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About Camp Centerland

Camp HistoryHistory of Camp Centerland

In the period following World War II, the Jewish Community Center of Buffalo recognized the importance of summer day camp in the lives of Jewish families in Buffalo, operated a day camp wherever feasible. They operated in local parks and other communal facilities such as synagogues.

In 1954, the Jewish Center purchased a 78-acre tract of land in rural Elma, New York, and began operating Camp Centerland at that site in the summer of 1955. The camp has grown and developed dramatically in the years since the 78-acre purchase.

In 2013, Camp Centerland moved to a new facility in Getzville, New York, adjacent to the JCC Benderson Family Building. The JCC wanted to redefine JCC camping for the 21st century. We are developing a summer day camp that is a mix of enjoying our natural surroundings and offering exciting new state-of-the-art features, such as a 4-faced climbing tower and double zip line.

During all of its history, Camp Centerland has provided a quality summer outdoor, group day camping experience in a Jewish setting, as one of the core services of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Buffalo. We are committed to providing a safe, fun, and memorable day camp experience through quality hiring, innovative programming and focus on positive values in a Jewish setting. We strive for our campers to learn new skills, accomplish realistic goals, and return home each day with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. We believe that is what camp is all about!

Our Philosophy

Camp Centerland’s philosophy is rooted in the belief that teaching and demonstrating the Jewish values of chesed (kindness), kehillah (community) and tikkun olam (healing the world) is as important as splashing in the swimming pool, enjoying a Popsicle on Wednesday, or singing favorite camp songs. Limud is the Hebrew word for learning, which is at the heart of everything we do. Limud (learning) is the foundation of our diverse camp community and it enables everyone to gain a deeper sense of identity and belonging. 

Camp Mission

The JCC’s Camp Centerland provides a stimulating and nurturing environment based on Jewish values for kids of all faiths and backgrounds.

Camp Vision

A place where each child develops the confidence to be the best that he or she can be, and in turn, a contributing member of the greater community.