Camp History

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Camp Mountain Chai is the realization of a dream of a number of committed leaders in the San Diego Jewish community. After years of searching, the current facility in Angelus Oaks was purchased in 2004 by the Jewish Community Camp and Retreat Center, Inc. and Camp Mountain Chai officially opened its doors to Jewish children in 2006.

Our Mission

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Camp Mountain Chai creates a community to inspire a love of Jewish living through fun, friendship, discovery, and exploration:

  • Camp life fosters a strong sense of responsibility, self-reliance, independence, and self-worth.
  • Unique outdoor experiences instill a passion for our natural environment in the San Bernardino National Forest.
  • Innovative programming cultivates meaningful Jewish experiences and nourishes a strong affection to the land, people, and culture of Israel.
  • CMC creates year-round opportunities to strengthen and develop interpersonal relationships.

Camp Mountain Chai serves youth and teens entering grades 2 through 12. Each cabin group consists of 6-16 campers, staffed by at least two college-aged counselors.

What makes Camp Mountain Chai Special?

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CMC provides a warm and caring family atmosphere. Our highly trained staff works hard to maintain this safe, nurturing environment for our campers. Campers develop a sense of community through the many forms of group activities offered throughout the day. At the same time, each camper’s individuality is also honored and respected.

Camp Mountain Chai is proud of our accepting, supportive and inclusive community. We believe that every camper is unique and special, and we want everyone to feel accepted and celebrated for who they are. 

CMC welcomes those who are Jewish, not Jewish, and interfaith. We invite everyone to participate in our Jewish rituals in the way that feels comfortable to them. We believe in the Jewish value that all human beings are created B’tzelem Elohim, in the image of God. This belief underlies our commitment to the full inclusion, acceptance and equity of people of all gender expressions and identities. Accordingly, we affirm the right of all people, including gender nonconforming and transgender individuals, to be referred to by their name, gender and pronouns in our programs.  

CMC supports campers with special needs in many ways during the summer. We always have onsite camp mental health professionals who are available to meet with campers as the need arises. We also hire extra staff with special training to help support campers with a wide range of MESSH (Mental Emotional Social Spiritual Health) concerns.

Explore more about CMC

Give the Gift of Camp

By making a donation to Camp Mountain Chai, you give children the opportunity for life-changing experiences. Our goal is to make camp possible regardless of a family's financial ability.

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