Life at Camp

A Camp of Villages

Camp Wise is organized by villages; small communities that are at the core of our camp magic. We understand that children of each age group are at varying developmental stages, and have different social and educational needs. We intentionally group campers in co-ed villages (cabins are not co-ed) so that counselors can focus on the specific age-appropriate needs of each camper. This design reflects learning needed for real life where success depends on the strength of one’s relationships with peers.

Villages build a unique identity, ruach (spirit), and sense of pride over the summer. As a village, campers participate in daily electives, sit at village section tables at meals, participate in evening programs, and come up with their own cheers and mascots. Campers share space and time with others their own age–and can develop meaningful relationships with peers outside their cabin.

Camp Wise villages are organized by the grade a child enters at the end of the summer season. 

  • Machar (campers of tomorrow), Rising 2nd-4th grade campers
  • Rishon (first-timers): Rising 2nd– 5th grade campers
  • Chalutzim (pioneers): Rising 3rd– 5th grade campers
  • Ohalim (tent campers): Rising 6th-7th grade campers
  • Noar (teens): Rising 8th– 9th grade campers
  • Solel (trail blazers): Rising 10th grade campers
  • Israel Leadership Summer (ILS): Rising 11th Grade Campers, travel program
  • Staff-in-Training (SIT): Rising 12th Grade Campers

We love our first-time campers! Machar (1 week) and Rishon (2 weeks) are our intro sessions for new campers. It’s the perfect way to get a taste of camp!

While camper care is our #1 priority in every village, the counselors assigned to our Machar and Rishon cabins specialize in ensuring that these first-time campers have an unforgettable experience. Counselors support campers as they try new activities, make new friends, and become more independent with each new day. 

During their time at camp, campers get to try the best that Camp Wise has to offer, giving them a well-rounded program and leaving them ready for more next summer. 

Machar & Rishon campers live in the Chalutzim village, and participate in the same evening programs and daily chugim (activities) as the Chalutzim campers.

Chalutzim is in the center of camp, and this very special village of 3rd-5th graders is always filled with energy and laughter!  The Ga-Ga pit and tetherball are always in use, and every time you walk by you can see and hear the excitement. 

Evening programs are especially creative and provide an opportunity for campers to use their imagination and experience special adventures every evening with their friends. 

Chalutzim counselors are patient, caring, creative, and dedicated to helping all of their campers feel comfortable and safe.

Ohalim is home to our 6th and 7th grade campers. The soft sided tent “cabins” are unique, and a favorite throughout our camp community. You can often find the tent flaps rolled up during the camp day; this creates a special feeling of openness and community in the village. This environment encourages campers to spend time outside and to socialize with the entire village.  

Campers spend time in the village playing cards with their friends, chatting with their counselors, singing by the campfire or just relaxing with a book. When you walk through Ohalim you can always count on seeing games of “roofball” (a special Ohalim activity) or frisbee, and music is always playing! Being a part of Ohalim truly feels like being part of a family.

Noar is the teen village that our 8th and 9th graders call home!  It's filled with late night campfires, euchre games (pronounced yoo-ker), and cheers. 

Our teen campers enjoy Noar because they have a lot of input about their own daily experience and activity choices. 

Evening programs have laughter and silliness, and at the same time they challenge the teenage spirit to learn and grow. 

Counselors in this village focus intentionally on providing special experiences for their campers that are fun and relaxing, and also foster development of strong, healthy peer relationships. 

Part of the magic of Noar is special off-camp adventure trips!  

Noar is a place where our teen campers become themselves and discover who they want to be in a safe, fun environment.

Solel offers a fantastic summer adventure for our 10th graders. Their program is based on creating a tight community and lifelong memories.

Solel campers live in our yurt village and even though campers are assigned to bunks, all activities and trips are done as a village. The village and yurt deck are always alive with jokes, music, dancing, and excitement.

As our oldest campers, and leaders in camp, Solel campers participate in unique evening programs and are a part of a buddies program with Chalutzim and Rishon campers.

Because Solel takes many trips, their time in camp is tailored so they can participate in traditional camp activities, and specialized Solel programs.

Solel is the capstone of the Camp Wise camper experience, which culminates in the campers leading a powerful final Shabbat each session.

 

Israel Leadership Summer is a full-session experience for rising 11th graders to hone their leadership skills while traveling through the Jewish homeland with their best friends. Participants will experience 22-28 days in Israel, seeing all that the country has to offer from North to South. Each location on the itinerary provides an opportunity for adventure! For example, rappelling the Keshet arch, camping in the Negev under the stars, floating on the Dead Sea, and surfing in Haifa. At each site participants will also expand their understanding of Jewish history, Israeli culture and Judaism; exploring the history of ancient Jerusalem in archeological digs, interacting with community leaders on kibbutzim, and meeting face to face with young leaders in Israel’s activist movements. Gain an understanding of the many narratives on Israel’s past, present and future, and develop your own connection to Israel. ILS typically begins and ends with a few nights at Camp Wise in Chardon.

At the pinnacle of your Camp Wise journey, join an unforgettable Staff-in-Training summer. SITs live and breathe Camp Wise in many ways - they lead the spirit of camp. SIT offers rising 12th graders the opportunity to spend up to 7 weeks with their best friends; learning, growing, and giving back to the Home of Happiness they love. The SIT program is a teen leadership program where participants enjoy their favorite camp activities, go out of camp on surprise outings, plan all camp events for younger villages, and support the camper experience each day, learning the ropes as counselors and specialists-in-training.   

A Typical Day

  • Wake up
  • Morning assembly
  • Breakfast
  • Nikayon (cabin clean-up)
  • Cabin activity
  • Cabin activity or instructional swim
  • Chugim
  • Lunch
  • Menucha (rest hour)
  • Chugim, free swim, chofesh (free time)
  • Dinner
  • Evening program
  • Lights out