May 22, 2020
Dear Parents and Campers,
We want to thank you for your patience and support as we have been working to adapt our summer program for this year. There have been many changes over the past months and one overarching question has been, “Is summer camp happening?” Oregon’s official camp guidelines were released on May 15, and our staff has spent the past week reviewing and understanding the requirements for summer programs this year. After much discussion, we are pleased to announce that MJCC Day Camp is happening, with some adaptations. Though our summer is not going to look exactly like what we had originally planned for you, we do know that children have been stuck inside for months and are longing for a day camp opportunity to connect with friends and have new experiences, whatever that looks like.
The MJCC Day Camp team has been working tirelessly to adapt our program to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our campers, families, and staff. We are committed to bringing you a quality camp and have adapted our program to follow the Oregon Health Authority guidelines for summer camps. Though this does mean that our program will look very different, we are confident that we will provide a fun and safe experience for everyone to enjoy. Over seventy-five percent of our camp team will be returning from previous summers, and we are working with our experienced team to create new activities that adhere to these new guidelines. We have added additional cleaning and sanitation trainings to our already extensive camp staff training, we are talking about supporting emotional health and what to expect from campers this summer, and we are counting down the days to welcome you back to MJCC Day Camp.
When will MJCC 2020 Day Camp begin and end?
Our summer camp program calendar has been adjusted to an seven-week program that will begin on Monday, June 22 and end on Friday, August 7. Camp hours will be from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. We are unable to offer before or after-care this summer.
Can my preschool aged child attend camp?
Oregon’s summer camp guidelines strictly state that summer camp programs are only for school aged children, rising K-12th graders. Unfortunately, this mandate requires us to eliminate our camp program for preschool aged children, which is the majority of our Simcha campers, for this summer. Simcha campers who are rising kindergartners can attend camp this year.
Will Specialty Camps or the Counselor in Training (CIT) program be offered this summer?
Specialty Camps will not run this summer. We will be reaching out to all families who are already enrolled in a specialty camp to offer a refund, and, to give those families first priority to enroll in available space in our Classic Camp. That being said, many of the activities that were planned for our specialty camps will be incorporated into our daily classic program. Due to the nature of the CIT program, it cannot, unfortunately be offered onsite this year, as we do not feel we can give CIT’s the experience that we have promised. That said, we are looking at the possibility of a Virtual CIT Leadership Training program over the summer, and we will be reaching out to all CIT families who are currently registered to gauge interest. For further information on this, please contact Carli Rosenthal, Camps Manager, directly.
How many children will be in a group?
We will adhere to state guidelines and maintain stable groups of ten children; each stable group will have two counselors. Groups will remain intact Monday through Friday and though the guidelines allow for groups to change weekly, we will make every effort to ensure returning children stay within the same group each week. Given these strict guidelines, our camp capacity will be much lower this summer than in the past.
What spaces will campers be using this summer?
We are so fortunate to have a large building with lots of indoor and outdoor space. We will have a good balance of indoor and outdoor time throughout the day. Each camp group will have a designated room as their home base for the week, and within that room, campers will maintain physical distancing to the extent possible. At this time, swimming pools remain closed in the state of Oregon, and until that ban is lifted, campers will not be using the pools.
Will pick-up and drop-off still be held on the Green?
We are in the process of completing our pick-up and drop-off plan and will communicate that with you in the weeks to come. Due to physical distancing mandates, we envision a carline system for both pick-up and drop-off. More details to come on this soon.
What will campers be doing this summer?
We have been working hard throughout the year to plan an amazing summer! With that, our camp team has devised a myriad of arts, crafts, science projects, outdoor activities, and games that campers will be able to enjoy. We have adapted our morning song circle and our Friday Shabbat celebration. Though campers will need to remain physically distant to the extent that is possible, they will still be able to enjoy the experience and friendships that naturally occur at camp each summer.
Will there be field trips or special guests?
At this time, there will be no field trips or special guests during summer 2020. As we continue to review state guidelines as they are released, we may be able to bring in special guests at some point during the summer, though that is unclear at this time. We will continue to evaluate and update families, if new information becomes available.
What cleaning and sanitation procedures will camp follow?
Safety is our number one priority. We have appointed a safety ambassador on our team who is overseeing all of our procedures and ensuring that we continue to observe best practices. We have worked hard to ensure the MJCC is stocked with personal protective equipment (PPE) and we are committed to providing a clean and sanitized environment. Surfaces will be cleaned and sanitized throughout the day, increased handwashing of children and staff will be implemented, and hand sanitizer will be readily available to everyone. Each stable camp group of ten children will be assigned to one bathroom, and, those bathrooms will be sanitized multiple times throughout the day.
Will I be required to provide individual supplies for my child, or to pay a fee for individual supplies?
Our priority is to ensure the health and safety of campers, and we also want to be sure that camp remains affordable, especially as so many families are facing economic challenges. We are reviewing this question and will provide additional information as we get closer to the start of camp.
What if a child is sick?
As always with summer camp, sick children are required to stay home. Each day at drop-off, you will be asked a series of short questions regarding your child’s health that day. In the event a child becomes ill at camp, the child will immediately be removed from their group and will stay with a staff member in an isolated room while we wait for the child to be picked up. It is our expectation that all families work with us to ensure that we keep our camp healthy and safe. Parents and caregivers will be required to take their child’s temperature before dropping off at camp, and we will ask you when you arrive if your child has had a fever. Your child may also have their temperature taken by our staff during the day or at drop-off. In the weeks to come, camp families will receive more information regarding our polices and expectations, and we thank you in advance for working with us to keep our camp healthy.
What is your revised camp refund policy?
We relaxed our camp refund policy earlier this spring to allow flexibility to our families during this unpredictable time. We want to continue to allow for as much flexibility as possible while also allowing us to plan, effectively, for our staffing needs in order to ensure everyone’s health and safety. For families who need to cancel camp prior to the first day of the camp week, a full refund will be given if cancellations are made prior to Noon on the Thursday preceding the start of the camp week. After that time, our normal refund policy will remain in place and any camper who is excused or withdrawn from camp for any reason is not eligible for a refund. Any camp that is canceled by MJCC will be fully refunded.
MJCC Day Camp is about friendships, community, connection, and fun. Like all of you, we are navigating this unprecedented time, working hard to ensure the best experience possible, and prioritizing the health and safety of campers, families, and staff members. We look forward to giving campers a unique, fun-filled experience and giving parents a bit of a break! You will receive more correspondence from us in the weeks to come as we prepare to launch camp. Until then, please feel free to reach out to any one of us if you have any questions.
Steve Albert Jennifer Harrington Carli Rosenthal
Executive Director Assistant Executive Director Camps Manager