" Big Idea - Technology Summer Camp in Northbrook - JCC Chicago
Design Your Summer
Each session campers participate in two workshops. Campers choose their top three choices after registering, and will be placed into workshops a few weeks before camp begins.

Learn More with the Workshop App

Take an interactive look at the workshops and projects done by past campers!

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 Your Day, Your Way

Each day consists of two workshops plus an unplugged activity. Of course, there will be plenty of camp fun added along the way, especially during our outrageous closing ceremonies. 

Sample Schedule
8:45am Drop Off at JCC   12:15pm Lunch
9:00am Workshop 1   12:45pm Workshop 2
10:30am Snack   2:15pm All Camp Activity & Closing
10:45am Unplugged   3:00pm Pick Up at JCC

Summer is not for school, it’s for experimenting and creating while have loads of fun. BIG IDEA offers all of this and more.

BIG IDEA fosters independence, mutual respect and a great sense of achievement. All workshops are hands-on and campers need no previous knowledge to participate. Technology exploration takes place in small groups of no more than 8 campers allowing for individualized attention and collaboration. Instructors encourage campers to find their passions and then help them take it to the next level.

At the end of each session, campers will have completed a final project that they can take home.

Register

Each day campers get away from computers and participate in traditional camp fun throughout the Bernard Weinger JCC and Marvin Lustbader Center for Health, Wellness and Fitness. The offerings change each day and campers can choose what they want to do.

Art
Basketball
Climbing Wall
Construction
Fitness (Queenax, Zumba, Obstacle Course)
Gaga
Games
Outdoor Cooking
Soccer
Softball
Swimming
Yoga
… and more!

There’s even more fun with theme days, Israel activities, songs, games and everything that makes J Camp so special.

We hire only the best instructors and counselors with the commitment and compassion you expect from a J Camp program.

Awesome instructors from Israel lead the tech workshops. These experts are college students or graduates and alumni of tech units in the Israel Defense Forces. They have a rich experience working with kids and teens at summer camps and other educational programs.

Camp staff also includes American group counselors and JCC activity specialists who supervise group time and unplugged activities.

All staff complete a thorough and detailed recruitment and orientation process.


Be a Host Family

Our staff from Israel are Shlichim, Israeli emissaries, who come to us through The Jewish Agency. They travel to Chicago to share Israeli culture and also to become part of our community. We are looking for families to generously open their homes to host one of our staff for two weeks or the whole summer. If you are interested in bringing a taste of Israel into your family this summer, contact Emily Gottlieb, Regional Vice President, Northshore, for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our goal is for all campers to participate in the workshops of their choice. After registering for camp, you will receive an email that prompts you to select your top three choices. As we get closer to the start of camp, each camper will be assigned to two of the three workshops.

For the rare case that we can’t get campers into their top two choices, we will contact you prior to the start of camp. Campers will receive a schedule with their workshops on the first day of the session.

Campers can either bring their own bagged lunches every day or sign up for our lunch program ($72/session) through CampInTouch. All bagged lunches will be refrigerated when a camper arrives to camp. The menu for the lunch program will be available in the spring.

The last day of each session is a pizza party lunch, which is included in the cost of the camp fee.

Safety and inclusion are top priorities at JCC Chicago Day Camps. Our camps are committed to being allergy-safe. While our camps are not allergen-free, we strive to make our camp environments as safe as possible for children with food allergies using a customized approach and working closely with each family to develop an action plan for the child.

Read the Allergy Policy

Our lead instructors come from Israel and speak English and Hebrew. All workshops and activities are conducted in English. With all the Israeli spirit and fun at camp, don’t be surprised if your camper learns few words of Hebrew along the way.

Campers will have the option to swim as one of their unplugged activities in the indoor pool at the Bernard Weinger JCC. Swimming at BIG IDEA is all free swim. We do not provide swim lessons. All campers must pass a basic swim test at the start of the session to participate in pool activities.

If you are looking for additional swim lessons during the summer, please visit JCC Aquatics to learn more about our programs and options.

We partner with Keshet to provide one-on-one support or accommodations for campers with disabilities. Please contact Jennifer Phillips, Director of Recreation, at 847.205.0274 for more information and to schedule a time for a confidential intake prior to registering for BIG IDEA.

keshet

Our staff from Israel are Shlichim, Israeli emissaries, who come to us through the Jewish Agency. They travel to Chicago to share Israeli culture and also to become part of our community. We are looking for families to generously open their homes to host one of our staff for two weeks or the whole summer.

If you are interested in bringing a taste of Israel into your family this summer, contact Emily Gottlieb, Regional Vice President, Northshore, for more information.

This amazing opportunity to open to all families regardless if their children attend BIG IDEA.

Four Big Ideals

# Innovation & Creativity

Through the workshops, we enable campers to burst beyond boundaries of imagination with constant encouragement.

# Mutual Respect & Tolerance

Campers and counselors from Israel and United States make up our camp community. This gathering allows participants to explore and experience a multi-cultural society. Everyone will add their touch to the community and gain from exposure to others.

# Israel Connection

Raising the story of modern Israel’s success in technology and development will create pride and connection with Israel and Jewish culture.

# Leadership

At BIG IDEA, participants with many skills, interests and background create a platform for each to find leadership strengths in many areas: technological, social or something unique.

Contact Us About BIG IDEA

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