We believe that the summer should be a time for children to enjoy the outdoors, learn more about themselves and discover their skills and talents. Throughout the summer, your children will be taught by our staff and many outside professionals with the intention of gaining a particular skill and expanding their interests.
The waterfront is one of our favourite areas at Camp Gesher. Campers have a general swim period every day, and organized swimming lessons three to four times a week. At the end of each session, our swim staff present badges certified by the Red Cross to campers that have passed a new swimming level. A Bronze Cross training course and certification test is also offered to all interested campers. Facilities at the waterfront include a waterslide, water trampoline, inner tubes, paddle boats, pontoon boat, multiple docks, and equipment for water sports such as water polo.
We offer water skiing at varying levels (beginner, intermediate and advanced), wake boarding, knee boarding, and tubing. At the end of each session, badges from the Ontario Water Sports Association are handed out at the bronze, silver, and gold levels to all campers demonstrating the necessary skill requirements. Campers have canoeing sessions and periodically special kayaking lessons. Camp Gesher is also certified by ORCA (the Ontario Recreational Canoeing Association) to give campers official certificates of merit based on their achievements in canoeing.
Sports activities include volleyball, basketball, rugby, football, cricket, soccer, badminton, baseball, bocce ball, floor hockey, ultimate frisbee, parachute games and tennis. In addition to scheduled activities, we also have sports-oriented hobby groups, early-morning running groups, and nightly soccer and basketball games. All sports activities are co-ed, geared towards all skill levels, and take place in an atmosphere where participation is valued over competition.
All age groups in each session have the opportunity to go on a one or two-night canoe trip. The tripping program immerses campers in the wilderness and enables them to learn about nature and learn camping skills. These trips encourage cooperation and strengthen group dynamics.
Drama, Arts & Crafts
Drama is an integral part of life at Camp Gesher. Throughout the summer each age group has an opportunity to explore movement, improv, and some short script-work. Each Friday, a different group puts on a short play that the campers have written and prepared themselves during the week. There are many opportunities for campers to perform songs, poems, and skits in front of other campers and staff.
Our arts and crafts program allows campers to unleash their creativity and imagination. With a focus on the environment, we encourage the use of recycled and reused materials with an emphasis on reducing waste. Many of our projects are geared towards beautifying the camp and campers often have the opportunity to create permanent art for all to enjoy. Our arts and crafts building is also open during free time to allow our campers to express themselves whenever they are feeling especially creative.
Run by our Israeli emissaries, our campers get to explore Israel through fun and creative activities. Israeli dancing, cooking, art, and Israeli themed special days are just some of the activities our campers get to experience. This enables them to understand Israeli culture and personalize their connection to it. Hebrew language is also used around the camp in many areas helping our campers to learn some language skills as well.
Organic Farming and Sustainability Program
Gesher has partnered with a local organic farm to help teach the campers about sustainable living and provide Gesher with delicious produce. Several times each week, younger campers visit the farm to help with the gardening, pick fruit and vegetable, and learn about farming. The farmers also assist Gesher with creating our own vegetable and flower gardens. Our garden produces a large variety of vegetables and herbs which are used to prepare meals. To minimize Gesher’s ecological-footprint, the farmers take all of our food waste to feed to their pigs and use our waste wood to heat their greenhouse in a high efficiency furnace.
Each day, every age group participates in an activity specifically planned and run for them by their counselors. Topics often include Israeli culture and geography, Judaism, social justice and activism, environmental issues, leadership and team-building. The activities are run in a creative and stimulating way to actively engage all campers.