Camp Programs

Just 30 minutes from Kalamazoo, MI and 2.5 hours from both Chicago, IL and Detroit, MI, Camp Tavor is located on a beautiful private lakefront along Lake Kaiser in Three Rivers, MI. Our camp property includes a beach and lake swimming area, swimming pool, sports fields, arts and crafts and music facilities, a lakeside amphitheater, numerous hiking trails that connect the many shtachim (living areas), and a variety of indoor and outdoor gathering spaces to host stimulating, enriching, and varied daily activities.

With a 4:1 camper-to-counselor ratio and a maximum of 200 campers per session, Camp Tavor provides a nurturing and inclusive community for campers of all ages. Camp programming ranges from small activities for chanichimot (campers) in the same ohel (tent) or shichvah (age group) to full camp activities that create ‘intergenerational’ opportunities for learning and fun!

Each camper lives in a shetach (living area), organized by grade in school. Within each shetach (living area), chanichimot (campers) sleep with about 4-6 of their peers and 1-2 madrichimot (counselors) in either ohelim (large, canvas tents with a wooden or cement platform) or tzrifim (cabins).  In addition to the group of madrichimot (counselors) with each shichvah (age group), a mashatz (supervisor) provides additional support and supervision to each group. Each shetach includes a bath and shower house and each shichvah (age group) has its own moadon (community gathering area) to group activities and to encourage community building.

Camp Tavor offers a variety of program lengths to meet the needs of our chanichimot (campers) and their families. While most programs are either three, four or seven weeks, we offer four shorter programs (two programs each session) so that all chanichimot (campers) – campers who are new to overnight camping or campers with many different summer commitments – can still find a way to join us for a part of their summer!

Please review our program descriptions below and our updated dates and tuition information here.

Chalutzim (Taste of Tavor)
Our two Taste of Tavor programs are opportunities for first-time campers to have a wonderful shorter-term Jewish overnight camp experience, while still experiencing the highlights, excitement and community building of full-session camp programming. During Taste of Tavor, chanichimot (campers) participate in all the wonderful aspects of Camp Tavor through a special program designed to help campers feel comfortable in a new overnight camp setting. We offer two programs – a 7 day program during our 1st Session of camp, and a 5 day program during our 2nd Session of camp. We hope that Taste of Tavor is the beginning of a long relationship with Camp Tavor! Taste of Tavor is available for chanichimot (campers) entering 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade.

Explore Tavor & Explore Tavor Plus
Our two Explore Tavor programs are medium-length overnight camping opportunities for chanichimot (campers) of all ages to explore Tavor’s unique and empowering camp programming.

We offer two programs – a 14 day program during our 1st Session of camp, and a 19 day program during our 2nd Session of camp. The second session program meets the eligibility requirements for the One Happy Camper grant program (offering $1000 to first time campers). Explore Tavor is an excellent opportunity for campers working to find time for camp in a busy summer schedule or looking to try out overnight camp for the first time! Explore Tavor and Explore Tavor Plus are available for chanichimot (campers) entering 3rd – 10th grade.

The Amelimot are the youngest chanichimot (campers) at Camp Tavor. The Amelimot live in their own shetach (living area) near the swimming pool, flagpole, sports field, and swings. Many of the Amelimot are new campers and their tzevet (staff) will cater their summer program to meet their needs at Tavor. The program will focus on orienting the chanichim to life at camp, engaging activities and building lasting friendships. Some highlights of Amelimot:

  • Learning camp language, songs and culture
  • Bogrim buddies: Each Amelimot chanichol (campers) is paired with one of the oldest Camp Tavor campers in a “mentor-buddy” relationship
  • Amelimot participate in a Tikkun Olam (community service learning) project supporting a local community partner

Chotrimot is split into two years: Chotrimot Alef (entering 6th grade) and Chotrimot Bet (entering 7th grade). Chotrimot Alef and Bet live together in the Chotrim Shetach. The shetach (living area) is a beautiful wooded area complete with a firepit, benches and a brand new yurt! The Chotrimot summer is full of exploration and learning. The tzevet (staff) for Chotrimot focus the educational content on the importance of core Jewish values such as equality, social justice, and responsibility for the environment. 

Bonimot & Garinimot
The Bonimot and Garinimot are the rising leaders at camp! The Bonimot (entering 8th grade) and the Garinimot (entering 9th grade) share a shetach (living area) but live in separate ohelim (tents). The Bonimot and Garinimot summer focuses on equality, social justice, responsibility for the environment, and the importance of youth empowerment and leadership development.

The Bogrimot are the oldest campers at Camp Tavor (entering 10th grade).The Bogrimot summer is a healthy balance of fun experiences and interpersonal growth and development. The goal of ‘being a dugma (example) for others’ is often used as the framework for the Bogrimot summer program. Some Bogrimot highlights:

  • Bo-Coup: the Bogrimot “take over” camp for an afternoon and run a special program for all of camp. The Bogrimot plan, prepare and facilitate the afternoon’s activity.
  • Leading and teaching Shabbat Shira (singing on Friday)
  • Amelimot Buddies: Bogrimot are paired as mentors with Amelimot – the youngest chanichimot (campers).
  • Organizing and distributing kibbud (afternoon snack) on regular days

MBI and Kadima Habonim Dror
Machane Bonim Israel (MBI) and Kadima Habonim Dror (Kadima HD) are two programs offered from Habonim Dror North America (HDNA) for campers entering 11th Grade. These programs are national collaborations between all 7 HDNA camps and allow participants to continue their development into young leaders in new environments. MBI is a 5 week program that takes participants on a tour of Israel focusing on Israeli history, culture, and current issues facing Israeli society. Kadima HD is a parallel program to MBI based in the USA. For more information about either of these programs, please visit the HDNA website.

Madatz (madrichim tz’irim) is our leadership training program for campers entering 12th grade. For more detailed information about the Madatz program and application processes, visit our Madatz page.