Our Summer Camps | Camps Airy & Louise
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Our CampsOur Camps

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Welcome to Camps Airy & Louise! We’re the only brother-sister Jewish overnight camps in the country, and we’re celebrating over 90 summers of non-stop fun.

Mission Statement:

Camps Airy & Louise provide Jewish children in grades 2 through 12 from all economic backgrounds with opportunities for self-growth and life skills that enhance their Jewish identity in a single-gender environment, while creating friendships that last a lifetime.

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History

Camps Airy & Louise were founded in 1924 and 1922 respectively by Lillie and Aaron Straus. Originally meant to be a place for Jewish girls to explore the countryside and take a break from factory work, the Strausses wished to provide the values and development of a camping experience to Jewish children from Baltimore and the surrounding area, regardless of their economic background. Aaron and Lillie’s dream was to make a camp that was inclusive and welcoming to all campers equally, whether they paid full price or received significant discounts. We are proud to uphold their stance.

Vision

Camps Airy & Louise have been believers in the power of summer camp for almost 100 years. We aim for every activity to promote communication, teamwork or leadership skills. Our vision is to provide caring, challenging and creative activities for our campers to develop their self-confidence, self-advocacy and self-expression. Camps Airy & Louise help every camper bring out his or her own inner awesome.

Values

Camps Airy & Louise create a summer full of fun experiences for staff and campers alike. Beyond that, all our activities point towards a single set of values which underlie everything we do.

Self-growth: At Camps Airy & Louise we strengthen the natural ways that summer camp releases children to discover their true selves. We encourage children to develop their self-confidence, self-expression and self-advocacy through creative, challenging and safe risk-taking activities.

Single-gender: Camps Airy & Louise are single gender by deliberate choice. We offer boys and girls the unique advantages of learning from strong role models and being able to extend themselves beyond gender stereotyping.

Life skills: As well as developing new talents and enjoying fun pursuits, our campers learn valuable life skills at every turn. At Camps Airy & Louise, children develop their flexibility, conflict resolution abilities, teamwork, leadership capabilities and communication skills without even realizing. The diversity of camp staff encourages campers and staff members to interact with different people who might hold very different views.

Life-long friendships: Wonderful warm friendships that last a lifetime are one of the most important parts of a summer at Camps Airy & Louise. Bunk life encourages campers to develop their tolerance for difference as they learn to live together. Often strong friendships spring up between campers who on the surface may have had nothing in common.

Appreciation for the natural world: Camps Airy & Louise is strongly founded on an awareness of our responsibility to our environment and our obligations towards our surroundings. We promote a sense of commitment to our planet and a deeper understanding of our job of protecting the environment.

Jewish identity: Through Shabbat celebration, Israel programming and community service, Camps Airy & Louise extend a warm, welcoming and inclusive community that is without judgement. By encouraging our campers to share their own beliefs and practices, we help them to explore what Judaism means to them and achieve a mature and positive sense of Jewish identity.

The ideals of Jewish peoplehood (klal yisrael), repairing our world (tikkun olam), improving our personal ethics (tikkun middot) and awareness of spirituality (ruach v’kavanah) permeate and motivate our community.

Shabbat celebration

Shabbat offers an opportunity to reflect on the past week and to properly prepare for the week ahead. We gather together in nature to celebrate the start of Shabbat on Friday night with music, prayer and reflection. Shabbat continues on Saturday morning with a pluralistic observance followed by Oneg Shabbat (a delicious snack). After special afternoon programming, Shabbat concludes with a Havdallah service that recognizes the end of Shabbat and welcomes the new week ahead.

A note on Bar & Bat Mitzvahs: If your camper is celebrating his or her Bar or Bat Mitzvah after camp and needs to practice, sign up on Drop-off Day for dedicated one-on-one practice time. Your camper will be paired with a knowledgeable staff member who will listen to your camper at a scheduled time once a week.

Accredited and Certified

Camps Airy & Louise are fully accredited by the American Camp Association(ACA). Our camps meet or exceed the most comprehensive standards of camping in the country, as set by ACA and the Maryland Youth Camp Safety Act.

Learn more about our camps using the menu on the left, or email us at airlou@airylouise.org if you have any further questions. We’d love to hear from you.

Camp Airy for Boys   Camp Louise for Girls