Camp Kinderland is an independent not-for-profit 501c3 organization registered in both Massachusetts and New York State. We provide over $60,000 in need-based scholarships every year in order to offset tuition expenses for those who cannot afford them. Our summer program, which takes place on our campground in the Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts, includes sports, visual arts, theater, music, dance, camping, swimming, and boating.
One of the things that make Camp Kinderland unique is its cultural programming. Every bunk is named after a hero or heroine of social justice activism, and the campers learn about the writer, singer, or activist that their bunk is named for. Every summer, the campers participate in the Peace Olympics, a three-day competition between four teams named after countries, social justice movements, or people. While competing in sports activities, the teams learn about their team namesake and produce and present murals, plays, songs, and dances to commemorate and honor those who have fought for social justice.
Camp Kinderland is a community that is committed to inclusion and diversity. As such, Camp Kinderland is a gender inclusive camp, dedicated to honor and celebrate the complexity and richness of each camper’s self identification. Camp Kinderland will respect and affirm campers’ gender identities, and will work with families to ensure appropriate measures are taken to ensure all campers feel welcome and supported at camp.
Camp Kinderland has a Board of Directors made up of between nine and fifteen community members, including parents, alumni, former staff, and summer staff. Every board member is active in one of several Board Committees, which welcome the participation of anyone in the Kinderand community. These committees include the Fundraising Committee, the Camper Recruitment Committee, the Building Committee, and the Community Engagement Committee. Our Board of Directors and full-time staff work year around to keep Camp Kinderland operating smoothly.
Historically, camper tuition makes up ninety percent of our income, donations from individuals make up seven percent, and the remaining three percent of income comes from foundation grants. That balance has changed in recent years. As a result of the recession, camper enrollment has decreased and scholarship need has increased. Without an endowment or reserve fund, undertaking necessary capital improvements is a constant challenge, including bunk renovation, storm recovery, and state mandated updates to vital systems. As these issues compound, the need for fundraising from both individuals and foundations has increased. Today, twenty five percent of income is from individual donations and foundation grants, and the need is still ever-present. Learn more about the foundations that support Camp Kinderland, the organizations we affiliate with, and the ways you can support Camp Kinderland.
Kinderland also runs an after-school shule during the school year. The Kinderland Shule offers a secular Jewish education, based on a rich heritage of history, culture and literature, rather than on religion. Its goal is to help children embrace their secular cultural identity, and to see how that connects them to others. The Shule curriculum examines various aspects of Jewish culture and heritage; these offer a philosophical base that leads us to seek and promote social justice in the world. And Kinderland sponsors the United Council of Resistance, or UnCOR, an activist youth-group that strives to keep young people from the Camp Kinderland community engaged in the fight for social justice year-around.