JCA Shalom Day Camp

34342 Mulholland Hwy
Malibu, CA 90265
All bookings are free!
Camp Prices 2020
Camp Category: ACA Accredited, Adventure, Animal Encounters, Archery, Arts&Crafts, Bike Touring, Dance, Drama, GaGa, Games, General Academics, Horseback Riding, Kayaking, Lake, Pool, Religious, Rock Climbing, Ropes Course, Soccer, Swimming, Traditional, Volleyball, Water Polo, Zip Line

About JCA Shalom Day Camp

For over 60 years, Camp JCA Shalom has been the "Camp for All Seasons." Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall, thousands of campers and staff experience the magic of Camp JCA Shalom. Camp's vision of Tikkun Olam – creating a better world – is fulfilled through a positive Jewish living experience in the natural setting of the Shalom Institute.

In our warm and supportive environment, campers experience living, learning and playing in a group setting that encourages personal growth and self-discovery.
Camp Overview
Camp JCA Shalom is special for more reasons that just being located in Malibu, having horseback riding and beach trips. One of the main things that distinguishes us from other camps is our "Cabin-Centered Camping" approach as well as our commitment to "progressive camping."

Something special happens when children spend a few weeks away from home at Camp JCA Shalom. Every child feels a part of a very special family. Learning to share, making decisions, and experiencing independence are all part of a magical Camp JCA Shalom summer.
Gold Creek Center is beautifully tucked away at the foot of the magnificent mountains of the Angeles National Forest, just 20-30 minutes from the heart of the San Fernando Valley, Simi Valley, and Santa Clarita and less than 45 minutes from the Conejo Valley and West Los Angeles. The 270+ acres include a pool, ball fields, basketball courts (indoor and outdoor), air-conditioned indoor program spaces, and the activities and fun you are used to from camp in Malibu.
Habonim – Builders (one-week mini-camps for entering 2nd-6th grade)
Habonim is the perfect opportunity for first-time campers. Mini Camps offer campers the opportunity to "sample" the best of what Camp JCA Shalom has to offer. With a ratio of one staff to four campers, children will receive close attention and guidance focusing on each child's physical and emotional well being. Designed to give kids a chance to try all of the different areas of camp, Habonim is an excellent program that will plant the seeds for future years of enriching camp experiences.

Rishonim – First Timers (entering 2nd-4th grade)
Rishonim is a program specially designed for campers excited about their first extended overnight camp experience. This program gives campers a wonderful introduction to camp life and our specialty activities. (Only available Sessions 1 and 3)

Giborim/Chalutzim – Heroes/Pioneers (entering 5th – 6th grade)
Giborim and Chalutzim offer campers a perfect combination of both camp and special interest activities. Campers are placed in small group environments to help them develop interpersonal skills. While older campers go on out-of-camp overnights, campers in these units have an "undernight" at camp. These campers establish friendships which can serve as the foundation for a long, happy camp journey.

Alufim – Champions (entering 7th grade)
The Alufim camp program is designed to promote independence and responsibility through increased individual choice and camp privileges. Days in the Alufim unit are packed with activities, teambuilding, and a lot of fun. Alufim campers go on an out-of-camp overnight and can attempt more advanced activities such as mountain biking.

Chaverim – Friends (entering 8th grade)
The Chaverim program features a strong focus on teamwork, adventure, and personal challenges. Campers will experience both Camp JCA Shalom activities as well as community-building programs. As campers progress in the different units, they will experience new programs and activities that are geared toward their age group.
A day at Camp
8:00am Boker Tov! (Wake-Up)
8:30am Mercaz (Camp Meet-Up)
8:45am Breakfast
9:15am Nikayon (Cabin Clean-up)
10:00am-1:00pm Morning Rotational Programming- 3 Blocks
1:15pm Lunch
2:00pm Menucha (Rest Hour)
3:00-5:00pm Afternoon Rotational Programming – 2 Blocks
5:00pm Chofesh (Free Time)
6:30pm Dinner
7:15pm Song Session
8:00pm Evening Programs!
9:00pm-11:00pm Laila Tov (Goodnight!)
Waterfront Activities
  • Swimming
  • Sea Kayaking (9th grade and up)
  • Water Volleyball
  • Beach Trips
Land Activities
  • Archery
  • Ga-Ga
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Soccer
  • Ping-Pong
  • Environmental Education
  • Native American Skills
  • Pioneer Living
  • Gardening
  • Campcraft
  • Animal Education
  • Climbing Wall
  • Horseback Riding (for campers staying for a 2 or 3 week session)
  • Zip-Line Rappelling (9th grade and up)
  • Ropes Course Mountain Biking (7th grade and up)
Packing list
  • 10 T-shirts or blouses
  • 4 Pairs of pants
  • 6 Pairs of shorts
  • Shabbat outfit (white shirts/pants/dresses preferred)
  • Ample supply of socks & underwear
  • Pajamas
  • 4 Sweatshirts
  • Hat or Cap for Hikes
  • 1 Pair tennis shoes
  • 1 Pair of sturdy shoes
  • 1 Pair of Thongs/Flip-flops (shower shoes)
  • 1 pair "Teva-Like" Sandals (optional)
  • 1 Warm jacket
  • 1 Raincoat or poncho
  • 2 Swimsuits
  • Stationery, stamps, pens
  • Sunscreen Lotion, Water Bottle
  • Batteries
  • Tissues
  • Flashlight (with extra batteries)
  • Bug/Mosquito repellant
  • Shampoo (we encourage biodegradable products)
  • Soap (we encourage biodegradable products)
  • Comb/Hair brush, Sun hat
  • Toothbrush/Toothpaste
Arts & Crafts
  • Ceramics
  • Martial Arts/Krav Maga
  • Digital Photography
  • Israeli Dance
  • Drama Productions
Food & Nutrition
Camp JCA Shalom provides three nutritionally approved meals per day. Camp JCA Shalom is a nut-aware camp. Our Dining Hall is nut-free and food served to participants contains no nuts. We have gluten-free and dairy-free options. Vegetarian, vegan and other special dietary meals are also available. Special dietary needs or restrictions can be accommodated and should be communicated to the Director prior to camp. Campers are served a snack in the mid-afternoon. Additionally, fresh fruit is available throughout the day.
The heart of Camp JCA Shalom is our friendly and loving staff. Staff are carefully selected for their skills and sensitivity in working with children. Our staff comes from all over the world: Los Angeles, the Bay Area, the Southwest, the East Coast, England, Canada and Israel.

All staff are required to participate in an orientation and training program prior to the campers' arrival. Low camper-to-staff ratios ensure that each camper receives attention and guidance throughout his/her stay. In addition, we have talented professional staff who run our arts & crafts, ropes course, dance, music, aquatics, Judaica, nature, and other specialty programs.
Health and safety are primary concerns at Camp JCA Shalom. A registered nurse is in residence at camp and a physician is on call at all times. All aquatic activities are conducted under the auspices of staff certified by the American Red Cross.
Nestled on 220 acres in the mountains of Malibu, 5 miles from the Pacific Ocean and only 45 minutes from Los Angeles, we have expansive facilities that are designed so campers can experience all that the "great outdoors" has to offer. This includes:
  • Olympic-size Swimming Pool
  • Waterfalls & miles of hiking trails
  • High & Low Elements Ropes Course
  • Horse Center & Riding Trails
  • Arts & Crafts Pavilion
  • Organic Farm & Animal Education Center
  • Israel Discovery Center & Garden
  • Dining Hall & Health Center
  • Outdoor Amphitheaters
  • Winterized Cabins & Yurts
  • Sports & Archery Fields
  • "Shalom Dome" Basketball Courts
  • Archery
  • Pioneer Living Center
  • much, much, more!
Directions & Transportation
JCA Shalom offers our campers several ways to get to camp at the beginning of each session! We want to make it as simple as possible for our camp families to drop off their children at our pick-up locations. Whether you live in the Valley, the City, in Long Beach, Orange County, San Diego, or in another state, we provide excellent transportation to camp. Our camp families are always welcome to drop their camper off at camp. At the end of the session, all campers are picked up at camp at 11 a.m. except for those campers traveling to Long Beach, San Diego or the airport.

Also, during the summer, we provide transportation to and from the Los Angeles and Burbank airports. We research the best flights for your camper to take that are in line with our summer camp schedule and affordable to you. This way it is easy for you to book the ticket. We will have someone from our summer staff meet your camper at the gate. Once our campers arrive, they will call home to let you know that they made it safely to the airport. Once they arrive to camp, they will call again so you know they are at camp.

Are there trips out of camp?
Everyone goes on trips out of camp. All campers go to one beach trip per session. 7-12 Graders have an overnight at an off-site campsite. As campers get older, the trips get more extensive and more plentiful. 10-12th graders go on a two day trip during our second session, one of the highlights of the camp experience.

How is Judaism expressed at camp?
Our Jewish program is fabulous! It is designed to be fun, interesting, child-friendly, and has multiple entry points for campers with little or no Jewish background. We recite short blessings before and after each meals. Camp-style services on Friday evening and Saturday morning are awesome, full of music, singing and spirit. Saturday morning we have Shabbat Nature Hike Service, an unstructured time supervised by area when siblings and friends from different parts of camp traditionally visit with one another. We don't offer crafts or creative specialties on Saturdays, but we do swim, play ball, and use electricity. We have an Israeli culture program as well as Yom Yisrael (Israel Day). Each unit has age-appropriate Jewish cultural programs: activities, games, songs, skits, etc. Camper's have a great opportunity to connect with their Judaism in a way that has meaning for them.

How often do siblings see one another?
If they are in the same unit, siblings will see each other several times every day. If they are in different units, they will see each other a couple times a day and during mealtimes.

Can we see the camp?
We regularly have family fun days throughout the year, and they typically include a camp tour. If those dates don't work for you we are happy to schedule a tour for you at a more convenient time. Please contact our office, or click on the website link to schedule to schedule a tour

How big are the cabin groups?
Most cabins have between 6-14 campers and at least two full-time counselors dedicated to that cabin. Most cabins will have 1-2 specialists (lifeguards, sports, etc) in the cabin as well. Please feel free to call the registrar and find out how many campers are in the cabin with your child.

Can you tell me about your counselors?
For the first two sessions, the youngest counselors must be both 17 and a high school graduate. Most are college students. 25-30% come from abroad, including Europe and Israel. All are personally interviewed, references are checked, and there is a one week orientation prior to camp. Supervisors are mature adults with supervisory experience and special training. After second session, the CITs (Counselors in Training) graduate their program, and we select the very best to join our staff team. This means that for session 3, there may be 12th graders who are counselors and specialists. For each staff person we verify references and run a background check.

How is the food and what food options will there be?Our food is great! We take great pride in serving healthy and delicious food. Many of our kitchen staff have been with the camp for over a decade. We maintain a Kosher kitchen (without Rabbinic supervision) year-round. Our carefully prepared menus are "kid-friendly" and varied. There is always something healthy and delicious to eat.
Breakfast always includes cold cereal and a hot entrée such as pancakes, eggs, or French toast. There is also a breakfast bar that includes an assortment of fresh fruit and yogurt. Lunch and dinner entrees include various chicken and beef dishes, and dairy meals like grilled cheese and pizza. At lunch and dinner, there is a salad bar that provides a choice for campers who are looking for something in addition to the meal's main course. If there is a meat meal, there will be a protein-based vegetarian option. At breakfast, soymilk is available. Camp JCA Shalom is a nut free camp. We have gluten-free and dairy-free options. Special dietary needs or restrictions can be accommodated and should be communicated to the Director prior to camp. Campers are served a snack in the mid-afternoon. Additionally, fresh fruit is available throughout the day.

Will my child be with all new campers?
No. Groups are balanced to include both new and returning campers. Groups and counselor assignments are completely rearranged at the beginning of each session to avoid any disadvantage to newly arriving campers.

How do you handle homesickness?
Homesickness is natural and does occur in many new campers. We are experts at handling it. Staff is trained during orientation, and Unit Heads, who are essentially camp guidance counselors, provide professional care if needed. We work with campers to help them get past their homesickness and are successful almost every time. Part of our technique is to NOT put them in touch with their parents. We've found that this can greatly increase their anxiety, and typically results in the camper going home. Please read the parent handbook which has some suggestions on how to prevent homesickness before camp starts. We will also address this topic and many more at a new family orientation.

My child's birthday occurs during camp. What does the camp do for birthdays?Birthdays at camp are fantastic. Imagine celebrating your birthday with 200-300 friends. That's what it feels like at camp. We call a camper up after dinner and sing "Happy birthday" to them. Then we give them a birthday cake and have them make three wishes. One wish for yourself, one wish for camp and one wish for the WHOLE world. (This is actually a Jewish teachable moment as Rabbi Hillel once said, "Wish for yourself but also for the whole world too.") Afterwards, we have them skip around the dining hall with their counselors, and eventually we put them up in a chair. Most campers wouldn't want to be anywhere else on their birthday!

What do we do with laundry?
For one and two week sessions, there is no laundry service. Please pack accordingly. We have a commercial laundry service once during a three-week session that washes, dries and folds. It is usually returned in two to three days. This service is not recommended for delicates, colors that have never been washed and may bleed, or anything of value (monetary or sentimental).

How much spending money will my child need in camp?

None. Camp provides everything your camper will need, including snacks. Part of our goal is to treat all kids equally. A decent portion of the camp population comes on scholarship, and a "camp store or canteen" can allow some kids to spend money where others cannot. This is one of the reasons there is no place for campers to spend money while at camp. There is a camp "shuk" that is open on the last day of camp so parents can buy camp gear when they come to pick up their campers.

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