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Getting Ready for Camp: Communication

In this next post of our pre-summer series, we will be addressing all things communication, including:

  • Communicating with campers while at camp

  • How to be in touch with Gilboa staff

  • Care packages policy (flat envelopes only!)

  • When you can expect to hear from us

  • Cell Phone Policy (spoiler alert: no phones allowed!)

  • The Gilboa Blog

Communicating with Your Camper

Chanichimot (campers) love to get mail. Please write! Keep in mind that it takes 4-7 days for mail to arrive to camp, so write early. You may even want to send the first letter before your child leaves for camp, so they will receive it on the first or second day.

Summer Camp Mailing Address:

Your child's name

Camp Gilboa

P.O. Box 1532

Big Bear Lake, CA 92315-1532

You can also email your letters to:

IMPORTANT: If you're emailing your child:

  • Write your child's name in the subject line.

  • Please do not include any photos or other attachments. We have limited internet at camp, and emails that contain attachments may impede on our ability to use the internet for other important uses such as posting photos on the blog.

Getting in Touch with Gilboa Staff

If you have any questions or concerns and wish to talk with us, we will always return your call the same day. However, note that we are out of the office often - attending camp activities and spending time with campers.

The best way to communicate with camp is to send an email, iMessage, or WhatsApp to Elana asking to be emailed or called back, along with the issue you'd like to discuss and the best phone number to reach you. Emails are checked throughout the day, and you will get a response within a few hours.

Contact info:

Elana -, 323-605-8485 (iMessage & WhatsApp are best)

New Care 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!

It’s important to set expectations with your camper so please share this policy with them (as well as any other family or friends) ahead of time.

Should your child forget an item (e.g. sunscreen, water bottle, or sandals), please email us to receive approval before mailing these items. Often, camp is able to obtain these items for your child, avoiding the wait and hassle of shipping something to camp.

Note that all packages and large envelopes will be opened by office staff prior to distribution.

*We will allow exceptions for camper birthdays - bigger packages will be allowed, as long as they do not contain food or candy. Please notify us ahead of time if you will be sending a birthday package. Please note that the Gilboa kitchen always provides food for birthday celebrations (cakes, ice cream parties, etc.)

When you can expect to hear from us

The most successful camp experiences occur when a child is fully immersed in camp. Therefore, campers are generally permitted to make phone calls from the office only in cases of extreme homesickness after trying other remedies or emergency.

Here's when you can be sure to hear from us:

  • New Campers: If you are a parent of a new camper, you should expect to hear from us within the first two or three days of camp with an update on how your child is doing. Of course, you are welcome to contact us before and request an update.

  • Homesickness: If your child is very homesick, we will let you know. We'll call to consult and decide together the best course of action.

  • Time in the health center: If your child is not feeling well, is running a fever or stays in the health center for more than just a few hours of rest, we will contact you.

Please note: It is important to be able to contact parents during the camp session. If you are going to be away for any length of time, please keep us informed about how you can be reached or who can act on your behalf in your absence.

Cell Phone Policy

We do our best to create an environment where social interactions, uninterrupted by electronics, thrive. We recognize music as a valuable downtime for some, and even a necessity at bedtime for others. Please plan accordingly and provide your camper with an mp3 player or Ipod if desired. Campers will be allowed to use these devices during free time (chofesh) and at bedtime.

Please note the following limitations that we ask you to relate to your children:

  • Campers will not be allowed to have cell phones at camp. It is best if your child leaves their cell phones at home. We will collect all phones on the day of arrival and distribute them back on the last day of camp.

  • All other electronics (iPads, tablets, laptops, electronic games) should not be brought to camp.

The Gilboa Blog

The blog posts will be your access to information about camp activities and camp photos (not too many - our limited internet connection will not allow for that), and will also provide some insight as to what Gilboa and Habonim are all about. You can expect a blog update 2-3 times per week, with 10-15 camp photos every time.

We encourage you to subscribe and follow along!


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