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Gan Alonim Frequently Asked Questions

We are adapting our current policies and procedures to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 in camp. The practices and policies laid out here are subject to change.

We are adding questions and answers regularly to this page. Some of our day camp policies pertaining to COVID-19 are still under review and will be available soon.

If you have a question you do not see addressed here, please email us at alonim@aju.edu.

What measures are in place to mitigate the risk of exposure to COVID-19 at Gan Alonim Day Camp?

Our approach in all areas of camp is based on COVID-19 best practices for summer camps published by the CDC and American Camp Association. Our policies and guidelines are reviewed by our Medical Committee as well as other subject matter experts when needed.  Our commitment is to ensure the physical and emotional health and safety of our campers and staff. See an overview of our measures below, and more detailed explanations of some practices farther down in the FAQ.

At-home Risk Mitigation

To mitigate the risk of COVID-19 being brought into camp, campers and their families must remain vigilant and refrain from non-essential contact with people outside of their households and immediate family while attending Gan Alonim. We ask that during evenings and on the weekends that you use best practices to help us maintain a healthy and safe camp environment.

Please avoid traveling prior to your attendance at Gan Alonim. Campers who have traveled by plane prior to their session start date will be required to quarantine within the state of California for a period of time (length to be determined) before arriving to camp. Presently, the required length of time is 10 days. For current information on the required quarantine, please see: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/Travel-Advisory.aspx

We need you to partner with us to have a safe and healthy summer.

Daily Health Screenings:

All campers will be required to complete a daily health screening before entering camp. This will be conducted through the Brightwheel App. More information about the health screenings is farther down in the FAQ.

Group Sizes:

Abiding by recommendations set forth by the local authorities, we are limiting our camper groups to 12 campers each (Pod). Each grade (Division) will have a minimum of two Pods. Should Pods or Divisions be combined for programming purposes, activities will take place outdoors with appropriate distancing.

Mask policy:

At this time, all Gan Alonim campers and staff will be required to wear masks for the majority of the camp day. Exceptions will be during snack and lunch, as well as during swimming. Campers should bring 4 masks with them to camp each day. We will also have extra cloth and disposable face coverings available if a child misplaces a mask.

All masks must be legibly labeled with first and last name.

Cleaning, Handwashing & Sanitization Protocols

To minimize transfer of COVID-19 at Gan Alonim, cleaning methods will be employed to reduce the risk of transmission. Protocols will include cleaning of communal spaces, shared items, frequently touched surfaces and overall handwashing and sanitizing.

  • An electrostatic spray will be used in programmatic areas of camp with EPA hospital-grade disinfectant.
  • Hand-sanitizer stations will be placed in all buildings and high-traffic areas.
  • Handwashing will be required prior to all meals and snacks.
  • Our staff will clean all communal bathrooms, shared spaces, and highly touched surfaces multiple times a day.
  • Program equipment will be sanitized before and after each use.
  • Additional signage will be posted throughout camp as a reminder of health protocols.

What will the daily health screening entail?

Each day upon arriving to Gan, campers will complete a health screening. Campers and parents/drivers will have their temperature taken with touchless thermometers. Additionally, parents will be required to complete a short questionnaire through the Brightwheel App. The questionnaire will ask the following:

  1. Have you or anyone in your household tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
  2. Have you or anyone in your household been in contact with an individual known to have or suspected to have COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
  3. Have you or anyone in your household experienced the following symptoms in the past 14 days?
    1. Fever (above 100.4) cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, child, repeated shaking with chills, fatigue, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, new loss of taste or smell
  4. Have you or anyone in your household traveled outside the state of California in the past 14 days?

If camp staff observe a camper displaying any of the above symptoms at check-in or throughout the day, Gan Alonim reserves the right to send a camper home. Our Illness Policy will apply. Please see more below about our Illness Policy.

What if there is a positive case in the day camp community?

We will notify all enrolled families of a confirmed case by email while maintaining confidentiality in accordance with current privacy laws.

If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in your child’s Pod, we will communicate directly with you via email to let you know, providing at that time any specific instructions regarding a temporary closure of your child’s Pod (see below regarding refunds for time missed at camp).

If a Pod is closed due to a confirmed case: all campers in the Pod, as well as their siblings in other camp Pods, will be required to stay home for the quarantine period recommended by the authorities at that time.

We will notify state and local health officials of any confirmed positive test as required.

What medical support will you have?

We have a fully staffed Health Center on the campus of Gan Alonim. For Summer 2021, there will be a triage space near the Gan Alonim office where campers will go for cuts/scrapes, headaches, bee stings, stomach aches etc. If a camper is not feeling well and is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 during the camp day, a nurse from the Health Center will come to Gan to provide a check-up to the camper. If we determine that the camper needs to go home, he/she will be able to rest comfortably in our dedicated Gan Alonim isolation space until a parent arrives.

Will refunds be available if camp or an individual Pod(s) have to close due to a confirmed case of COVID-19?

In the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19 at Gan Alonim Day Camp, all guidelines as required by Ventura County and the State of California will be implemented, including closing specific camp Pods or the camp at large, pending the specific circumstances. If this occurs, families affected by the closure will receive a prorated refund for the time missed at camp.

No refunds will be available for absences for any other reason, including if you elect to keep your camper home when it is not required due to concerns over COVID-19 in the day camp community.

What is the cancellation policy?

All Gan Alonim Day Camp registrations are fully refundable until May 1, 2021.

Cancellations received on or after May 2 and more than 14 days before the applicable session start date are subject to a $100 cancellation fee.

Cancellations received less than 14 days before the applicable session start date are subject to a $200 cancellation fee.

The entire tuition amount is forfeited for cancellations received less than 7 days before the session start date.

Cancellation fee payments cannot be applied to other campers’ tuition, other sessions, or possible future enrollments. There are no refunds due to absence. Any requested Gan Alonim Day Camp cancellations must be submitted in writing to gan@aju.edu.

Will there be make-up days for absences?

No. Because campers will be attending for full sessions and 5 days/ week we will not be offering make-ups for missed days this summer.

What is your Illness Policy?

Please do not send your child to camp if they show any signs of illness. These may include, but are not limited to cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose, sore throat, vomiting, headache, loss of taste/smell, diarrhea, body aches, and fatigue.

If your child has allergies or other chronic conditions which cause any of the above symptoms, please obtain and provide a doctor’s note prior to sending them to camp.

If your child stays home from camp due to experiencing any of these symptoms, they may return to camp:

With a doctor’s note stating that the symptoms are not COVID-related or symptoms of other contagious conditions

OR

Following a negative COVID test AND a doctor’s note

OR

10 days following 1st onset of symptoms AND 24 hours with no fever (without medication) AND symptoms are improving.

The above guidelines related to illness may change if the CDC, county, state, federal or other civil authorities’ recommendations change prior to the start of camp. If our policies change you will be notified by email.

What if my child needs to miss camp because he/she is sick with COVID-like symptoms?

Partial refunds will be available if a camper misses 5 or more days of a session due to COVID-related illness or COVID exposure. This applies if a camper is prohibited from coming to camp due to COVID exposure, a positive COVID test, time spent awaiting COVID test results, or symptoms of COVID.

When these guidelines are satisfied, Gan Alonim Day Camp and the camper’s family will share the cost of missed camp days.  Gan Alonim Day Camp will issue a 50% refund of the days missed.  A doctor’s note is required to qualify for these partial refunds.

Will there be swimming?

Yes! The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV2 is not waterborne. There is no current evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to people through the water in a pool or water play areas. Campers will be able to cool down in the pool this summer with their Pod of up to 12 campers and their counselors. We will maintain good hygiene practices by requiring campers to wash hands before and after swim, and will modify swim time activities so that campers are distanced in the pool. Masking will not be required in the pool.

My child is not a very good swimmer. Is the pool safe?

The pool is a safe and fun place for campers to cool off and have a good time! Every counselor in your child’s group will get in the pool to play with the campers. In addition to the counselors, there are always trained lifeguards on duty watching the pool from the deck. Swimming is a favorite time of day for most campers – a time for them to play, get exercise, and develop their swimming skills. Some of our younger campers do bring arm floaties to camp. If you are concerned about swim time, please reach out to us at gan@aju.edu.

Is there bus transportation available?

No. To limit the mixing of campers and counselors from different groups, we will not offer bus service to or from camp in 2021.

What are the drop-off and pick-up procedures?

Arrival to camp for drop-off and pick-up will be staggered. You will receive a specific window of time to arrive to camp. Morning time windows will be approximately between 8:40 a.m. and 9:05 a.m. and afternoon times will be approximately between 3:15 p.m. and 3:40 p.m. We will send you your family’s precise time before camp begins.

Each camper group will have a “home base” for both drop-off and pick-up that will remain the same throughout the summer.

Signing your camper in and out, as well as your daily health screening, will be conducted using your smart phone via the Brightwheel App. We will provide you more information about Brightwheel before camp begins.

Will extended care be available?

No. To limit the mixing of campers and counselors from different groups, we will not offer extended care in 2021.

What activities do you have?

Camp is fun! During a session, campers rotate through a variety of activities including teva (nature), the ropes course, horseback riding, Israeli dance, art, swimming, archery, performing arts, and sports. On Friday, we have special activities for Shabbat.

What if we only want to attend 3 days a week?

Following guidance set forth by the American Camp Association, and to keep our camp community as safe as possible, we are requiring families to attend the full session (2 weeks) of Gan without skipping days. We feel this policy mitigates the chances of COVID-19 being brought into our camp environment, and we also know that campers and counselors spending 2 weeks together at Gan Alonim without disruption to the group dynamic builds community and friendship. We are excited to spend a full session (or more!) with your child!

Will there be snack?

Yes. We will provide 2 snacks a day. Each snack will be individually wrapped.

Do you have lunch for purchase?

No. Campers must bring a sack lunch from home that is kosher (dairy or pareve). We do not allow any meat products to come from home, and we are a nut-free campus as well. Lunches will be stored in an ice cooler until lunch time. We will provide ideas for lunch in our Family Handbook available in the spring.

Is there a sibling discount?

Yes. Families will receive a $20 sibling discount for each additional sibling enrolled for camp after the first child. Siblings must attend the same session to receive the discount.

Will there be 1 and 2-night overnights this year?

No. Unfortunately, we will not be able to offer our day camp overnight experiences in Summer 2021. We look forward to bringing back this wonderful Gan tradition in 2022.

If you child may be interested in an overnight experience, please consider enrolling for Camp Alonim in addition to Gan Alonim this summer!

Who are my camper’s counselors?

The counselors of Gan Alonim Day Camp are entering twelfth-graders who live at camp all summer long. Most of them have grown up at Camp Alonim and all have been through a rigorous interview process. After the campers leave for the day, the counselors participate in educational and social activities and plan programs for the Gan Alonim campers. In 2021, they will be separated from the overnight camp during these hours.

How is Shabbat celebrated?

Shabbat is a very special time at Gan Alonim. Although the Jewish Sabbath doesn’t actually begin until sundown on Friday night, we celebrate it on Friday during the camp day. Campers gather together to say the Sabbath blessings, eat delicious challah bread, and everybody gets a little bit of grape juice. Sometimes campers also participate in performances with their group to showcase different Jewish lessons learned during the week, such as a new Israeli dance or a skit about the Torah portion for that week. In 2021, our usual all-camp song session will not be possible, but we are brimming with ideas about other ways to celebrate Shabbat in our Pods, as well as with the entire camp.

What do campers do when it gets too hot?

On most days, we try to keep the campers cool by having them drink water, wear their hats, and stay in shady areas. On some days, it becomes necessary to move the campers inside to air-conditioned buildings for the times when they would normally be outside. When inside, campers will continue to wear masks and maintain appropriate distancing. And, of course, every group goes to the pool every day!

What is the overlap between the overnight and day camps?

In a typical summer, Gan Alonim has little to no overlap with sleepaway camp and this summer, the small overlap will be further reduced/removed. The camps do share specialists (activity area leaders) and these program specialists will be masked, as will our overnight and day campers when with specialists.  This summer we expect our day camp counselors to lead the majority of activities for their own Pods, limiting the amount of overlap with overnight camp specialists. However, there are some areas where that isn’t possible due to the specialized training required for the activities (such as horseback riding, archery, ropes course, lifeguards etc). Those activity areas with overlapping specialists will operate their activity with strict risk mitigation strategies in place, including masking, distancing, sanitizing of equipment/spaces between camper groups, and handwashing.

Day campers will have bathrooms separate from sleepaway camp and their own first aid triage area separate from the Alonim Health Center.

What if my child has a birthday at camp?

A camper who has a birthday at camp is a lucky camper! Your child’s birthday will be recognized and celebrated by the entire group, and the counselors will plan something special for that camper during the day. Please do not bring any treats to camp to celebrate your child’s birthday. Due to our kosher supervision, as well as the prevalence of camper allergies, no outside food may be brought into camp. If you do want to help the group celebrate with your child, you may bring something appropriate for the entire group to wear such as matching party hats, leis, beaded necklaces etc.

Are there trips?

No. Gan Alonim Day Camp prides itself on being a place that provides endless fun activities on site. Because we are located at Camp Alonim, we have a variety of activities for all ages that most day camps just can’t offer on site. As a result, we do not offer field trips. Our campers are happy to stay in camp and play all day!

Can we tour the camp?

At this time, we are not offering in-person opportunities to tour camp. Please check our events page for announcements about Virtual Open House opportunities coming up this spring.

Is there scholarship for camp?

Yes! We never want finances to prevent a camper from experiencing the magic of camp. Please click here to read about our scholarship application process.

These are great, but I have more questions! Where should I go to get my questions answered?

We’re happy to answer any more questions you have, and we love talking about camp! Feel free to contact us any of the following ways: By Phone at 877-225-6646 or by e-mail at alonim@aju.edu.

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