The Sprout Westchester program is dynamic and innovative, including a variety of individual and team sports, arts, specialty, and aquatics activities. Our specialty areas are specifically designed to be age-appropriate for each group of campers.
Our program also includes new and exciting activities such as yoga, nature, gardening and an adventure course. Our programs allow campers to discover new experiences in a safe environment, giving them the freedom to explore who they really are, play in a bully-free zone, find out what it means to be a friend and develop a genuine sense of community and belonging.
While campers have fun with our staff and their peers all day long, at the core of our program are Jewish values. Each week, we focus on a different Jewish value. These themes are universal and impactful for all of us—examples in the past include friendship, courage, and caring for the environment. We discuss these guiding principles as a camp community during group gathering times, but it is our specialists who do a phenomenal job weaving these ideas into their activities and making them tangible and digestible to the campers. Campers are encouraged to take “just one step more” on the ropes course during courage week, create art with upcycled materials during care of the environment, and cheer one another on with displays of team sportsmanship during sports.
We have weekly special events at Sprout. In the past, some special events have been: Maccabiyah games–which give our campers the chance to compete in this uniquely Jewish sporting event, a magic show, an animal embassy, and an interactive game show. We are constantly thinking of new ways to innovate and bring new ideas to camp.
On Friday afternoons, we gather together as a community to celebrate Kabbalat Shabbat (the welcoming of the Sabbath). We invite families to join us for the last part of the day on Friday afternoons at the end of each session. Whether we are gathering each week just with campers and staff, or are including our extended Sprout families, Kabbalat Shabbat is a special time to come together, celebrate the week we have shared at camp and the weekend to come, and foster a greater Jewish community environment.
But above all, it is our staff who build the foundation of our Jewish community as great role models. We hire mature and experienced staff members who believe in Sprout’s mission and are responsible, hard-working, and caring individuals. We spend the weeks leading up to camp training our entire team of staff members to meet our high standards. We know we’ve done our job if our campers never want the day to end.
Our exceptional swim program is a cornerstone of our camp experience. Our campers swim in our two on-site swimming pools twice each day–participating in both instructional and free swim. Our swim program helps campers feel comfortable and safe in the water and teaches basic swim skills. We have a low staff to camper ratio for our swim lessons, allowing each camper to receive individualized care and instruction in the water. Our aquatics staff are all American Red Cross certified Lifeguards and our Aquatics Director has additional certifications, including Water Safety Instructor. We are always amazed at the progress our campers make in the pool each summer!
We offer instruction in basketball, tennis, soccer, volleyball, gaga and softball. Our campers also spend lots of time playing creative active games and sports. Our sports programs are designed and run by experienced instructors with an emphasis on safety, personal development and team spirit.
Campers love to take risks and climb to new heights on our adventure courses! Sprout has a high ropes course with multiple climbing levels, a low ropes course (new for Summer 2020!), and an archery range. All of our outdoor adventure course staff undergo training to become certified as Ropes Course and Archery specialists.
Campers learn about creative expression and the performing arts in drama. They participate in theater games and practice mini-performances.
Campers explore their artistic sides through a variety of media and methods—paint, clay, drawing, and mosaics are some favorites. Our campers take home beautiful process-driven artwork each week.
Our camp grounds are on such a beautiful piece of property, it’s no wonder that Nature/STEM is a cornerstone at Sprout! Campers have an opportunity to get their hands dirty growing and tending to plants, fruits and vegetables in our garden. Campers learn about the natural world around them through hands-on activities that are fun, interactive, and sometimes messy! They have an opportunity to get their hands dirty growing and tending to plants, fruits and vegetables. Through spending time exploring the outdoors, campers develop a more meaningful relationship with nature.
We love to cook, bake, and taste at Sprout! We use ingredients from our garden as often as possible so the campers have the opportunity to taste what they grow. Campers help with all parts of the cooking process and love to eat their culinary creations at the end of the day.
Jewish & Israeli Culture
Jewish and Israel experiential education is interwoven into all of YJ Sprout Westchester’s activities. Our Israeli staff teach a Hebrew word of the day, fun Hebrew songs and modern Israeli dances, and bring a love and enthusiasm of their culture to our camp. Each week, our Israeli staff members lead interactive games with our campers to teach about Israeli culture. The campers leave each day with a deeper connection to the Jewish people.