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Summer 2021 FAQs

Is there more limited capacity for Summer 2021?


Please register early! While we are currently planning to accommodate everyone, we are aware that for safety reasons or state mandate, it could be necessary to have smaller numbers of campers per session. If we need to limit capacity, enrollment will be determined by the order in which applications were received. Note that camp is almost full. Please contact us to see if there is space in your child’s group.




Why are the sessions split by grades?


We’ll likely still be dealing with the pandemic during summer 2021, and our research into the guidelines and best practices indicates that podding will be needed. By only offering a single session option for each age group, we will facilitate a smaller number of kvutzot (age groups) in each session, and optimize logistics and programs offered within the podding structure. It will allow us to accommodate, over the summer, a bigger number of campers, and we hope that this way we’ll be able to avoid having to put campers on a waiting list.




What are you doing to ensure there is not Covid spread at camp?


Pre-camp We will be taking precautions to reduce the risk of the virus getting into camp. We will ask families to take special measures (see next section) in the weeks prior to camp to minimize the potential of a camper arriving having been exposed to Covid-19. Podding Because there’s no way to guarantee that the virus will not be introduced to the camp environment, and based on what we’re learning from medical experts and the broader camping field, it is necessary to limit contact between groups of campers to decrease the likelihood of an outbreak at camp. Campers and counselors will all be in pods and will only have close contact with those in their pod. They will be sleeping in the same cabin, eating meals together, and the pod is the only group they will be permitted to be indoors with and without masks on. Interactions beyond the pod will be outdoors, with masks on, and using physical distancing. This model will allow kids to still have choices in their activities during the day, have social interaction beyond their pod, and maintain everyone’s safety. During Meals As noted, campers will eat meals with their pod. We are building increased capacity for comfortable outdoor dining that will allow additional space between groups. We are enhancing sanitation protocols, following CDC, state, and county guidance. Sanitation We will follow CDC and ACA guidance as to the enhanced sanitation protocols needed for all shared facilities, such as showers and bathrooms, as well as sports, recreational, and other shared equipment. Camp as a bubble Though some contact is unavoidable (food deliveries, for example), we are preparing to operate camp with as little contact with the outside world as possible, reducing the potential of the virus being introduced to camp mid-session.




What is the refund policy for Summer 2021?


All payments are fully refundable through June 1st, 2021 - including the deposit.




When can I visit camp?


We hope to hold open house day visits in the late spring, to allow families to get out of the city and enjoy camp in a safe and distanced way. There will be no visiting camp while it is in session for summer 2021, to ensure Covid is not introduced into camp mid-session.




How can I communicate with my camper?


The most successful camp experiences occur when a child is fully immersed in camp. Therefore, most direct communication with campers will happen in writing. Parents are always welcome to email us and ask to be called with an update about their child and we encourage new camper families to review the communications section of the camper handbook to see how we work with parents to help children overcome homesickness. Please send your letters to: Your Camper's Name (Grade) Camp Gilboa P.O. Box 1532 Big Bear Lake, CA 92315-1532 Parents can also send emails to MyCamper@campgilboa.org, which we print and deliver at the same time that mail is delivered. Please write your child's name & grade in the subject line. If there is anything that needs to be communicated urgently, please contact camp staff via email or WhatsApp (details in the Camper Handbook.)




Is camp happening this summer?


On our end we are ready to go and have full confidence that we can operate safely. We are assisted by a dedicated Medical Committee putting together all health and sanitation related protocols, and the summer program is being adjusted to a Covid-safe operation. We are waiting for San Bernardino County’s Health Department to give camps permission to operate. Though we don’t have word yet on if or when that will happen, we are cautiously optimistic based on the new CDC guidelines, as well as movement in some states toward permission to operate.




What are the pre-camp requirements? How will families contribute to reducing the risk of Covid spread at camp?


Camp is a residential living environment and introducing Covid into camp can result in many campers and their families getting infected! That means that activities that you deem safe and the Covid-safety precautions that you’re exercising now may not be sufficient in the ten days prior to camp. To protect the whole community, we will be asking families to take special precautions to avoid any chance of infection in the 7-10 days prior to camp. That means that we will ask you to take the level of precaution that you’re exercising now a few levels up. Avoid any nonessential outing or contact outside the nuclear family.

  • Do not schedule or plan on participating in any trips, parties (including 4th of July), or any gathering for the ten days prior to camp, even if they’re outdoors
  • Though playdates in the park are relatively safe, we ask that you avoid them in the ten days prior to camp. Plan on all play and recreation to occur with the nuclear family only
  • If you need camp specific shopping, please take care of it before the ten days prior to camp mark
  • That big trip to Target? Go for it once the kids are already at camp!
  • If your work allows for it, please work from home and avoid in-person meetings for that period
Testing requirements
  • Note that producing a negative Covid test result from the previous 24-48 hours will be a condition to being admitted to camp
  • We will require parents’ consent to periodic screening and testing of campers during camp. Our Medical Committee will finalize and share the details within the next month
  • Before camp and in the first few days of the session we will be asking that families report to camp any potential exposure of the camper to Covid-19
Travel to camp
  • Campers should arrive to camp travelling with their nuclear family only
  • For families arriving from Northern California, please plan to drive your camper to camp. We will send a “safe travel advice kit” on a later date




How is the camp program being adjusted for this summer?


We are making adjustments to limit close contact between campers, but we want to assure families that the spirit of Gilboa will be alive and well this summer! The essence of the Gilboa program - experiential social justice education, wacky and creative adventures, and community building immersed in nature - will be felt throughout the camp sessions. Campers will only have close contact with those in their pod - they will be sleeping in the same cabin, eating meals together, and the pod is the only group they will be permitted to be with indoors and without masks on. Interactions beyond the pod will be outdoors, with masks on, and using physical distancing. Many of our favorite camp activities that involve campers from different groups, such as chuggim (electives), Yom Meyuchad (Special Days), and Shabbat traditions can be done safely within these guidelines and still allow us to all take part in creating a special communal experience.




Tell me more about how the mirpa’a (health center) will operate this summer.


This year, we’ve added a second medical professional to our 24/7 at-camp staff. At any point during camp we’ll have either a physician and a medic, or a nurse practitioner and a nurse assistant present. In addition, as in previous years, we will have access to telehealth services, providing additional support, when needed. We are working to add additional intake, rest, and isolation areas that are comfortable and Covid-safe. All mirpaa services will continue as in previous years (first aid, administering prescribed medications, initial evaluation, etc.), and you can consult the Camper Handbook for additional information about health practices at camp. If a camper requires medical care not available at camp, they will be escorted to receive off-site care by vaccinated personnel. As per our usual protocol, if your child is sick and needs to stay at the mirpaa for care, we will contact you. In the case of a positive Covid test, we will notify families of campers who have had close contact with the camper who has tested positive.




Will staff be vaccinated?


Our goal is to require vaccination for all adults present at camp, if it is permissible according to state and federal guidelines, and depending on vaccination availability. The CDC has now included camp staff with other educators and we are optimistic that this will allow staff to be fully vaccinated in time for camp. In California, camp staff are included in tier 1B, a category that is already being vaccinated.




How are you making decisions about health and safety policies?


Gilboa is fortunate to have a dedicated Medical Committee comprised of physicians, nurses, and other medical personnel who are also Gilboa parents, alumni, and past and present camp healthcare staff. Among our committee members are an infectious disease specialist, a family physician specializing in residential setting care, an emergency medicine physician, and physicians and nurses with camp and Gilboa-specific experience. The committee is preparing all policies and practices following CDC and ACA guidelines.




What can I send in the mail to my camper?


NEW CARE PACKAGES POLICY FOR 2021: Flat Packages Policy:
The only packages that Camp Gilboa will receive are FLAT ENVELOPES up to 12”x15” for magazines, photos, or books. Small items such as stickers and pens are permitted as long as they fit inside the flat envelope. Please do not send candy or food! Any food sent in packages will have to be discarded. Additional details can be found here.





Other questions? Check out the Camper Handbook, General FAQ, or contact us!

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Habonim Dror Camp Gilboa | 8339 West Third St. | Los Angeles, CA 90048 | Phone: 323-653-6772 | Email: info@campgilboa.org
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