Our nationally-recognized J Camps aquatics program operates under the guidelines of the American Red Cross and emphasizes personal safety, swimming skills, and a positive self-image.

A camper learning how to swim.

Red Cross-trained Lifeguards supervise recreational swim and Water Safety Instructors (WSI) supervise all swim instruction at J Camps. As a State of Maryland licensed and ACA Accredited camp, J Camps routinely exceeds the state and county regulations for pool safety and supervision.

At the Owings Mills location, the campers have exclusive use of the Family Z Pool and the Splash Pad at the Shapiro Aquatics Park during camp hours.


The following camp programs include Instructional Swim:
Noah’s Ark
J Day Jr
J Day
Maccabi Sports Camp
Habimah Arts Camp (required for grades 1 & 2)

Learning to swim is a vital part of our camp program. All children who are well enough to attend camp are expected to participate in Instructional Swim.

Noah’s Ark, J Day Jr

Both counselor and assistant take an active part in swim class; therefore, neither staff person can stay back to watch children whose parents prefer their child not to swim, and due to capacity limitations in each classroom, we cannot put a child who is not swimming in another room while his or her class swims. If a child is unable to participate in swim class, parents must stay with their child during swim time, or bring the child to camp after swim class so that he or she does not feel badly about not being able to swim with his or her friends.

The JCC Aquatics Department strives to provide your child with the best possible swim program. The Aquatics Department evaluates the children’s swim skills at the beginning of the camp session to facilitate appropriate swim level placement. Twice throughout the summer, you will receive an electronic evaluation of your child’s swim skills and/or a card indicating successful completion of a swim level.

J Day, Maccabi Sports Camp, Habimah Arts Camp

On their first day of camp, your child will be given an American Red Cross swim evaluation by a Water Safety Instructor (WSI). This evaluation contains areas that are used to determine Recreational Swim Level as well as their Instructional Swim Level.

The WSI assigned to your camper’s group will work with your camper to develop the skills necessary to master their current level prior to advancing them to the next level to become a more skilled and safer swimmer. WSI’s teach at the level that your camper is most comfortable at: for example Level 1 starts with Getting In, Getting Wet, and Getting Under while Level 6 focuses on Swimming and Skill Proficiency.

For those campers who are not yet swimmers, the JCC has a walk-shallow area of the main Z pool that is no deeper than three and a half feet. This area of the pool is used exclusively for instructing our youngest campers and campers who are fearful of the water. The WSIs as well as the camp staff are in the water helping these campers feel comfortable and safe.

The following camp programs include Recreational Swim:
J Day Jr
J Day
Maccabi Sports Camp
TNT Experience
Habimah Arts Camp (optional)
Tennis Camp (optional)
Camp Koolanu (Park Heights)

On their first day of camp, your child will be given an American Red Cross swim evaluation by a Water Safety Instructor (WSI). This evaluation contains areas that are used to determine Recreational Swim Level, for which they will receive a colored band as described below, as well as their Instructional Swim Level (if applicable).

Camps at Owings Mills

All campers have the opportunity to participate daily in Recreational Swim. The Family Z Pool (which the campers use) in the Shapiro Aquatics Park is divided into 3 levels: Red Bands, White Bands, and Blue Bands.

Red Bands: Camper may utilize the walk-shallow area of the Z pool as well as the spray ground.
White Bands: Campers may utilize the medium-depth area as well as the Red Band areas.
Blue Band: Campers may utilize the entire Z pool area.

Please help us stress the importance to your camper of wearing the bands on their wrists daily to camp.

In addition to the Z pool and spray ground, all campers have access to a ga-ga pit, shaded areas, and games.

Camp Koolanu at Park Heights

All Koolanu campers participate in Recreational Swim, which takes place at the Park Heights indoor pool. Campers swim daily, with the exception of field trip days and the 9 Days.

The Park Heights indoor pool is divided into 3 levels:
Red Bands: shallow
White Bands: medium depth
Blue Bands: deep end

In addition, the Koolanu staff will set up sprinklers outside for the campers to play in when weather-appropriate.

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