbat at the Lake concludes, campers will be transported back to the Ann ARbor JCC on the bus as usual.
Kosher* hot dog lunch
Families may choose to purchase a Friday hot dog lunch for their camper(s). You must sign your camper(s) up for lunch no later than 24 hours in advance by logging in to your Ann Arbor JCC online account, registering, and paying. The meal costs $5/meal/camper and includes:
• Up to 2 kosher* hot dogs or veggie dogs (please indicate this at registration)
• Up to 2 pickle slices
• Fresh Fruit
If your camper will not be eating hot dog lunch, make sure to pack a cold lunch as usual.
*Although the hot dogs are kosher, the grill they are cooked on is not.