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Frequently Asked Questions

We are thrilled to be planning for campers to come back to Camp Alonim for Summer 2021. We also recognize that Summer 2021 will likely look different than past summers. The FAQs below will allow you to stay up-to-date with how we are planning for Summer 2021. Answers will be updated as needed as guidelines and regulations continue to change regarding operating safely during the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

If camp cannot run in 2021 due to Covid-19, are my payments refundable?

If camp cannot run due to restrictions on overnight camps in Ventura County, we will refund all of your camp fees.

If I decide to cancel my child’s enrollment, are my payments refundable?

We understand that our families are facing a great deal of uncertainty and have adjusted our 2021 Cancellation Policy to allow families a longer period of time to make decisions about camp before incurring cancellation fees.

All Camp Alonim summer sessions are fully refundable until February 1, 2021. The cancellation fee for First, Second, Third, Mini A, and Mini B Sessions, as well as CIT Summer between February 2 and May 31 is $200. After May 31, the cancellation fee for First, Second, Third, Mini A, Mini B, and CIT Summer is the entire tuition amount for the applicable session(s). Cancellation fee payments cannot be applied to other campers’ tuition, other sessions, or possible future enrollments. Any requested Camp Alonim cancellations must be submitted in writing to alonim@aju.edu.

What kind of health screening will be in place?

The safety of our campers and staff is of paramount importance to the Alonim experience. We intend to follow all regulations and recommendations put forth by Ventura County Health Department, CDC, and the American Camp Association. As camp gets closer, we will be releasing more specific details.

How many campers will be in a cabin?

We will be opening registration for Summer 2021 at 60% capacity, meaning we are planning to have approximately 8 campers per cabin (typically we have up to 14). Due to health department regulations, beds must be placed farther apart than in previous summers, thus requiring us to place fewer beds in each cabin. Should the regulations change, we are prepared to expand capacity for campers in each bunk.

I noticed some overnight sessions have different age parameters than in previous years. Why?

In an effort to accommodate as many campers as possible within our new capacity guidelines, we have changed our session structure for Summer 2021. We examined several different models for camp to ascertain which structure allowed for us to enroll as many individual campers as possible. Though we know the change has impacted some families’ ability to send their children to the same session, we have overall created the most opportunities as possible for attendance in each age group.

Will you be having Winter Camp?

At this time, we remain unable to operate an overnight camp program in Ventura County, meaning our traditional 5-night Winter Camp is unlikely to run. We are currently exploring what we may be able to offer this Winter, including in-person day camp for current 1st – 11th graders. Please complete this survey to let us know your interest level in a Winter Day Camp.

How are you planning for Summer 2021?

Every day, we at Camp Alonim are preparing for a tremendous summer filled with lifelong friendships, engaging and creative activities, the exploration of Jewish values, apple butter, and, of course, happy and healthy campers and staff. We recognize that we have all been impacted greatly by Covid-19 and that information surrounding Covid-19 continues to evolve, even months after we began lockdown procedures. The health and safety of our community is of the utmost importance. We remain vigilant as we prepare for next summer and are ready to adapt our programs as needed should there be a shift in policy or regulations.

What National Organizations are you working with to plan for COVID-19 and Summer 2021?

We are working closely with the American Camp Association, Foundation for Jewish Camp, and local health officials to ensure we run a safe camp experience this summer.

The American Camp Association and Centers for Disease Control have released the following guidelines for operating overnight camps during the COVID-19 Pandemic. These guidelines are subject to change and may be superseded by directives from the State of California and the Ventura County Department of Health.

We are continually participating in seminars with health experts to further develop our policies and procedures for Summer 2021. We will update this page with more information as we have it.

Is there a reason to enroll now even though we don’t know what the Summer will look like?

There are many reasons to enroll early! Space is limited and enrolling now allows you to rest assured that your child’s space is secure for Summer 2021, giving you peace of mind, and your child something to look forward to.

Enrolling earlier also makes paying for camp a bit easier! If you sign up by November 30th, you can take advantage of Early-Bird savings. Also, the earlier you register, the longer you will have to pay in full by the May 1st tuition deadline, allowing for a lower monthly payment if you decide to pay in monthly installments. Enrolling earlier also gives you ample time to explore other options of payment assistance if need be (information about scholarships and One Happy Camper grants are below).

As we know this is an uncertain time for our families, and it may be difficult to invest your money in camp at this time, we have adjusted our cancellation policy for Summer 2021. Full refunds are available through February 1, 2021 and a flat cancellation fee of $200 will be charged for cancellations received after February 1st. Our full cancellation policy can be found in the second question of this FAQ Section.

Will my OHC incentive grant from 2020 roll over?

Your first-year camper is still eligible for the One Happy Camper grant! However, the funds are not automatically rolled over, and you will need to apply again to secure the grant for 2021. Information and the application can be found here: www.onehappycamper.org.

Will my scholarship from Summer 2020 roll over?

As is our policy each summer, families must apply for scholarship each year. The scholarship committee evaluates your application based on your most current financial situation so that your family can receive as much assistance as possible given your family’s needs.

How do I apply for a scholarship?

We never want finances to prevent a camper from experiencing the magic of Camp Alonim. Our scholarship application is available only after you enroll for camp. While completing the online enrollment application, be sure to answer ‘yes’ for this question: Need-based scholarships are available for Camp Alonim. Would you like to receive more information about how to apply for a scholarship? We will then give you access to the online scholarship application after confirming your enrollment.

For a more thorough explanation of our scholarship application process and what is required to apply, please visit our scholarship FAQ page.

How is camp prepping to meet the social and emotional needs of kids and teens given Covid-19 reality? What if my child feels separation anxiety after being home for so long?

Each summer, we are committed to supporting the needs of our campers. Our staff is trained on helping first-time and returning campers acclimate to the experience of being away from home and the process of settling into camp life. We recognize that our campers have experienced a major change in their daily life in 2020, and this disruption is likely to continue, causing stress for many of them. We are prepared to support campers with their social and emotional needs. We have a team of counselors, head counselors, camp parents, camp directors, and a dedicated mental health professional who will support your child through any challenge at camp, from homesickness to anxiety, so that your child will be successful while they are in our care.

Camp Alonim is a safe and wonderful place where kids can simply be kids! At camp, kids are able to relax, unplug from technology, have fun, try new things (from a new food to climbing to the top of the rock wall), make new friends, discover their connection to Judaism, and feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves; a community unlike any other. We feel strongly that camp is a place where your children will thrive and forget about the “outside world” for a little while.

If you are concerned about sending your child to camp and would like to discuss anything with us, please reach out to Karen Garelik, Associate Director, at karen.garelik@aju.edu.

What about the CIT and Gesher Gan Programs?

Incoming 11th Graders in the Fall of 2021 are welcome to apply to be part of our CIT (Counselor-in-Training) program. For the application and more info click here.

Incoming 12th Graders in the Fall of 2021 will be invited to apply for the Gesher Gan Internship Program. While still remaining a selective leadership development program, Gesher Gan 2021 will be expanded in size and scope as we continue to adapt the Alonim program to the current moment. The Gesher Gan application will come out in January and we will notify all prospective applicants, and their parents, once it is available.

If you have any questions about Alonim’s Teen Leadership Programs and would like to discuss anything with us, please reach out to Jacob Martinez Raizman, Assistant Director, at jraizman@aju.edu.

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. For answers to more general questions about camp life, click on the “General FAQs” tab at the top of this page.

Is it really hot at camp? Is there air conditioning?

At the peak of summer, daytime temperatures average in the 80s and 90s. Temperatures drop significantly at night (60s), so bunks are not air-conditioned but do have ceiling fans and/or vents. Most program buildings used for activities during the day have air-conditioning.

Does “all white” clothing on Shabbat really mean white?

Yes. All campers and staff are required to wear pure white clothing on Shabbat. (Shoes and belts, however, need not be white.) Colored shirts worn underneath white shirts are not appropriate for Shabbat. Please see the “Packing List” on your Alonim Account for further information, including suggestions for locating white clothing.

What happens if my child has a birthday at camp?

We celebrate! There will be a cake and the singing of “Yom Huledet Sameach” (Happy Birthday) at a meal with the entire camp. If you would like to send something special to your child for his/her birthday (excluding food), please see the section on Mail and Packages for considerations on mailing times.

Will my child go on an overnight?

In general, all campers except those enrolled in Mini Session will go on an overnight (sleeping under the stars) and should come prepared by bringing a sleeping bag to camp. Guidelines for the youngest campers going on overnights vary from year to year and session to session (largely depending upon each age group’s readiness).

Can I bring special food to camp if my child has certain dietary needs?

Camp Alonim is under very strict kashrut supervision and, therefore, cannot accept food from outside of camp. If given notice, we can provide certain items for your child under certain circumstances (e.g., medical reasons). Please contact the office well in advance of the summer if you need to arrange that service. There are always vegetarian, vegan, and milk substitutes available at meals, and we are a celiac-friendly camp.

My child is studying for his/her Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Do you offer tutoring? Can he/she bring an iPod for this purpose?

Yes. Our Judaic educational staff can assist your child in his/her preparations. iPods or MP3 players without internet connection are allowed to be brought and used for this purpose only.

Is Laundry provided at camp?

Laundry will be provided once per session during Second and Third Session. Laundry is not provided during First Session, Mini Session, or Fourth Session. When campers send their clothes to the laundry, it typically takes two days to return. Laundry bags and their contents should all be clearly marked with your child’s name.

What happens if my camper misplaces something? Do you have a lost & found?

Campers tend to misplace belongings while at camp. Staff make every attempt to help campers locate lost and misplaced items. Parents can help this process by labeling ALL items brought to camp with camper’s FIRST and LAST name. Camp Alonim does not assume liability for loss of or damage to personal items.

It’s generally a good rule of thumb to leave items of significant monetary or sentimental value at home.

We will make every effort to contact you after the summer ends if we find an item which are labeled with a camper’s name. These items will be available for pickup from the Camp Alonim office, or can be mailed back to you at your charge.

How do you select the staff?

Camp Alonim takes pride in providing mature, professionally trained, fun and motivated staff. We employ numerous teachers with extensive experience working with children. Our bunk counselors and specialists are all college-age and have prior experience working with children. We personally interview every staff member, and we take pride in the rigor of our interview process. Staff members must have excellent references, and we conduct national background checks and sex offender checks on all staff members before they arrive at camp.

What does a typical day at Camp Alonim look like?

While a day at camp can differ slightly by age group, below is a sample daily schedule. For a more detailed explanation of all our activities and how they fit into a camp day, feel free to call us in the office at (877) 225-6646 and we’d be happy to discuss!

8:00 Boker Tov! Good Morning!
8:30 Breakfast
9:15 Bunk Clean-Up
9:45 Jewish Interactive Experiences
10:45 A Taste of Everything: Rotation Through Camp Experiences
12:00 Israeli Folk Dancing
12:30 Lunch
1:15 Rest Time & Mail Call
2:15 Camper’s Choice – Art Elective
3:15 Camper’s Choice – Active Elective
4:15 Free Time & Snack
5:15 Shower Time
6:30 Dinner
7:15 Evening Fun: Carnival, Scavenger Hunt, Sports Night
8:30 Snack & Cabin Time
Lilah Tov! Sweet Dreams!

Are cell phone, computers, iPods or other electronics allowed at camp?

We take pride in creating an intentionally unplugged community at Camp Alonim. Because of this, phones, laptops and other electronics are not available to campers and cell phones are not allowed at camp. A camper with a cell phone would be FAR less likely to fully enjoy everything camp has to offer. Do not promise your child that he/she can call home, as such a promise cannot be fulfilled. Do not send your child with a cell phone for emergency purposes; in the case of an emergency, a custodial parent/guardian will be notified by camp staff. Cell phones discovered in your child’s possession will be confiscated. We reserve the right to send a child home for violating this rule.

What happens if my child gets sick while at camp?

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.

Can I call or visit my child?

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.

Can I email my camper?

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 back to you the traditional way.

Can I view photos of camp during the session?

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.

Are care packages allowed?

We strive to maintain a clean and green environment at Camp Alonim. An abundance of packages not only creates waste but increases the focus on material items that we try to de-emphasize at camp and raises issues of inequity and competition. In light of this, we are joining with other Jewish summer camps in the area in an initiative to limit the way packages will be accepted here at Camp Alonim.

Camp Alonim will NO LONGER ACCEPT packages from any online retailers including Amazon, Target, Sealed With A Kiss (SWAK), Walmart, Zappos, etc.

In addition to postcards and letters, Camp Alonim will continue to accept packages provided they are being mailed directly from a home address and not an online retailer.

Packages may not contain prohibited items (such as electronic games or food of any kind). As in previous years, all packages will be opened and inspected by Camp Alonim office staff in front of campers, and prohibited items will be removed. Prohibited items will not be distributed to the camper or returned to the sender.

Is tipping allowed?

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.

Are scholarships available?

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. View more information on applying for scholarships.

Does my child need money at camp?

No, there is no need to send your child to camp with money.

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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