Entering Grades 1 – 6


This is the camp for you if want to do it all!

Chai means LIFE and that is just what this camp is designed for. At Camp Chai you will learn LIFE-long skills, make memories that last a LIFEtime and have the time of your LIFE. During the summer we want you to find your passion by exploring a variety of activities including swim, sports, art, dance, STEM and more; Find your people by making social connections with your fellow campers, counselors and our camp families; Finally, find your purpose by growing with independence, Jewish values, self-confidence, risk taking and more. This spirited camp is the perfect introduction for your child to the camp world.


Our Lil’ Chai program for those entering Kindergarten is the perfect transition from the steady hand of Camp Simchah to the JCC’s Camp Chai. With an amazing staff specifically trained for this age group your child will enjoy the best of both worlds this summer.

  • Field Trips

  • Maccabiah (Color War)

  • Chugim (Electives)

  • Theme Days


My family found Camp Chai when my oldest was heading into kindergarten. She’s now in Third Grade and we haven’t missed a summer!  Our first summer was so impactful, that we became JCC members and even enrolled our youngest child in the preschool. From friendships to independence, the children have so much fun and gain so much from these summers. The camp staff is incredible and the way the team there has handled the pandemic has been so helpful! We can’t imagine a summer without Camp Chai!

My children have attended Camp Chai since they aged out of their preschool camps, and now in second and fifth grades, they still look forward to Camp Chai every summer. Between swimming, sports, crafts, field trips, amazing counselors and friends, Camp Chai provides an action-packed day and well-rounded experience for every child in an inclusive community. My kids have also enjoyed team building and camaraderie while seeing old friends and making new ones.

Between daily swimming, morning dancing and awesome field trips, our children can’t wait to return to camp each day.

Rivka Altman, Camp Parent

Attending the J camps is so easy because it feels like family.

Ilanit Zucker, Camp Parent

Within the first week of Camp Lil’ Chai last year, my daughter came home with the camp spirit!

Karen Carr, Camp Parent

I was a camp counselor at Camp Chai and couldn’t wait until the day my kids were old enough to attend.

Brad Behringer, Camp Parent & Alum

Day at a Glance

8:45 – 9:15 AM Arrive, Dancing & Opening

9:30 – 10:15 AM Chugim

10:30 – 10:45 AM Snack

10:45 AM – 12:00 PM Change/Instructional Swim/Change

12:00 – 12:30 PM Lunch

12:30 – 1:00 PM Special 1

1:15 – 1:45 PM Special 2

1:45 – 2:45 PM Chage/Free Swim/Change

2:45 – 3:15 PM Tribe Time

3:15 – 3:30 PM Closing and Awards

Josh Goldstein, Director of Camping Services

He was previously the Sports Division Director and served as Sports Camp Director and Team Dallas Delegation Head in this role. Prior to arriving in Dallas Josh was Recreation Supervisor at the Columbus JCC. Before joining the JCC life, he worked at Camp Young Judaea in Amherst New Hampshire in a variety of roles including Director of the Boys camp, Israel Trip Leader and Assistant to the Executive Director. He earned a bachelor’s degree in History from Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA, and a Master’s Degree in Education from Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester, NH.


How often do campers swim?2022-03-27T02:08:35-05:00

All Camp Chai campers participate in daily swim lessons through our onsite Lenny Krayzelburg Swim Academy (LKSA). This abridged camp curriculum teaches excellence one stroke at a time with the comprehensive and result-driven SwimRight Method®. The curriculum stresses water safety and provides an environment where swimming is respected, healthy, and fun. Learn more about our swim academy at

Kindergartners will participate in daily water play in the afternoons while campers in 1st through 6th grade have daily free swim.

How are the campers divided into groups?2022-03-27T02:07:56-05:00

Children are placed by grade in tribes (after the Tribes of Israel) and units – boys and girls are separated into tribes. As children grow, they are challenged by new activities and opportunities within the camp setting. The units are:

  • Lil’ Chai (Kindergarten): This unit is specially designed for Camp Chai’s youngest campers with many opportunities for growth. Mornings are filled with swim lessons, games and more both inside and out while after lunch we settle down and do more indoor activities.
  • Adat Chaverim (1st Grade): This unit is created to make the experience a growing one. Independence is gained through fun and choices of activities.
  • Adat Shalom (Grades 2-3): These campers are ready for more choices and opportunities. In Shalom, campers help with tribe planning and can choose “Chugim – Specialties.”
  • Adat Giborim (Grades 4-6): Campers choose a morning focus from theatre to creative arts to sports to technology/science. The afternoons will be spent in tribe activities and fun.
My camper is celebrating their birthday at camp. Can I bring treats?2022-03-27T02:06:39-05:00

Yes, but please make sure all treats have a recognized kosher symbol.

What should my Camp Chai camper wear or bring?2022-03-27T02:05:22-05:00

Your camper should come dressed in their swimsuit and a basecoat of sunscreen already applied, and they should bring a labeled change of clothes, sunscreen, and a towel. Some campers may opt to bring a second swimsuit since they will participate in swim lessons through our onsite Lenny Krayzelburg Swim Academy in the morning and water play (Kindergarten) / free swim (Grades 1-6) in the afternoon.

For safety, tennis shoes are best, and sandals are okay. All shoes MUST have backs.

In addition to their lunch, your camper may want to bring a labeled water bottle. We do have water stations located throughout camp, but campers sometimes prefer a water bottle.

What time does camp start and end?2022-03-27T02:04:13-05:00

The camp day begins at 9:00 am and ends at 3:45 pm. Extended Care options are available from 7:45 am through 5:45 pm. See our website and registration forms for costs.

Who can attend Camp Chai?2022-03-27T02:03:28-05:00

Campers “age up” at the end of the school year, so Camp Chai is open to children entering grades Kindergarten through 6th grade.

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