Camp Gilboa Health & Safety Update for Summer 2021 (Sent March 2021)

Updated: Mar 29

Dear Gilboa Community, We hope this update finds your family healthy, happy, and excited for summer! We’ve been hard at work planning for our community’s return to camp. Mazkirut and tzevet (the youth leadership at camp) are developing creative, fun, and safe summer programming in accordance with guidance from the Gilboa Medical Committee, the CDC, and the American Camp Association. We’re working with our Medical Committee to adjust protocols, develop our testing strategy, and ensure smooth mirpa’a (health center) operations. The committee includes an infectious disease specialist, a family physician specializing in residential setting care, an emergency medicine physician, and health professionals with camp and Gilboa-specific experience; we are so grateful for their guidance! The big question on all of our minds is will camp happen this summer? On our end we are ready to go and have full confidence that we can operate safely. 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 other states toward permission to operate. This email highlights answers to questions we’ve heard most frequently from families. You can find our full updated FAQs about Summer 2021 by clicking HERE. We know how challenging this year has been for families, and recognize that trying to plan for the summer in the face of ongoing uncertainty is not easy! We deeply appreciate your family’s patience, “roll with the punches” attitude, and support as we plan to get back to Gilboa!


Is there more limited capacity for Summer 2021? We are aware that for safety reasons or state mandate, it could be necessary to have smaller numbers of campers per session. In that event, enrollment will be determined by the order in which applications were received. Note that camp is almost full. If you are not yet registered, please call or email to see if there is space in your child’s group.


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

  • Campers arriving from out-of-state - please contact the office to discuss the details


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


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.


Find our full updated FAQs about Summer 2021 by clicking HERE.

We look forward to seeing you all soon! We will continue to update the community frequently and we hope to see all the 2nd-11th graders on Zoom this weekend for fun Eizor & Tzedek activities in the meantime. Reach out with any questions, we are always happy to talk! Elianna (Executive Director), Elana (Associate Director), and Quinn (Rosh Machaneh)

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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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