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J Camp Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do you choose camp counselors? What sort of training do they complete?
  2. Our family is not Jewish – is this the right camp for my kids?
  3. What should my child bring to camp every day?
  4. What does a typical day at camp look like?
  5. What are my options for lunch?
  6. How do swim lessons work?
  7. My daughter loves sports, can she attend sports camp?
  8. I am not sure what Camp is best for my child.
  9. If my child comes to three or four weeks of Barney Goodman, will they do the same things each week?
  10. Why are you using CampDoc for my camper’s health information?
  11. We may be going on vacation during one of the weeks – can I get a refund for the days my child doesn’t attend?
  12. Do you offer camp by the day?
  13. I need full time day care for my children because I am a working parent – is this an option at The J?
  14. Can I request that my child be in the same camp group as her friend?
  15. Can my older child use the pool or fitness center after camp?

1. How do you choose camp counselors? What sort of training do they complete?

All new applicants and returning counselors complete an extensive application and screening process that includes a background check, reference checks and an interview. We are looking for young adults who have taken leadership roles in school, have experience with children, and demonstrate creativity, caring, and responsibility. Many of our counseling staff were once campers at The J themselves, so they know the impact of great role models, fun activities, and outstanding Camp spirit.

Counselors complete pre-summer training in youth development, behavior management, program policies and procedures, transportation and safety policies. And, of course, games, cheers, sports and crafts. Most staff also receive Red Cross First Aid and CPR Certification. Professional development and training is ongoing throughout the summer.

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2. Our family is not Jewish – is this the right camp for my kids?

J Camp staff encourage diversity by genuinely welcoming Campers into a fun and welcoming environment. We strive to instill a sense of real community so Campers end each day highly anticipating the next day of camp.  Jewish values are integrated into our programs in a manner which appeals to parents and children of all faiths and backgrounds.

J Camp provides structured recreational and educational activities which revolve around the importance of friendship, respect, sportsmanship, and committing acts of kindness and generosity. Each week is ended with a Friday afternoon Shabbat ceremony, in which candles are lit, songs are sung, and campers reflect on a week well-spent.

One of our parents responded in a survey: “Although we aren’t Jewish, our family feels like a welcome part of the community at The J and the kids enjoy learning about Israel and Jewish culture. We never feel excluded because we aren’t Jewish, and we’ve all learned a lot about the Jewish community, which includes many of our friends and neighbors.”

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3. What should my child bring to camp every day?

Each day, your child should bring a water bottle, sunscreen, swim suit and towel. Please send your camper wearing sunscreen, close-toed shoes, shorts, and a t-shirt. Send your camper with a backpack to keep everything together. Pack light and put your child’s name on everything! Please do not send your child with fancy or costly clothes or shoes. Please leave toys, cell phones, and any electronic devices at home. Your child should bring a lunch if parents have not purchased a lunch plan. 

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4. What does a typical day at camp look like?

Each day is so full of activity, and each Camp is so unique, it’s impossible to sum them all up in one! Please visit the individual Camp pages for an idea of what your camper’s day will look like!

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5. What are my options for lunch?

Parents can pack sack lunches for their campers or purchase a lunch plan. When bringing lunch, please refrain from shellfish and pork. Juice and water are provided daily. Lunch plans need to be purchased by the Wednesday prior to the week of camp. No individual lunches will be available. See the lunch section for more information.

Nut Free Camp: A significant number of campers have severe allergies to nuts. This means that they cannot eat or even touch nuts or foods made with nuts. These allergies are potentially life-threatening. Health and safety have always been top priorities for the Jewish Community Center, so we are requesting that you do not include any nuts or food made with nuts in your child’s lunch.

Some good alternatives for peanut butter are Wowbutter or Sunbutter. Campers can also bring things like cheese, turkey, tuna, cream cheese and jelly.

Sack lunches are refrigerated and soft lunch bags are preferred. When taking lunch on a field trip, coolers will be provided, however, please do not send perishable items in lunches on field trip days.

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6. How do swim lessons work?

Swimming is a vital part of every J Camp experience! All campers in Barney Goodman and Sports Camp who are entering 1st-4th grade will receive swimming lessons from Red Cross Certified Water Safety Instructors. 1st & 2nd graders, receive lessons four mornings a week and 3rd & 4th graders, two mornings a week, weather permitting.

Instructors test for swim abilities at the first lesson each week, and campers are then sorted according to Red Cross swim level. Swim groups are 8 – 10 campers per Instructor and lessons last 25 minutes. One counselor sits by each swim group to assist in and out of the water as needed. When there is swim progress, parents receive a report of their camper’s swim progress.

Supervised free swim is scheduled every afternoon, weather permitting.

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7. My daughter loves sports, can she attend sports camp?

All J Camps are open to boys and girls equally! Sports Camp is for campers who enjoy lots of different sports activities! At times, boys and girls will work separately on skills. Boys and girls in Sports Camp are having a blast! Caring and well-trained counselors are careful to make sure all campers feel welcome.

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8. I am not sure what Camp is best for my child?

Only you and your family can know what’s best for your camper, but with so many options, it can be hard to choose! We encourage all kids to try something new and to challenge themselves in exciting ways—like starring in the Theatre Camp production, or training in Triathlon Camp to compete in the Youth Triathlon! Camp is a great plan to try new activities, so look closely at all the different options.

For more information on any of our camps or to have a conversation about the best choice for your child, please feel free to call DD Gass, 913-327-8079, or email, [email protected]

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9. If my child comes to three or four weeks of Barney Goodman, will they do the same things each week?

Each week is full of unique activities, projects, and special events designed to provide a summer full of fun! Over half our Barney Goodman kids attend all summer long, and we attribute that to creative staff, great friendships, a variety of exciting activities, and great fun had by all!

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10. Why are you using CampDoc for my camper’s health information?

CampDoc.com is a comprehensive online health management system that allows us to store your child’s health information securely online and keep it current for use for J youth programs. Once you complete your CampDoc form, you will only need to update the information for future Camp seasons, CDC school years, and after-school program enrollment. It allows us to access your child’s information more quickly, clearly, and, if necessary, remotely from field trip locations. If your child is sick, or needs medical attention, they will be taken to the Camp Health Care Supervisor.

For more details on CampDoc.com visit their website!

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11. We may be going on vacation during part of the session – can I get a refund for the days my child doesn’t attend?

We do not refund for days that campers do not attend or pro-rate a week’s fee at the time of enrollment. Contact Kelly Somberg, our Camp Registrar, if you have questions: 913-327-8004 or [email protected]

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12. Do you offer camp by the day?

We do not offer Camp by the Day. We hope that weekly sessions will provide families with the necessary flexibility for busy summer schedules. During the week of July Jamboree and Summer Blast-off parents can enroll in camp by the day.

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13. I need full time day care for my children because I am a working parent – is this an option at the JCC?

Early and Late Care make it possible for your camper to arrive as early as 7:00 a.m. and leave as late as 6:00 p.m. Campers have a place to wind up or cool down with calm supervised play. For more information on school-age Early and Late Care, contact DD Gass, (913) 327.8079 or [email protected] For CDC Early and Late Care, contact Lisa Holland-Hoffman, 913-327-8050 or [email protected]

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14. Can I request that my child be in the same camp group as her friend?

Parents are welcome to request that their children are placed in the same Camp group as a friend, and we will do our best to put friends in the same group. It is challenging if the campers are in different grades. But we do our best to honor these requests, and we appreciate your patience and understanding. You can request friends in your child’s CampDoc health profile under child’s information. 
If you have questions contact Kelly Somberg at [email protected]

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15. Can my older child use the pool or fitness center after camp?

Parents can authorize their children who are entering 5th grade or above to become independent before the Camp day begins and after it ends. By signing a contract of understanding, parents recognize that their children will be released from Camp supervision at 4:00. Campers who are J members will be free to visit the pool and fitness center. Parents can authorize their camper to be independent on the CampDoc profile. Campers will need to provide their Member ID card to gain entry to the pool or fitness center.

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