What is Camp TOV?
At Camp TOV, teens make a difference. They learn about a variety of issues facing our society -- poverty, hunger, environmental protection, care of the elderly and more. With an emphasis on Jewish values and the importance of gemilut chassidim -- acts of loving kindness and tikkun olam -- repairing the world -- teens use their time and energy to volunteer in a fun, engaging and hands-on way. This interactive service program is sponsored by the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation.
Throughout the school year you can still make a difference with our TOV Monthly Teen Volunteering (MTV) program.
Check out our video and see how TOV teens make a difference!
Find us on Facebook at TOV Teen-Volunteering or follow us on Twitter @TOVTeens.
Who can attend?
Jewish teens entering grades 7 through 12, who live in the Chicagoland area.
When is Camp TOV?
Session 1: August 3-7
Session 2: August 10-14
There are two, one-week sessions in August to choose from. Each offers similar volunteer experiences.
Campers are picked up each morning from centrally located spots in the city and suburbs based on where campers live. Then the bus brings them back to the drop-off locations at the end of the day.
Teens will have the opportunity during one of the days of camp to stay a few extra hours to serve dinner at community kitchens. Dinner and programming will be provided and the longer day will allow for teens to participate in social action in a way they may not have been able to experience before.
What do they do?
They get involved. They learn compassion and understanding. They discover first-hand how they can make their world better. They take initiative. They work with others. They learn to serve. They learn to lead. They learn the importance of tikkun olam. They learn they have a role in their community, and why all of that is important to them and to others. They make new friends. Explore new places. And have an absolute blast doing it. See a sample itinerary (PDF) from a previous Camp TOV program.
Why do they do it?
- For the fun of meeting and working with other teens from around Chicago.
- To earn at least 20 volunteer hours in just one week!
- Personal connection to real-world problems not far from home.
- Volunteer hours for school.
- Hands-on chance to learn about and connect to the Jewish community.
- Sense of achievement.
- The good feeling that comes from helping others.
What does it cost?
- Early Bird Registration: March 1 - April 30: $300
- Regular Registration: May 1 - July 25: $335
The cost includes transportation, two daily kosher (CRC certified) snacks, lunch for one day, one dinner during the evening/under-nighter program, two Camp TOV T-shirts and all programming and curriculum. $18 of the program cost will be donated to JUF's 2015 Annual Campaign. Space is limited.
Camp TOV is supported by a generous gift from a local family foundation.
How do meals work during the week?
Camp TOV will include lunch for one day and dinner during the under-nighter during the week-long program. Then, teens should bring a brown-bag, kosher-style lunch for the remaining four days.
Kosher snacks will be provided for all campers throughout the week of Camp TOV with accommodations made for food allergies.
How can I sign up?
Click here to register. Registration is only done online, is first come, first served and will not be final until payment has been received. No spots will be held.
What do campers and parents have to say?
More than 70 Camp TOV campers volunteered their time and made their mark last summer. Check out the JUF News article and the Camp TOV video to see how your teen can join the fun and make a difference this year!
- "The programs were interesting and relevant to the kids, and the team building added a fun element. I would definitely send my daughter back."
- "I would highly recommend this camp. My daughter participated in another community-service camp this past summer for one week as well, and the activities did not hold my daughter's interest. Camp TOV showed the kids they can enjoy volunteering. Thank you for providing this experience."
- "My son had a great time! We are hoping that he will be able to participate again."
- "I did not think volunteering with the elderly would be fun, but it turned out to be my favorite part of the week."
- "I'm thankful for all that I have, and Camp TOV showed me that volunteering is the best way to give back to others who aren't as fortunate."
- "We made a difference in someone's life. Just putting a smile on someone's face made my day."