There are anywhere from 10 to 14 campers in each bunk and 2-3 counselors. The number of campers in the bunk depends on the popularity of the session in each age group.
A great majority of our staff were once campers themselves at Alonim. They return year after year to give the campers the same meaningful experience they had as children. But, just because someone was once a camper does not mean that he/she will be hired — our staff application process is very competitive. All staff is, at minimum, entering their freshman year of college. This means that a majority of our staff has gone through our extensive leadership training programs in their high school years. Many have spent a full summer working as counseling interns in our day camp. This program ensures that our staff members are experienced in working with children and have made the transition from being at camp for their own experiences to being at camp for the campers.
At the peak of summer, daytime temperatures average in the 80s and 90s. Temperatures drop significantly at night (into the 60s). Most bunks have ceiling fans. Many program buildings used for activities during the day have air-conditioning.
Yes. We wear white on Friday evening through lunch on Saturday to honor Shabbat. We borrow this tradition from Jewish mystics who lived in Israel in the Middle Ages and who are largely responsible for the Friday night prayer service as we know it today. It helps us feel united as one community as we come together from our different activities in which we are engaged during the week. It also helps us set this time aside as something completely unique from the rest of the week. Colored shoes or accessories are acceptable, but we ask that all clothing be white. Off-white or khaki clothing is not worn during this time.
Birthdays are really special at camp. If it is your child has a birthday at camp, the CITs will write a song for them and sing it to the whole camp. It is also camp tradition to have birthday kids skip around the room, usually with counselors or campers from the bunk as skipping buddies. Birthday kids also get a cake to share with their bunks and usually the counselors plan something special so that the bunk can celebrate the birthday together. Kids love having their birthdays at camp!
Many campers attending First Session, Second Session, Third Session, and Mini-Third Session will go on an overnight. Campers attending Mini-First Session will not go on an overnight because the session is so short. Our campsite is located on our grounds and is a 30 minute walk from main camp. While on the overnight, campers and counselors together prepare their own meals, go on amazing night hikes, and enjoy s’mores by the campfire while singing songs under the stars.
Camp Alonim is under very strict kashrut supervision and therefore cannot accept food from outside of camp. If given notice, we can usually purchase and provide certain items for your child. There are always vegetarian, vegan, and milk substitutes available. Please contact our office with more detailed dietary needs.
Yes. Our professional Judaic educational staff can assist your child in his/her preparations. iPods are allowed at camp only for the purpose of studying for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
At Camp Alonim, we like to create our own community. For the most part, that means that campers don’t leave camp. Entering 10th graders and entering 11th graders may leave camp as part of their program to do a social action project, but all other campers will stay in camp. The overnight feels like a trip, but it is really on our property.
Of course! We offer Open Houses where you can come experience some of the activities we offer during the summer, meet the directors, and take a tour of the camp. If the Open House dates do not work for you, call our office and set up a time to see the property. We’re happy to show you!
Homesickness can occur in campers of all ages and experience levels. Some campers express their homesickness by crying and feeling sad while others act out. Regardless, our staff is trained to spot homesickness and address it. Usually the most reliable method is to get the camper involved in an activity or simply letting the camper express their feelings and validating those feelings.
“Camp Parents” are people who are in residence at camp to give some extra T.L.C. to any camper who needs it. In addition, our Head Counselors are our most veteran counselors and are another resource for campers who are feeling homesick.
Here are some things you can do at home, before camp, to help your child avoid becoming homesick:
- Do not make “pick up” deals: do not tell your child that if she/he is homesick, you will pick them up early. This lets your child know that you do not believe in his/her ability to cope with the situation and overcome the obstacle. In the event your child becomes homesick, a pick up deal leaves us with only two options: either your child misses the opportunity to conquer the fear/discomfort and misses the camp experience or you rescind your offer and your child’s trust is eroded. Please do not make pick up deals!
- Make sure your camper has had experience sleeping away from home, even if that is simply spending a few nights with a friend or grandparent.
- Involve your child in the decision to go to camp and the choice of which camp to attend. Share pictures of camp from our brochure and our daily schedule with your camper. Involve them in shopping for camp supplies and packing. Campers who know where to find all of their belongings in their luggage adjust more quickly to camp.
- Even if you have anxiety about sending your child to camp, do not share this with your child. Children pick up on their parent’s emotions, even if they do not understand the root cause of those emotions. Even statements like “I don’t know what I’ll do without you while you’re gone” can send a message to your camper that there is something bad about going away.
- Talking about the possibility of homesickness will not make your child homesick. Discuss it before leaving for camp and let your child know that these feelings are normal. Tell your child that you have confidence in them, that even if they feel sad and miss home, you know that they will find a friend who is not also feeling sad and get involved in an activity to feel better.
- Remind your camper that if they are feeling low, there are a multitude of people they can go to for help: their counselor, the boys/girls Head Counselor, or the Camp Moms.
Yes, laundry will be offered once a session during Second Session and Third Session by our onsite laundry staff. We ask that you label all of your child’s clothing to make sure they bring it all back home with them.
Camp Alonim has a modern Health Center staffed at all times while camp is in session. We typically have multiple nurses, counselors based in the Health Center, and a doctor-in-residence. Because of the communal living style at camp, it is not unusual for kids to catch the common cold during their session. Kids have two opportunities during the day for “sick call,” where your child is examined and it is determined if he/she has caught something. Please refer to your Family Handbook with more information about when we contact parents when a child is treated by the Health Center staff.
Camp Alonim does not have a visitors’ day. Parents can see the camp and the bunks and other facilities on opening and closing days. Parents can write their children letters, but campers do not have access to phones while at camp. Given the time that campers are here at camp, it is actually easier for them to adjust if they have limited access to their usual technology. It is also important that campers “unplug” their lives while at camp. Communicating through writing letters is actually new to many of our campers who communicate mostly through e-mail and texting. Writing letters teaches them patience and other skills.
Yes! Simply log in to your Alonim Account and click the “Email” link to access the one-way email system. This feature is strictly one-way, however, so your child will still send letters and postcards the traditional way.
Yes! Your Alonim Account also contains our summer photo galleries and new pictures are posted daily by our onsite photographer. Please note that we do not upload pictures on Saturday.
Yes. Please note that each care package received at camp will be opened by staff members and any prohibited items (electronic games, candy, food items, gum, etc.), will be removed and not given to your child, nor returned to the sender. Suggestions for a fun care package include: books, magazines, stickers, puzzle books, coloring books, and anything else your child might like that is appropriate for camp.
No. It is against Camp Alonim policy for staff members to accept tips in the form of money. Our staff works very hard and we believe that each staff member is integral in creating the experience that your child has. Tipping sends a message that some staff are more deserving than others, producing a level of competition that is not in line with our philosophy at Alonim. The staff works hard and we know you want to thank them! Thoughtful cards show your gratitude as parents, without creating competition amongst our staff.
Yes. We work very hard to make sure money is not an issue when people choose to come to camp. Our anonymous committee reviews each case thoroughly and does its best to make sure every applicant receives as much aid as he/she needs to be able to attend camp. Click here to view more information on applying for scholarships.
An average day at camp starts with the entire camp raising the American and Israeli flags together and then having breakfast. After breakfast, we start our activities. At Camp Alonim, there are three basic types of activities: activities that campers choose to do based on their interests, activities that campers do with their bunks, and activities that campers do with their division (age group). In addition to these activities, there are times in the day such as Alo-Options (free time) and meals when the whole camp is together. The activities that campers choose are called chuggim and typically include archery, horseback riding, swimming, arts and crafts, and Israeli dance. The bunk activities are either fun time planned by the counselors or activities such as cooking or music that the bunk attends as part of a rotational schedule. There are usually two divisional activities a day. During Alo-Options, the entire camp gathers on the field to spend quality time with friends and can choose from options such as swimming, basketball, playing cards, art, and soccer. At night, the campers go back to the bunks with their counselors and each bunk does a quiet activity together to bring closure to the day and settle the campers down for bed.
Shabbat is truly an oasis in time at Camp Alonim. We begin our preparation for Shabbat on Thursday night when we remove all of the tables from the Dining Hall so that it can be cleaned and we continue getting ready until the time comes to gather for services on Friday evening. Everyone wears all white clothing. Even the tables are dressed in white tablecloths on Shabbat. The whole mood of camp changes on Shabbat. Everything slows down just a little bit. We spend more time as one big community on Shabbat. We eat as a camp instead of split up by bunk; we have a longer meal. After services and dinner we sing and dance into the night. Saturday morning we have a light breakfast and then a service that is split up by age group so that each and every camper can relate to the Torah service on an appropriate level. After lunch, the rest of the day is spent resting, playing sports, and spending time with your bunk. We say farewell to Shabbat by showing off the great things that we have learned and experienced throughout the week in a Shabbat talent show called Melaveh Malkah and then we have Havdalah, the ceremony that ends Shabbat. Once Shabbat is over, we begin our normal routine again, but always with the knowledge that another Shabbat is just around the corner.
No, there is no need to send your child to camp with money.
The following items are not allowed at camp: iPods, electronic games, video cameras, cell phones, weapons, fireworks, portable DVD players. In order to achieve a camp environment free from the distractions of everyday life, it is essential that these items remain at home. One of the wonderful benefits of camp is the chance to “unplug.” At camp we do not text each other; we have face-to-face conversations. At camp we do not retreat from the community by putting on ear phones; we create our own music with our voices. Cell phones at camp are particularly disruptive. Calling home at the first sign of homesickness or challenge at camp does not give your camper the opportunity to practice independence or rehearse decision making skills. It does not allow the camp to intervene and address the problem within the camp community, ultimately making it impossible to do the job you hired us to do: to give your child a terrific camp experience. Please be our partner in making this summer great and leave the cell phone at home. Additionally, food, gum, and water bottles are strictly forbidden. Trust us, there will never be a shortage of delicious Kosher food, so help us eliminate waste but not sending your child to camp with any food, gum, or water bottles. All care packages are opened in front of senior staff and any forbidden items found will be confiscated.