Gan Alonim Day Camp

1101 Pepper Tree Ln
Simi Valley, CA 93064
All bookings are free!
/ per session
Camp Category: ACA Accredited, Archery, Arts&Crafts, Climbing, Cooking, Dance, Drama, Gardening, Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking, Music, Nature Exposure, Photography, Pool, Robotics, Sports, Swimming, Traditional
Camp Prices 2020

About About Gan Alonim Day Camp

Gan Alonim Day Camp is a nurturing and loving environment where children feel free to explore their world and be adventurous in a safe setting. The Gan staff is committed to helping your children grow and learn by facilitating their participation in daily activities which emphasize fun, appreciation of nature, friendship, safety and Jewish culture.

By sending your child to Gan, you are offering a summer full of experiences that provide memories that last a lifetime. The warm summer days at Gan are spent learning Israeli dances, going swimming, singing songs, creating art, riding horses, discovering nature and sometimes sitting on the grass eating popsicles with friends and counselors.

From the time that you drop your children off at the bus or the gate of the Gan field, you can rest assured that they are in an emotionally and physically safe environment that is dedicated to engaging children in a way that is conducive to developmental growth, independence and maturity.

Give your children the gift of camp by sending them to Gan Alonim Day Camp this summer!
Gan Alonim Day Camp is at the Brandeis-Bardin Campus of American Jewish University. Located in beautiful Simi Valley, the campus sits on 2,700 acres of picturesque rolling hills and valleys only 30-45 minutes from Los Angeles. We are a short drive from the 118 Freeway's Tapo Canyon exit.
Camp Alonim is a program of the American Jewish University, an organization founded in 2007 when the Brandeis-Bardin Institute merged with the University of Judaism. Originally, Camp Alonim was a program of the Brandeis-Bardin Institute, which had a long and rich history. Dr. Shlomo Bardin was an educator who believed that American young people were assimilating at alarming rates and sought to create programming to stem this tide. He started with the Brandeis Collegiate Institute (B.C.I.), which is a summer residential program for college students to explore the place Judaism will hold in their adult lives by engaging in art, music, drama, Israeli folk dance, and learning with dynamic scholars. In 1947, 2,200 acres in Simi Valley were purchased and B.C.I. settled into its permanent home where it has been inspiring college students for over 60 years.

Dr. Bardin established Camp Alonim in 1953 with the same educational philosophy as the original program: to truly touch young people, they would have to experience Judaism through their senses–through art, music, Israeli folk dance and drama. In the nearly 60 years since, we have added sports, nature, and interactive learning to the repertoire of experiences we offer our campers. Both Camp Alonim and B.C.I. are still thriving today and run simultaneously during the summer months in separate areas of the Brandeis-Bardin property.

In 1972, the neighboring land owner, James Arness, star of TV's "Gunsmoke," donated his 950 acres, making the Brandeis-Bardin property 3,200 acres. Since then, 200 acres by our front gate have been sold, bringing our property currently to approximately 3,000 acres. This is the second-largest piece of land held for Jewish communal purpose, second only to the State of Israel.
Camp's Approach
The vibrancy of Jewish life is experienced every day through music, Israeli dance, sports, arts and crafts, nature, and social action on 2,700 picturesque acres just 30-45 minutes from Los Angeles. Each activity is viewed as an opportunity for campers to discover a spark that will ignite a life-long love of Judaism. Campers are able to experience new things, build skills, make lasting friendships, explore, and have pure fun. Camp Alonim is not affiliated with any denomination or movement, welcoming campers and families of all backgrounds and levels of Jewish observance. Since 1953, thousands of "Alonimers" have experienced the joys of Jewish living in their "home away from home."
Director's Message
Welcome to Camp Alonim, a vibrant place where children thrive and Judaism comes alive. Here, the beauty of Judaism infuses every day – whether our campers are hiking with their counselors at sunrise, making a Havdalah candle in the art room, singing after lunch, learning Torah with creative educators, climbing on our adventure course while friends cheer, Israeli folk dancing as the sun sets, sharing stories around a campfire, or simply enjoying the unique tranquility and community of an Alonim Shabbat. At Alonim, campers can safely experience new things, grow, practice gemilut chasadim, and have an incredible amount of fun.

We welcome families and campers who come from all backgrounds and levels of Jewish observance. Because we are a community camp and not affiliated with a particular movement or denomination, you will find many different kinds of families here—each with its own way of identifying with Judaism.

In our history of 65 summers and counting, over 30,000 "Alonimers" have called camp their home away from home. Alonimers often have a passionate love for Jewish culture, a sense of responsibility to the community at large, and the hardy confidence that only comes from the unique experience of Jewish camping. Many alumni have gone on to become leaders in the community, including a number of prominent rabbis, educators, artists, and social entrepreneurs. Perhaps the best endorsement of Alonim is that every year, many of our alumni delight in sending their own children here.

I grew up attending Camp Alonim and now have the distinct honor of taking care of it along with some of the most dedicated and caring staff members on the planet. All year long, our team strives to recreate the enriching, safe, and formative experience that has made Alonim such a special place for so many for so long. It is difficult to translate camp's warmth, joy, and caring in a website, so I invite you to visit us at an open house or contact our office to discuss the Alonim experience. Better yet, if you know any Alonimers, I encourage you to ask them about camp and watch for the gleam in their eye.

See you at camp,
Josh Levine
Executive Director
Transportation & Extended Care
All the buses serving Gan Alonim Day Camp have seatbelts.

Bus transportation is available Mondays-Fridays for $8 one-way per day ($16 round-trip).

Extended Care:
Extended care is available Monday-Thursday until 5:30 p.m. It is $10 a day and must be reserved in advance the week prior. For the safety of all our campers, last minute requests for extended care cannot be accommodated.
American Jewish University is committed to the safety and wellbeing of our campers, staff and visitors. This will remain AJU's single highest priority.

The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) issued a formal statement regarding the safety of our property. Please read the DTSC's 2017 Community Update on Brandeis-Bardin.

DTSC has affirmed officially, publicly and definitively that the Brandeis-Bardin property is safe. Here is an excerpt from its statement:

"The Brandeis-Bardin Institute Campus is safe for use by Faculty, Staff, Students, and Campers. Contamination at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL) does not pose a health threat to users (e.g., campers, visitors, students, faculty, administrators or staff) of Brandeis-Bardin Institute, or other off-site areas."

This update is accompanied by an extensive technical memo evaluating more than 25 years of data gathered from the Brandeis-Bardin Campus and an Executive Summary. This analysis includes studies conducted over many years by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the California Environmental Protection Agency, the California Department of Health, and others. This analysis also reviewed the many years of monitoring by the former Brandeis-Bardin Institute, now American Jewish University.
The Gan Alonim Day Camp program is led by Director Jackie Grinwald, under the leadership of Camp Executive Director, Josh Levine. Jackie and her dedicated team work hard to create a safe and fun camp experience for each and every child in our care. We draw upon all the resources of our overnight camp for our day camp programs, including our trained staff of certified lifeguards, talented artists, educators, ropes course belayers, horse wranglers, and more. All staff are interviewed and selected in a competitive process that requires background checks and positive references.

Campers are also cared for by the individuals in our Gesher Gan Internship, a selective leadership program for 12th graders who live on-site at camp for the summer. The majority of these individuals grew up at camp and previously developed valuable skills as Counselors-in-Training. Each Gesher Gan intern is selected after demonstrating leadership capacity, creativity, and sensitivity to children's needs.

Long-time camp staff members work as mentors alongside the counselors and activity leaders in order to provide ongoing support and oversight both before and during the summer months. The Gan Alonim Day Camp team is excited to help your children have the best summer of their lives!
How many campers are in a group? How many counselors?
Groups at Gan Alonim are organized by grade, so all entering Kindergartners will be in the same group, etc. Therefore, the number of campers in the group varies. However, there will always be at least one counselor for every six campers in Kindergarten and first grade and at least one counselor for every eight campers in second through sixth grades.

Who are my camper's counselors?
The counselors of Gan Alonim Day Camp are entering twelfth-graders who live at camp all summer long. Most of them have completed our Counselor-in-Training program and all have been through a rigorous interview process. After the campers leave for the day, the counselors participate in educational and social activities and plan programs for the Gan Alonim campers.

What do the campers do when it gets too hot?
On most days, we try to keep the campers cool by having them drink water, wear their hats, and stay in shady areas. On some days, it becomes necessary to move the campers inside to air-conditioned buildings for the times when they would normally be outside. And, of course, every group goes to the pool every day!

What if my child has a birthday at camp?
A camper who has a birthday at camp is a lucky camper! The whole camp will sing to the birthday campers and the counselors will plan something special for that camper during the day.

Will my child go on an overnight?
We offer two optional overnight experiences each summer for Gan Alonim campers entering grades 2-6. We offer both a one-night and two-night overnight where campers who participate eat meals in the Dining Hall with the sleepaway camp, participate in an all-camp program, and then sleep over with their friends and counselors (they sleep inside, not in tents). We offer Gan overnights because is a great way for families to get a feel for the overnight camp experience.

What should my child bring for lunch?
We are proud to offer delicious Glatt Kosher meals for our Gan Alonim campers. The cost of each meal is $8/day, per camper. We are a nut-free facility.

Sack lunches brought from home should be vegetarian, dairy or pareve. The Gan Famly Handbook has suggestions for healthy vegetarian lunches for kids. Just remember, campers are not allowed to bring any nut products in their lunches, and because we are under strict Kashrut supervision, outside meat is not permitted (including Kosher meat).

Are there trips?
Gan Alonim Day Camp prides itself on being a place that provides endless fun activities on site. Because we are located at Camp Alonim, we have a variety of activities for all ages that most day campers just can't offer on site. As a result, we do not offer field trips. Our campers are happy to stay in camp and play all day!

Can we tour the camp?
Of course! We offer Open Houses where you can come experience some of the activities we offer during the summer, meet the directors, and take a tour of the camp. If one of the Open House dates does not work for you, call our office and set up a time to see the property.

How do you handle homesickness?
Our counselors try to prevent homesickness by making sure that each camper is familiar with the others in the group and by being fun to be around. Gan counselors are trainied to give extra attention and then re-integrate the camper into the activity. Campers are less homesick when they are having a good time!

What happens if my child gets sick while at camp?
At the camp director's discretion, the parents of the sick campers will be called during the day. Sometimes the call is just to inform the parents of the child's condition and sometimes it is a request to have the child picked up. There is a Health Center at camp with a nurse on duty during the day where sick or injured campers are taken for medical care.

My child is not a very good swimmer. Is the pool safe?
The pool is a safe and fun place for campers to cool off and have a good time! Every counselor in your child's group will get in the pool to play with the campers. In addition to the counselors, there are always trained lifeguards on duty watching the pool from the deck. Swimming is a favorite time of day for most campers – a time for them to play with campers and counselors from other groups, get exercise and develop their swimming skills.

What is a typical day like at Day Camp?
Every day starts with the entire camp community singing songs together at opening circle. After that, each group is off to the first activity. The Gan day is essentially a rotation through the many activities that are offered by our counselors and talented specialty staff. The day ends with more songs at closing circle and then we say goodbye until the next morning.

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A $50 Early-Bird Discount will be applied to all enrollments through November 30, 2019
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