Gan Israel Enhanced Camp Protocol – revised 5/30/21

Camp Gan Israel is the Safe, Fun, Jewish Camp! The safety of your child is our primary concern!

We follow the guidelines assembled by experts in the fields of camping and public health, including the CDC, the PA Department of Health, the American Camp Association, the Association of Camp Nursing, the YMCA, the JCCA, the EPA, and the FDA.

We want to implement these guidelines in the calmest, most natural way possible, to ensure both camper safety and happiness.

This is a living document and may change as more information about COVID-19 becomes available.

Here’s an outline of our plan:

I. Pre-camp best practices

A. A healthy camp really does start at home. Here are some things you can do to help your child have a great camp experience in all ways, both physically and emotionally:

1. Monitor your child for any signs of illness.

2. Teach your child to sneeze and cough in his sleeve and to wash his hands often, especially before eating and after using the toilet.

3. Make sure your child gets enough rest at night.

4. Send sunscreen and teach your child how to apply his own sunscreen. Spray sunscreen is best.

5. Talk with your child about telling his counselor or director about problems or troublesome issues at camp.

6. Should something come up during the camp day or afterward – you see an unusual rash or hear a disturbing story – contact the camp director and let them know.

B. Health screening for possible COVID-19 symptoms

1. Families will be required to conduct an ongoing daily monitoring of their child’s health. Each day check your child for fever, cough, shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, aches, extreme headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion, runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and/or diarrhea.

2. If, during this time, your child exhibits one of these symptoms, you will be required to report this to the camp director and together we will closely monitor any developments.

III. Bunks and Bus Groups viewed as ‘households’

1. It's widely accepted by our expert consultants that it's unrealistic to require children to wear masks or gloves, or to stay 6 feet away from their buddies. To limit camper cross exposure and to encourage distancing, campers will be assigned to their usual bunk of approximately 12 campers and a designated counselor. This will be their "household" and they will play, learn, eat, swim, etc. together. Bunks will be assigned to a division of approximately 4 bunks.

2. 1st choice in activities will be for them to do individualized bunk activities. When it’s necessary to do multi-bunk activities, we will adapt those activities to become low-to-no contact activities.

3. 1st choice in location for activities will be the outdoors, to provide maximum ventilation. When this is not possible (due to inclement weather, etc.), bunks will have activities in well ventilated screened buildings, usually in their own bunkhouse.

4. Each bunk will have a table and chairs in front of their bunkhouse, and this will be their home base for most activities, including lunch on days with nice weather. On rainy days, they will be eating inside their bunkhouse (screened, well ventilated building)

5. First priority activities involve each bunk to play individually. If activities require multiple bunks to play together, teams will not mix bunks and game rules will be modified to encourage no contact between groups.

6. Bussing will follow a similar format. Each camper will be assigned to a specific seat on the bus.

VI. Increased Hygiene

A. Hand hygiene - frequent hand washing / sanitizer scheduled into each camper’s camp day, especially before eating and after using the toilet.

B. Cough etiquette – camper and staff orientation plus ongoing encouragement to cough or sneeze into tissue or arm.

C. Increased janitorial staff to focus on keeping frequently touched surfaces clean.

VII. Tuition Credit Policy


A. If a child is required to stay home because he is exhibiting signs of sickness, Gan Israel will not be issuing a tuition refund or credit for the time missed in camp.

B. If a parent decides to voluntarily keep their child home because a child in another bunk or bus group tested positive for COVID 19 but there is no direct evidence that these children came into contact with each other, Gan Israel will not be issuing a tuition refund or credit for the time missed in camp.

As always, communication is key. If you have any questions or comments, please contact us at 215-852-0276 or [email protected]

Yours in camping,

Rabbi Zalman & Miriam Gerber

Rabbi Yudi & Chana Gerber