Tourist Tip #236 / A Very Israeli Summer Camp for the Kids, in English

Operating out of the Jerusalem Bird Observatory, this is the Nature society's first-ever camp for Anglo children.

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Israel may not offer English-speaking families the proverbial white Christmas, usually, but it can provide a green summer camp experience. For locals and summer visitors looking for an English-speaking camp environment for the kids, one option this year is the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel's first ever English-language day camp.

The camp is based at the Jerusalem Bird Observatory, a short distance from the Knesset, and is for children entering grades 1-6. Like most other summer day camps, it starts immediately at the end of the school year in Israel, which this year falls on July 28.

The full course of the SPNI day is two weeks, until August 8, although the nonprofit organization is also offering a one-week option.

The goal of the SPNI camp isn't only to keep the kids out of your thinning hair: the course will introduce children to the diverse experiences Israeli nature provides. Camper activities will include bird-watching, learning to sketch in a workshop led by a professional sketch artist, an outing in Jerusalem's Gazelle Valley, a ropes course, a drum circle, and hikes and swimming, among other activities. One night-time hike outside of regular camp hours is also planned for the two-week period.

The day camp will run Sunday through Thursday (i.e., during the Israeli workweek) from 8 A.M. to 3:45 P.M. The camp provides a kosher breakfast and lunch to the kiddies and has vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dietary options as well.

To register, call SPNI's main booking office at 972.3.368.8688.The camp will accept registrations until all spaces are filled. For more information and answers to questions parents are encouraged to email JBO manager Alen Kacal directly at

The camp will involve, among other things, bird-watching: A flock of migrating cranes crosses Hula.Credit: Reuters

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