About Us

If you are looking for a wonderful, loving, and fabulous day camp, you have come to the right place!
Camp Gan Israel has been providing a unique Jewish summer camp experience to our campers and families since 1997.

 

The relationships that our campers form with their counselors provide the foundation  for the Camp Gan experience for which we are known. We focus on creating a nurturing and supportive environment where every child feels a sense of belonging.

 

  • We strive to encourage campers to participate, to try their best, express themselves, make new friends, and to be proud of their Jewish identity.
  • Our belief is that strong morals and values enrich children’s lives.
  • Our counselors model it-our campers live it!
  • Camp Gan is the ideal size day camp for children.
  • Our swim program offers small group instruction and individualized attention for each child.
  • Arts and athletics programs are designed with children in mind, they are age appropriate
    and allow for high quality instruction.

 

Camp Gan is located on the grounds of Carmel Academy,
270 Lake Avenue in Greenwich, CT

 

  • The camp features a beautiful 16 acre campus with grassy playing fields, tennis courts,
    basketball courts, gaga courts and shady picnic tables.
  • On-site outdoor swimming pool, monitored by trained and licensed aquatic professionals.
  • Indoor air-conditioned facilities include a gymnasium, art studio, activity rooms, multipurpose rooms, cafeteria and an auditorium.
  • We invite you to visit us our campus!

 

We have a deep commitment to the well-being of each child. Together we have more than 30 years of camping experience and knowledge of children. 

 

Maryashie Deren – DIRECTOR

Maryashie is Director of Education at the Chabad of Greenwich, which includes Camp Gan Israel and the Chabad Preschool. She has been involved in Jewish Education for 25 years. A qualified leader for both children and adults, Maryashie has directed camps in Alaska, South Carolina, California, Toronto, and Latvia. She lives in Greenwich with her husband, Rabbi Yossi Deren, and their 10 children. She is passionate in her devotion to her family, her community, and to Camp Gan. Maryashie is an inspiration to our entire community.

 

Chani Feldman – MINI-GAN DIRECTOR 

Chani is returning for her 8th year as director of our Mini-Gan program. Chani holds a degree in early childhood education. Chani is also director of our popular Chabad Hebrew School. She has been a preschool teacher for many years, and a Mini-Gan specialist at Camp Gan Israel in Greenwich. She was previously
a Co-Director of CGI in Maryland. She lives in Greenwich with husband, Rabbi Menachem Feldman, and their growing family. Chani makes the best salads and challah anywhere!

 

We are teachers, educational professionals, Jewish leaders, college and high school students, and child development specialists. Every member of our staff is committed to providing a safe and secure environment where children thrive. 

 

  • Our Division Heads possess a wealth of knowledge and experience. They mentor and guide our counselors, and actively communicate with camp families.
  • Every counselor is carefully selected for their personal warmth, sensitivity and ability to connect
    to each child.
  • Staff is intensively trained, including CPR and first aid.
  • We work together to ensure that each child’s individual needs, and the group’s needs are met.
  • We create an environment where campers build confidence, try new things, express themselves, have FUN and feel proud to be Jewish!
  • Interested in working here? Click Here

 

Leaders In Training (LIT)

  • LITs support counselors in assigned bunks.
  • An experienced Program Director oversees the program and provides participants with feedback
    and evaluation throughout the summer.
  • Attend formal weekly leadership training sessions.
  • Attend staff training prior to the start of camp, and partake in morning and afternoon staff meetings.
  • Learn skills necessary to become Jr. Counselors and receive priority when interviewing as staff
    for the following year.
  • Flexible weekly scheduling is available.
  • There is no cost for this program but LIT’s must fill out a staff application and go through the interview process. LITs receive a $50 weekly stipend and must be available to work the full summer.

The Greenwich Stars is the leading sports organization featuring professional coaches who teach the fundamentals of sports. Led by John Raybin, they have trained hundreds of athletes and have won a slew of championships. The Greenwich Stars coaches want every camper to grow and learn and become a better person on and off the playing field. The Greenwich Stars coaches preach enjoyment (fun), great sportsmanship and respect for every game they play.

 

 

 

Our Sports Staff

We are proud to announce that Camp Gan Sports has joined forces with Greenwich Stars the area’s most respected sports program for boys and girls. Sports at Camp Gan will now be led by the top professional coaches from the Greenwich Stars who will ensure that your child has fun and that they develop their sports skills during an unforgettable Camp Gan experience. These professional coaches are committed to helping young people learn and be the best they can possibly be.

The Greenwich Stars is the leading sports organization featuring professional coaches who teach the fundamentals of sports. Led by John Raybin, they have trained hundreds of athletes and have won a slew of championships. The Greenwich Stars coaches want every camper to grow and learn and become a better person on and off the playing field. The Greenwich Stars coaches preach enjoyment (fun), great sportsmanship and respect for every game they play.

 

Here’s a look at the Greenwich Stars coaches who will lead Gan Sports:

Athletic Director – Kevin Brunelle 

Kevin is one of the most respected and sought-after sports coaches in the area. He has great leadership skills and a terrific understanding of sports. Kevin loves to teach children of all ages and for many years, has led youth sports clinics all over Westchester. He’s organized and passionate about coaching and is known for his outstanding communication skills. Kevin is a highly regarded baseball and basketball coach and an athletic trainer at The Gym in Armonk. He’s also a teacher and baseball coach at Croton High School (NY).

 

Athletic Director – Henry Ferrarin

Coach Henry is a dynamic coach and is an outstanding communicator.
He stresses the fundamentals, as they are the backbone of sports.
Henry is one of the most beloved, respected and sought after coaches
in the Westchester / Fairfield area. Originally from Irvington, NY,
Henry was a multi sport student – athlete, and he captained his
college basketball team at SUNY Purchase.

Associate Athletic Director Anatoli Vartosu

In addition to supporting Kevin in Sports Camp, Anatolie is also responsible for CGIs gymnastics and soccer programs. Anatolie is an accomplished runner (having qualified for the 1996 Olympics in the Marathon), gymnast and soccer player. He has over 20 years experience teaching and working with children of all ages in the fields of physical education and culture, track and field, soccer and all sports. Anatolie
has a lifelong passion for increasing children’s self-esteem, confidence and capabilities for success in life. He is the gymnastics coach for Darien YMCA gymnastics team. They have won state championships, regionals and nationals titles. Anatolie teaches soccer, gymnastics and multi-sports programs at several preschools in the area inclucing
Chabad of Greenwich.

Tennis Director Jeff Donn

Jeff returns for his 10th year as the Director of Tennis at Camp Gan. Previously, Jeff has been the head pro at both Pelham Country Club and Roosevelt Island Racquet Club. He has been teaching tennis to children and adults for over 25 year.

 

Camp begins as soon as your child steps onto the bus in the morning and ends  when he/she gets off the bus at the end of the day.

 

  • We provide convenient bus stops for children ages 4 and up, from several central
    points in Greenwich and Stamford.
  • Private bus stops are also available for an additional fee.
  • Safety and security is the number one priority when children ride our buses to camp.
  • Buses have seat belts and are driven by professional drivers.
  • Each bus has its own highly trained and mature bus counselor.
  • Parents may also choose to drop-off and pick-up their children from camp.

 

Camp Gan Israel is a secure facility.
A security guard is stationed at the Gan Israel entrance. All visitors check in at the Security Booth.
No camper is released without clearance from camp directors.

CAMP GAN ISRAEL SAFETY STANDARDS AS AN ACA ACCREDITED CAMP 

 

Camp Gan Israel is committed to providing a superb day camp experience for Jewish children in Greenwich and surrunding towns. We offer outstanding sports and theatre arts programs under the guidance of instructors who are all highly qualified in their fields.

While we all want our campers to have fun, make friends and take our camp’s mission to heart, the number one most important agenda is safety.

When safety measures are in place, then the rest comes naturally and we have some very happy campers (and parents)!

In true camp fashion, being prepared and proactive is the key to safety success. Fortunately for us, the American Camp Association (ACA) has stringent standards for accredited camps to help us maintain a very high benchmark for safety.

Below is a broad outline of the ACA standards categories we cover at Camp Gan each and every summer to ensure a successful summer full of fun. Under each category there are many specific regulations, usually 20–30 standards, which go into great depth and detail.

 

• SITE AND FOOD SERVICE

General Site/Facility, Food Safety, Food Service Areas

 

• TRANSPORTATION

Types of Vehicles, Transportation/Vehicle Procedures, Vehicle Checks & Equipment, Driver Requirements & Training

 

• HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Healthcare Personnel, Health Screening & Assessments, Healthcare Practices, Healthcare Center & Equipment, Recordkeeping & Health Records, Staff Health Information, Short-term Residential/Family Programs/Camps Serving Rental Groups

 

• OPERATIONAL MANAGEMENT

Risk Prevention and Management, Emergency Prevention/Preparedness & Response, Additional Requirements Related to Rental Groups

 

• HUMAN RESOURCES

Staff Qualifications, Screening, Selection & Employment, Staff Supervision Ratios, Staff Training, Staff Supervision

 

• PROGRAM DESIGN AND ACTIVITIES

Promoting Camp Quality and Camper Welfare, Promoting Safety in Overnights & Trips, Staff Qualifications & Supervision for Specialized Activities, Activity Support & Supervision, Equipment & Facilities, Protective Headgear & Apparel, Additional Safety Requirements for Horseback Riding, oversight of Public Providers of Program Activities & Rental Groups

 

• PROGRAM/AQUATICS

Personnel and Supervision, Safety/Emergency Procedures & Systems, Aquatic Venues & Activities, Watercraft Activities, Aquatic Activities with Public Providers

 

• PROGRAM TRIP AND TRAVEL

Personnel, Supervision, & Training, Safety & Emergency Procedures, Aquatics

 

You can read more about the  safety standards here.

There are also state regulations and annual inspections of camp facilities by the Department of Health & Human Services, not to mention a variety of staff training programs by nationally recognized organizations, such as the American Red Cross.

Obviously, safety is a top priority for camps. It ensures our campers have the BEST camp experience possible and that is no accident!

 

“I love the counselors you have! Thank you so much for taking such wonderful care of my child each summer.
– A.S

David from GOGO Karts, “everything was extremely organized….everyone is extremely respectful from the Head Staff to the counselors to the campers.”

“This is what our daughter thinks of her counselors -kind, helpful, generous, young women who are filled with joy as they serve others. This is what we love about Camp Gan…Jewish values. Thank you for opening our daughter’s heart, we can’t wait to watch where her Jewish journey continues to take her.” – J.W. 

“I just wanted to let you know that Ben is having a fantastic time at camp! He has loved the trips and I am sure he will have a fun time at the Hershey Park overnight. He also loves the sports program. The set up of focusing on the two sports each week is great. The coaches are very special.” – K.M.

“I just wanted to e-mail you both to let you know as a teacher, how impressed I was by the show on Friday. I thought the campers showed such amazing spirit, a real love for performing, and a strong message was told. “…you have given them the gift of confidence, and it was a sight to behold. I have seen many shows performed by kids, and I have never witnessed anything as good as this was. Congrats to Camp Gan Israel!” – D.B 

“She is loving camp. Thanks for all you do there.” – P.G 

“The boys are having a fabulous summer, thank you so much!” – K.L. 

“Abe’s favorite thing is acting…He was talking about it as I tucked him in tonight!” – M.M

“A huge THANK YOU to you and your team for another successful summer at CGI! You do an amazing job and pour your hearts into it, and it shows!!

“Jake loves the camp and wants to be a CIT when he’s old enough!” – P.K.

“On weekends, she always asks if she is going to camp…she is thrilled to go to Camp Gan Israel.”

“What a great moment for me yesterday when I came to pick up my son and all I saw was a huge grin! A parent could not ask for anything more . Thank you for running such a warm and nurturing camp” – .L.P.

Tatum was the happiest I’ve ever seen her today when I picked her up!” – D.W.

“it was the best thing I ever did for my child, she loved everything about it!” – D.S. 

“My children have grown tremendously in their confidence as people and their pride of being Jewish…” – L.F. 

“You guys are running a fantastic camp. Keep up the great work!” – M.S.

“Such a well run program that teaches Judaism in the most terrific way. We are just so pleased. Ashley is walking away from camp this summer with a stronger sense of being a good person, a good citizen, and a good friend because of the skills you teach the children. As I came to pick up everyday, I had a sense of pride that we are part of such a special camp with amazing people. The counselors took the time to get to know her strengths, weaknesses and to make her feel like the most important camper. Camp Gan is the perfect camp for families looking to enrich their children’s lives with Judaism and to grow in ways they never knew possible. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to making this camp experience so special for our entire family. – A.B.

Thank you Maruja and yes Daisy cannot stop talking about how amazing camp is, she LOVES her bunk friends, and it seems that they are having the time of their lives! They love their counselors and they are all very sweet, nice, genuine, awesome girls! Thanks everyone for sharing your daughters with us this summer, I know Daisy is beyond happy, always comes home with a huge smile, with tons of songs, and just super duper happy! – M.S.

Hi Maryashie,
I wanted to write a special note of thanks for the wonderful Camp Gan experiences. My boys LOVE camp. No words can describe the joy Camp Gan brings to our family. Not only is your Camp filled with tons of fun but more than that, your supportive presence is heartwarming! Your presence creates an environment where my children feel safe and loved. I feel so blessed to have you and your family in our lives. Thank you for all your support. It means so much to us!
Warmly, – J.B.

Hi Maryashie,
I’m sure your exhausted but wanted to let you know that Jonah and Tea had an amazing day! I also wanted to thank you and the counselors of bunk 8 for making Maxime such a beautiful get well card. She was so sad to miss it today and it really made her day.
This act is just another testament how CGI is unique in it’s character and compassion.
Best, – M.

“My kids had such a great first day at camp!! Thank you….” – M.M

“My kids had a fabulous first day -they love their counselors/morahs, had a great time doing all the activities and can’t wait to come back tomorrow.”
Many many thanks! – S.W.

“Benjamin really liked your camp! He enjoyed everything about it: counselors, children, trips and definitely wants to come back!!!”
THANK YOU! – A.

“Jolie had an incredible summer and obviously this was in largest part due to you. Your warmth, praise, and encouragement all played a big role in Jolie’s experience this year at Camp Gan. Thank you so much for all your hard work”. – Penny

“My kids love camp so much they’re upset when there is a half day..
They’re upset on the weekend when there’s no camp”. – S. B.

“Thanks to the Counselors for their amazing work. My kids absolutely love everyday of Camp”.
– Judith