FAQs and Important Information

What are the major changes to J-Camp?

  • We will offer one four-week session of camp to run from July 6–July 31 for kids entering grades K–6. J-Camp will run during the same weeks as preschool camp.
  • For everyone's safety, we are committed to keeping each group of campers consistent and separate from other groups. Families must therefore be able to commit to the entire four weeks of camp.
  • The J-Camp day will run from 8:30 AM–3:30 PM; pick-up and drop-off are included in those times.

For more detailed information about the modifications, policies and procedures that are being put into place specifically related to COVID-19, please see our COVID 19 page here.

How can I speak with someone about camp?

We truly appreciate discussing your questions, comments and concerns and there are many opportunities to do so.

Questions about registration and accounts: Please contact the Camp office via email at youth@paloaltojcc.org or phone at (650) 223-8622.

Questions about Financial Aid: You may also contact the Director of Youth and Teens, Dave Rosenfeld, by emailing drosenfeld@paloaltojcc.org or calling (650) 223-8607.

General Camp Questions: You may contact the Camp Director, Rebecca Bigman, by emailing rbigman@paloaltojcc.org or calling (650) 223-8602 or the Assistant Camp Director, Salina Barnette, by emailing sbarnette@paloaltojcc.org or calling (650) 223-8684.

Will there be extended care offered?

For everyone's safety, we are committed to keeping each group of campers consistent and separate from other groups; therefore, we are not offering extended care this year.

Are we able to sign up for a partial session of camp? Would there be a way to break up the weeks if we don't need the full time?

Unfortunately not. In addition to providing a great time, our modified version of camp has been created to minimize the opportunity for exposure, so we are only able to allow for families to enroll in one camp, and they will remain in that camp for the entire four-week session.

Will my child be grouped with other children in their age range?

Yes, our camper groups will be grouped according to the grade they will be entering into for the 2020/21 academic school year. Some groups may combine two grades.

Will summer camps be indoor, outdoor or both?

Camp will be both indoors and outdoors. Each camp group will have a dedicated indoor and outdoor space in front of their room. Each group will also have access to other outdoor spaces, including the field, where groups will rotate to during the day for an opportunity to play field games with physical distancing in mind.

Will the JCC swimming pool be open to camps?

We're unsure at the moment about pool usage. Regardless of pool availability, we are planning a number of water-themed activities that will allow the kids to get wet and stay cool.

Is there going to be express drop-off in the morning and what will that look like?

This year, both drop-off and pick-up will be done entirely from your car using drive-up locations both on and next to campus. Details will be sent out prior to the start of camp.

Our kids are different ages; would they be in the same group or two different groups?

We will place children in camps with other kids in their own grade. Special requests, in this matter, are welcome to be brought to the Camp Director's attention for discussion about possible exceptions.

What types of activities are planned for this program?

Some examples of the fun camp activities that will not require campers to be physically close include:

  • Wacky and energetic water play on the field
  • Non-contact sports and relay races
  • Arts and crafts activities such as tie dye, watercolor portraits and creating beautiful sun catchers
  • STEM projects such as boat building, creating crystals and gardening individual plant pots
  • Classic camp games such as sneaky statues, red light/green light and poison dart frog

Is it possible to request to be in the same group as friends?

Yes, after registering please email youth@paloaltojcc.org, with the requested families being cc'd, with a list of campers wanting to be in a group together. We will do our best to accommodate these requests.

What should I expect before camp starts?

Two weeks before camp starts, parents will receive an email that includes a highlight sheet with the camp schedule, drop-off/pick-up information, camp group and more.

How many staff members will be watching my camper?

There will be two counselors who are intended to remain with their group throughout the entire four weeks of camp. It is our hope and plan for campers to have the same staff the entire summer. If that is not possible we have trained substitute counselors ready to fill in.

What experience and qualifications do J-Camp staff have?

J-Camp staff receive extensive pre-camp training that includes policies and procedures around COVID-19, camper safety, child development and mandated reporting. All camp staff are required to complete a background check and be currently certified in CPR/First Aid certification. A majority of our J-Camp staff are year-round employees in the OFJCC's Youth and Teen Program and work with children year-round in our school-break camps and afterschool program.

What should my children bring/wear to J-Camp?

We recommend that campers bring the following items, labeled with their name, daily: sunscreen, a non-perishable lunch, a light morning snack, a reusable water bottle and a backpack to house everything. On water days, campers should bring their swimsuit and towel. Campers should wear closed-toe shoes and comfortable clothes that can get dirty. Items of value are recommended to be left at home as J-Camp is not responsible for lost or stolen items. Example items include electronics, toys, trading cards, cell phones and money. Children (6 and older) should bring a mask. J-Camp will provide masks for those who do not have one.

What is J-Camp's food policy?

Campers must bring a disposable, non-perishable, nut-free morning snack and lunch daily as we are not able to refrigerate or heat food items. The OFJCC is a kosher-style campus, so please send your camper without pork or shellfish in their food items. A pre-packaged healthy afternoon snack will be provided daily by J-Camp during sign-out.

What if my camper needs to take medication during camp?

If your camper has allergies or medical needs, please indicate this when completing your camp registration on their Health Form. In order for J-Camp staff to administer medication you must complete a separate Medication Disbursement Form. You will need to check in all medication, along with the Medication Disbursement Form, during drop-off to the Unit Leader on the first day of camp. This form will be available, once registered, in the registration confirmation email. You also may request it in the camp office or by emailing youth@paloaltojcc.org.

What is J-Camp closing and Shabbat?

On Friday afternoons, we end J-Camp with a fun closing and Shabbat celebration. This summer, Shabbat will occur via Zoom from each camp room, giving the campers an opportunity to gather as a community even when we cannot gather in person. Shabbat allows J-Camp the opportunity to come together, reflect on the week we have spent, and enjoy the community we have built. During the Shabbat portion of our celebration, we sing camp songs, have camper group performances and recite the Shabbat blessings.

What is J-Camp's cell phone usage policy?

Cell phones can often be a big distraction for campers. We want all campers to be involved in the activities and enjoying their time building relationships, experiencing new things and being actively engaged. While we understand that many campers have cell phones for their own personal use and contact with their parents, we ask that campers leave their cell phones at home. If your camper must bring their cell phone to camp, it should remain in their backpack at all times for safe keeping.

Special Assistance

J-Camp is highly dedicated to being an inclusive and accommodating camp. We strive to support all children of varying needs and abilities to have a positive camp experience and are proud of our team's drive to ensure the success of every camper. Any information that you can provide prior to your child's participation in camp, relative to ways we can best serve them, is valuable to us. If you believe your child may require special assistance, please call the camp office at (650) 223-8622, in order to set up a meeting with the Camp Director to discuss how we can best accommodate your camper.

Financial Questions

Will I have an opportunity to cancel camp once I register?

Options including full refunds will be given for any cancellations of camp on or prior to June 12. In order to cancel, please reach out to youth@paloaltojcc.org and we will send you a cancellation form to complete. After June 12, there will be no refund for any reason, except in the situation that the OFJCC shuts down camp prior to it beginning.

Why is the refund policy less flexible than in previous years?

We will be purchasing a significant amount of additional supplies and materials and hiring a larger team of staff members this year. These costs will be incurred even if a particular camp (or the entire camp) shuts down. Additionally, for limited exposure purposes, we will not be bringing new campers into a camp group when there is a drop. Camp fees will allow us to cover these costs and are fundamental towards allowing us to offer a camp program this summer.

Can I still apply for financial assistance?

Yes! We want to eliminate cost as an obstacle to attending camp as much as possible. However, because of how soon camp starts, we ask you to apply ASAP. If you have not registered for camp and would like to apply for financial assistance, please reach out to Dave Rosenfeld at drosenfeld@paloaltojcc.org for more information.

Can I set up a payment plan if I have concerns about paying for camp in full?

We will gladly partner with you to develop a payment plan that will help making paying your balance off easier. For more information, please reach out to our Camp Administrator, Eryn Alvey, at elavey@paloaltojcc.org.