Camps & education | Summer adventures on horizon for teens

URJ Camp Newman will launch J. Adventures, a teen summer travel program that explores Jewish identity while engaging in fun social-justice projects.

The program offers three excursions: an 11-day service-

focused trip to a Costa Rican village; a two-week outdoor camping trip along the American River; and a two-week road trip visiting California’s five Major League Baseball teams, watching games and studying the teams’ community outreach efforts.

A Newman camper goes ziplining, an activity also offered in the teen travel summer program. photo/courtesy camp newman

The Costa Rican trip, which will be conducted in partnership with the Mitzvah Corps program of the Union for Reform Judaism, takes place July 23 to Aug. 2, and is open to high schoolers in 10th-12th grades. Half the time will be spent in the capital of San Jose, the rest at a remote village accessible only by riverboat, where teens will help refurbish a day care center and learn about sustainability practices.

Also for 10th-12-th graders is the Outdoor Adventure, which takes place June 30 to July 12 in the Coloma region near the American River and also in the Santa Barbara mountains. Engaging in hiking, rafting and other rugged activities, teens will learn team-building skills.

In the Baseball Adventure, for freshmen and sophomores, teens will travel up the California coast from July 14 to 26, visiting the front offices and stadiums of the San Diego Padres, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Angels, the San Francisco Giants and Oakland A’s. They will attend games, as well as participate in the teams’ community service projects.

“These trips were created out of a need to have diverse opportunities for high school students looking to build a sense of self and a sense of identity,” said Alex Rogers, Camp Newman assistant director of year-round programs. “Each trip is meant to expand the comfort zone and explore identity through a unique lens, whether social justice in Costa Rica or through the lens of sportsmanship in the baseball trip, or by challenging yourself and developing new skills in the outdoors.”

For trips involving skilled adventures, Camp Newman partners with established adventure outfits who provide licensed and trained staff. For more information, go to or contact Alex Rogers, (415) 392-7080 ext. 21.