Happy New Year,
The Summer has finished and the New Year is upon us. This is a wonderful opportunity to reach out to you and share my thoughts.
This year was the 14th year that we have run our summer camps in Israel and around the world, and each time that camp begins, I find myself as excited as if it was our first summer. And every time that camp ends, I am amazed at the extent of our success. The ‘secret’ of Kimama’s success, which is actually quite apparent, is our fantastic staff; excellent and experienced managers who give 100 percent of themselves, veteran unit heads who return year after year and a unique and sensitive training program that cannot be competed with. I watch our staff during the summer and never cease to be amazed by their expertise.
In recent years, the field of summer camps both in Israel and internationally has undergone a major change. Parents are starting to view summer camp as an investment in education and in the future of their children. They no longer see it as merely a way of giving the kids a ‘good time’ or keeping them busy during the summer vacation. Parents expect and demand to receive added value, to get more. Therefore, to be successful in our ‘new world’, summer camps must constantly improve – be innovate, creative and exciting. They must invest in new facilities and educational programs, add creative activities, emphasize values, give participants social tools and actually define and deliver added value as has become expected. In order to accomplish all of this, a summer camp system requires strong financial backing, professional management and qualified and experienced human resources in the fields of customer service, registration, operation, training, maintenance and development of educational-experiential programming.
At Kimama we work around the clock, non-stop without resting for a moment. At the end of each activity we evaluate the results and make improvements. We continue to develop new programs vigorously and constantly reinventing ourselves. Over the past year, we opened a new camp in Venice (during the spring) and a new camp in Barcelona (at the end of the summer vacation). The programs at both camps were unique and varied, and the reactions of the participants were excellent. During the coming year, we will continue to develop this trend and see the opening of camps in other parts of the world, alongside our ski camps in Italy and Austria. Very soon we will be opening a surfing and diving camp in the Canary Islands. So that during the Chanukah vacation, those who are interested in a winter camp can join Skimama while those who prefer a summer camp can join Kimama in the Canary Islands.
This summer we met new campers from Austria, Canada, Germany, Peru, Russia, Scotland, France, Thailand, South Africa, Nigeria, Singapore, Bulgaria, Denmark, England, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, USA, Sweden, Brazil, Venezuela and Poland. We invest great resources and energy in strengthening our connection with our foreign clientele, with an awareness that the international interaction adds an important dimension to the campers’ experience. In recent years our efforts have proved successful, as our enrollment of campers from overseas has increased dramatically. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the families who hosted our info sessions throughout the United States (20 info sessions over the course of the year) and helped us spread the word about Kimama in the Jewish and Israeli communities around the United States.
As part of our full-service concept, in order to provide more efficient services with greater availability to our overseas campers especially in the US, we are happy to announce that we are opening a Kimama office in New York. The office will be open during regular US business hours (EST). In addition, this year we will offer new Kimama programs in the US for the local Jewish and the Israeli communities. We will also continue running our Kimama New York summer camp in Upstate New York, for the fifth consecutive year.
In addition, Kimama’s Israel head offices will relocate from Kibbutz Shefayim to Kibbutz Glil Yam. The new office will serve as a home for Kimama on a kibbutz, just as we like it. You are invited to come and visit us and meet our staff. We will also update you soon about the dates of our activities for the upcoming year and publish the registration prices for returning campers.
I wish us all a wonderful New Year, a year of fulfilling our dreams, a year of love and success.