In an effort to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, the Jewish Community Center (JCC) Federation of San Luis Obispo offered a free, six-week virtual summer camp to 35 Jewish youth from San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties.
"When it became clear we couldn't safely hold our summer day camp as usual, we pulled out all stops to create a fun at-home alternative for our community families," said Gail Schwartz, president of the JCC-Federation.
According to a news release sent to KSBY, each week from mid-June to July, participating families received a themed activity box with materials and instructions for completing hands-on projects.
The activity boxes taught youth about gardening, butterflies and genealogy, including a "Let's Learn About Shabbat" box which included candles, grape juice, ingredients for baking Challah and an instructional video.
The goal of the summer camp was to educate youth about Jewish values and traditions while staying safe, according to the camp's website.
Photos of proud campers displaying the results of their activities were posted on the Summer Camp page on the JCC-Federation website at the end of each week, said the release.
"We wanted to generate a sense of community spirit and shared experiences, despite the circumstances," said Schwartz.
Volunteers also contributed to the summer camp's success by purchasing materials, assembling activity boxes and delivering them to campers, Schwartz added.
"We're extremely proud of this community effort. It was a totally new concept that met the moment and the needs of our local families," said Schwartz.
To check out the JCC-Federation's Summer Camp page, click here.