Eden Village Camp – even better than homeshuling

from our trip last fall

This past weekend, my kids had the opportunity to spend part of shabbat with the wonderful folks at Eden Village Camp during their first family camp of the season.  I love sleepaway camp, and I especially love Eden Village. For me, it’s the perfect mix of traditional Judaism, environmental values, and smelly hippies. Topped off with great food. Seriously, what sleepaway camp do you know of that has great food?


I’m hoping that by participating in some of the family programs run at Eden Village, my kids will embrace the idea of going to sleepaway camp, and feel right at home at Eden Village when the time comes. (Ella could technically attend this summer, but at 8, she’s just not ready.) They spent the day wandering through rows of organic vegetables, speeding up and down a zip line, laughing through the Torah service skits, paddling on a canoe, and discovering the joys of a screen-free shabbat (which I know I should be providing them with every week. Sigh.) They had an amazing time and didn’t want to leave.

I hope this visit and our visit on Sukkot have helped my kids start imagining themselves as Eden Village campers. I also think they are learning something about Judaism that I can’t teach them at home – that communal Judaism at its best (and camp really is its best) is even better than homeshuling (though campshuling is nowhere near as good of a blog name.) My girls got to do things they loved – singing Jewish songs, doing havdallah around a campfire, acting out Shabbat stories on stage with friends (more about that later) – and every single activity was richer and more positive because it was shared with others. We might not always find fun, joyful community in shul, but it’s nice to be reminded that we can find it somewhere.


And while the girls had a lot of fun, I probably had the most fun of all. I saw some old friends, I met a friend (and her two gorgeous daughters) whom I previously only “knew” from facebook and blogging, and made some new friends. I read A Mezuzah on the Door to a group of kids, and was corrected by a child who knew the book by heart when I skipped a line, and I shared my new book, which the kids and staff promptly turned into skits. I got to say to my kids – yes, go ahead, I’ll meet you there – and know that they were safe as they walked away. I even had the experience of sitting through a Shabbat service that my kids actually enjoyed (or at least didn’t mind.) Shehechiyanu.


Want to go to family camp too? (You know you do!) Here’s the lowdown on the second session. I wish I could say I’ll see you there, but much to our dismay, I have to work on two of those days. We’ll be on the lookout for more family programs in the Fall and I’ll be sure to post about them here.

Comments read comments(7)
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Leora Mallach

posted May 31, 2011 at 9:53 am

awesome!! that it should be a great 2nd summer.

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posted May 31, 2011 at 9:56 am

Oh it looks like so much fun. We are busy for the end of summer one as well but I want very much to try to make one soon. I think it would a good for our whole family.

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posted May 31, 2011 at 1:00 pm

I just wrote almost an identical post about the family retreat our synagogue just did at Camp Yavneh. I know exactly what you mean!

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Frume Sarah

posted June 1, 2011 at 2:13 am

Sounds amazing!!!! What a great way to celebrate Shabbat.

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Vivian Stadlin

posted June 2, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Amy, everyone at Eden Village loved your blog post, thank you! And we so enjoyed the lovely energy you, Ella and Zoe brought to Shabbat.

The next Family Camp at Eden Village Camp is coming up August 25-28, and there is some room still available. You (and everyone) can register for that online at

Vivian and the Eden Village team

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Pingback: Festival of Eden – are you going? (ps, I can get you a discount) - Homeshuling

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posted October 24, 2012 at 12:25 am

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