10th - 12th Grade - Camp Zeke

A special experience for our oldest campers

Our Teen Leadership, CIT, and Junior Counselor Programs focus on healthy, active living through fitness, sports, culinary arts, and joyful Judaism.

The Teen Leadership Program is for rising 10th-12th graders.

  • Teen Leaders serve as assistant activity specialists, mentor younger campers, join leadership-building sessions, and gain skills that will last far beyond camp.
  • Participation in the Teen Leadership Program is completely optional. Teens apply to join the program and are selected based on the strength of their application.
  • Teen Leaders earn volunteer hours for their participation.

The CIT Program is an invitation-based program for rising 11th and 12th graders who have completed the Teen Leadership Program in the prior summer.

  • CITs live in a bunk with other CITs but are scheduled to either run programs throughout the day or assist in the kitchen and dining room–just like our counselors.
  • After the program day, CITs participate in special events with other teens, help lead all-camp programs, and are otherwise involved in all aspects of camp life.
  • CITs also participate in special skill-building and leadership workshops that cover many of the same leadership and management topics that our counselors cover during orientation.
  • Participation in the CIT Program is by invitation only and completely optional.
  • CITs receive volunteer hours for their participation along with a $400 stipend at the end of the summer and an additional $400 off the price of camp.

The Junior Counselor Program is an invitation-only program for rising 12th graders who have completed our Teen Leadership and CIT program.

  • Junior Counselors are full members of the staff and have the very same experience as our other staff members.
  • For more details about the staff experience at camp, please click here.
  • Junior Counselors are paid for their work in camp.
  • Rather than tuition, their parents are encouraged to make a recommended donation to camp.

In addition to cooking gourmet dishes, taking leadership roles in camp, and getting fitter, faster, and stronger, teens enjoy special events and programs. Think late-night campfires and song sessions, movie nights, discussion circles, informal hang-out time at our canteen, and so much more.

We limit our teen program to about 40 girls and guys each session. Teens who have spent summers at Zeke tell us that the friendships they make over three or six weeks at camp are often closer and more meaningful than the friendships they make during the entire school year. By the end of the experience, you’ll not only gain new cooking and fitness skills, but also new lifelong friendships with a group of like-minded Jewish teens.

1

Connect

Group of young female campers huddling together in a hug
2

Lead

Campers on stage performing

Almost every day, you’ll have the opportunity to engage with younger campers and lead various programs throughout camp. You’ll be paired with a counselor mentor, and you’ll help lead activities like strength training, cooking, song sessions, dance, soccer, and so much more!  You’ll also be able to plan some of the all-camp evening programs that the whole camp loves, and hold certain coveted roles in the camp community, such as leading Rope Burn during camp Olympics.

You’ll also join skill-building sessions just like the ones our counselors experience during staff orientation. In these workshops, you’ll enhance essential leadership and communication skills, and build many other key lessons that will help you at college and in future jobs — of course the first of which should be counselor at Camp Zeke!

Give back to the community while building your resume and earning volunteer hours for school. We issue a formal letter at the end of each summer that you can use to certify your hours. In addition to playing sports, joining fitness activities, cooking, and making lifelong friendships, you’ll have the opportunity to give back while having a truly meaningful summer experience.

3

Volunteer

Teen leader listening to music with a younger camper
4

Collaborate & think creatively

Two campers reaching out to each other while hanging from gym ropes

Want to master the skills that will help you thrive in college and eventually, the professional world? Come to camp! Every week, you’ll enjoy interactive training sessions that focus on “21st Century Skills.” These go far beyond learning how to shake a hand or making a good first impression (though we’ll cover that too!).

So what are “21st Century Skills?” Researchers recently canvassed top American companies, such as Apple, Lego, and AT&T, to understand what attributes their happiest and most successful employees shared. Not surprisingly (to us at least!) collaboration, creative thinking, taking initiative, having an effective leadership style, and being responsible came out on top. We think it’s no coincidence that these are exactly the life skills fostered by the camp experience!

While all campers gain these skills through their summer experience, we created a series of interactive sessions just for teens to learn to develop and apply the skills in camp, outside of camp, and in the future.

Build your resume

We are proud to receive testimonials like the one below from parents of our teen leadership alumni.

I was going to email you around Thanksgiving but never got a chance to…but I think giving thanks is okay during any time of the year, right?

I’d like to say a sincere THANK YOU to you (and Camp Zeke in general) for involving [my son] among other campers in volunteering and helping out so many people in so many ways (younger campers, elderly, etc).

[My son] was applying for [a prestigious national honors program] back in October/November of this year. Many factors were considered, including academics, but importantly, extracurricular activities, leadership qualities, etc.  [My son] was involved heavily in the robotics club in school but did not have a particular focus outside of that except for Camp Zeke’s Teen Leadership activities over multiple summers.

I strongly feel that Camp Zeke’s activities helped him receive this high honor and we are immeasurably thankful to you for helping him get where he is now.

Wishing you and the camp all the best. I know for sure that the Camp Zeke experience, both as a camper as well as a teen leader, has left many positive memories for him.

All the best to you, the camp and all the people that make it such a wonderful place for children and young adults alike!

Our campers have made thousands of friendships, millions of memories, and lifelong skills in athletics, cooking, and joyful Judaism. We are proudly supported by:

  • Jewish Camp
  • Jim Joseph Foundation
  • Avi Chai
  • UJA Federation
  • The Jewish Education Project

We are fully accredited by the American Camp Association