Calling Camp Zeke the ‘Canyon Ranch of camps,’ kids will come for a variety of reasons. Some will focus on running and exercise, some will cook interesting and healthy organic dishes and others may want to simply experience a summer of [being active without focusing exclusively on sports].
Campers will not only enjoy locally-sourced, organic meals from Café Zeke (calling it a “dining hall” just doesn’t do it justice), but they’ll have the opportunity to design and prepare gourmet meals too! Whether you’ve never stirred a pot in your life or dream of opening your own restaurant, Zeke’s dedicated teaching kitchen provides an unrivaled opportunity to learn recipes, cooking techniques, and culinary theory. After spending time with chefs-in-residence and participating in cooking events like Zeke’s top chef competitions, you’ll be able to dazzle friends and family with an array of impressive dishes. Every summer, the campers go home with a cookbook of all the recipes they made in culinary arts classes.
In case you’d like to try some recipes at home, here are the cookbooks from the last three years:
Fine Arts & Crafts
Our campers enjoy a wide selection of arts programming, ranging from painting, drawing, clay work, and jewelry-design to traditional camp crafts including string and gimp bracelets, tie-dye, and of course, collaborating with teammates to make Olympic banners, which are permanently displayed in our dining room.
Our arts program is overseen by a professional artist who works with a team of art specialists, and we have three large art studios where we offer electives during almost every activity block. At the end of each session, we have a camp-wide arts and music festival, in which campers showcase all the things they created and learned in fine arts, theater, circus arts, and music.
One of our most popular sports, our Soccer program is designed for both advanced players and juniors. Our innovative program provides a warm team atmosphere to elevate offensive and defensive skills, strengthen dribbling, shooting and passing, and focus on team development.
We’ll also show you how to transfer skills from other electives like running (speed), strength training (power), and yoga (balance) into added confidence on the soccer field.
Whether it’s your first or hundredth time on the dance floor, you can dance up a storm in our professional mirror-filled studio. Campers create and dance to choreography with professional instructors, who inspire development in technique, movement, and improvisation. Through performances in Zeke’s spectacular theater, and in more informal settings, like at a Zeke campfire, you’ll experience dance as a beautiful form of expression, a powerful tool for storytelling, and a wonderful way to be active. Come hone your skills at Zeke!
Krav Maga was developed by Imi Lichtenfield in the 1930s so that Jewish people would be able to defend themselves against anti-Semitic attacks. Today, it is the official self-defense system of the Israeli Defense Forces. In addition to teaching Imi’s art, our program emphasizes the importance of having a peaceful mindset and avoiding confrontation whenever possible. In the words of Imi, we study Krav Maga “so that [we] may walk in peace.”
Krav Maga relies on instinctive movements and practical techniques that combine the best elements of numerous other styles. In addition to learning krav maga, you’ll practice striking combinations from Muay Thai, defense techniques from karate, footwork from boxing, and grappling from wrestling.
Connect with nature and discover the hidden treasures that lie off the beaten path! You’ll explore the beautiful mountain trails and get to know all the fascinating plants, trees, and animals that live around us.
Our outdoor adventure program includes navigation, camping, shelter building, wilderness skills, and outdoor cooking. Our hikes take place on an extensive network of trails around our 60-acre lake, and we also go on off-camp hiking adventures. We also camp under the stars in one of the most beautiful places in the world!
Our state-of-the-art, air conditioned fitness center houses Camp Zeke’s unrivaled strength training program. Focused on power, flexibility, and mobility, our master trainer provides one-on-one guidance to help you reach your goals, whether you aspire to build muscle or just become familiar with all the machines and weights at the fitness center. Younger campers use their own body weight to increase their power, while older campers have full access to our free weights and equipment (under the direct supervision of Zeke’s staff, of course). Throughout the summer, you’ll see how the physical and mental skills of strength training apply to every activity at Zeke – sports, dance, Krav Maga, and even cooking!
Campers hit the court and develop their abilities as team-oriented basketball players. We focus on fundamental skills including ball handling, passing, shooting, dribbling, and footwork. Through game play and instruction we emphasize sportsmanship for campers of all ability levels! We’ll show you how to transfer skills from diverse fields like running (speed), strength training (power), and yoga (balance) into added confidence on the court.
Strengthen your mind and your core, deepen your personal awareness, and improve balance and flexibility. Yoga is the ultimate personal fitness challenge, and our beautiful air-conditioned studio and lakeside locations are the ideal place to unroll your mat and practice. By combining traditional poses and fun games, you’ll build your sense of internal calm and confidence, and you’ll be super flexible too!
Campers get into the game at Zeke and become better, faster, and smarter athletes. Our dedicated coaches oversee training sessions at camp, referee games that take place at Zeke, and cheer on campers when we play against other camps.
Whether you come to try a new sport for the first time or improve your conditioning for a varsity team, our innovative curriculum and warm team atmosphere will help you excel! We’ll show you how to transfer skills from diverse fields like running (speed), strength training (power), and yoga (balance) into added confidence on the soccer field, basketball court, and beyond.
In addition to basketball, baseball/softball, and soccer we offer:
Our hugely popular circus arts program is led by a talented team of professional performers and artists. Working under the direction of our artistic director, not only do campers pick from our dance options (ranging from hip hop to ballet), but they’ll experience acro-balance, aerial silks, slackline, hula pop, and juggling.
Cool off in our private lake or take a dip in our heated outdoor pool! If you haven’t spent much time in the water, our Red Cross instructors will teach you to swim with comfort, grace, and confidence. For older campers and experienced swimmers, we’ll work on swim techniques from kicks, strokes and breathing to starts, turns, and balance. Our well-rounded program includes water games and sports as well as water safety and rescue skills. Of course, you’ll have plenty of time for free swim, relaxation, and even pool parties.
Waterfront & Boating
Explore everything Hickory Lake has to offer in our jam-packed waterfront program! Discover sailing, explore the lake in one of our many boats, go for a swim, dive off of our giant inflatable lake toys, or just hang out on the shore and relax!
Our baseball and softball programs are built on skill building, sportsmanship, game play and fun. With a focus on small-group instruction we develop outfield and infield foundations and advance pitching, hitting, and base running techniques. Of course we’ll help you transfer skills from running (speed), strength training (power), and yoga (balance) into advancements on the field.
Build speed, agility, and endurance in a running program that’s tailored to you! With an eye towards your personal goals, our coach works with you on sprinting, long-distance running, trail running, injury prevention, nutrition, and race preparation. Watch as your running technique improves your performance in all of Camp Zeke’s activities!
Campers who love the stage will have opportunities to perform in our talent show, dance in a dance show, and display their skills in a huge circus performance. We also have a music and arts festival during each session so campers can showcase all the things they learned and created in dance, circus, music, and fine arts.
Whether you’ve never been on a rock wall or go bouldering in your spare time, you can build your climbing skills at camp! You can build climbing and belaying skills under the supervision of our expert coaches.
Zeke also provides the traditional camp activities that make for amazing summers and lifelong memories. Nightly special events include visits from professional athletes, chefs, and dancers. We also have talent shows, movie nights, and comedy performances! We offer many creative outlets too, including music lessons, rock band, arts and crafts, fine arts, and theater.
Offering two unique experiences, our teen programs focus on healthy, active living through fitness, sports, culinary arts, and joyful Judaism. In our Leadership Program, teens build leadership skills, become mentors to younger campers, take awesome trips, and enjoy all the electives and activities that Camp Zeke has to offer. In the Zeke Teen Travel Experience, teens hit the road and experience the food and fitness cultures of three different cities over the course of three weeks, with plenty of volunteer opportunities along the way.
Please visit the About Teen Programs section of our website to learn more about Camp Zeke’s teen options.
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