How do I know if my child is ready for camp?
Camp should be something children want to do, and readiness for camp will vary from child to child. If your child is able to have successful sleepovers with friends and/or family, talks positively about camp or wants to attend with friends, you’re already half way there.
Please feel free to discuss any special circumstances with us: family issues or dynamics, medical, emotional, or behavioral concerns. We’re happy to listen and work with you. Most importantly, we will be honest if we feel CYJ is not the right fit or if a child needs to wait a year. We truly see camp as a partnership. You’re entrusting your child to us…we want to make this a positive experience for all!!
How long are your sessions & what ages do you serve?
Open to children completing grades 2-9, we offer two 3 and one-half week sessions, or campers can attend for all 7 weeks. We also offer a two-week program for first-time campers currently in grades 2-8 during our second session only.
WHAT IS BUNK LIFE LIKE?
Campers live with three to five counselors in rustic yet comfortable wooden screened bunks equipped with bunk beds, drawers, and cubbies. The 12 boys' cabins, set off in a wooded area, accommodate 8 to 18 campers. Shower, sink, and toilet facilities are located in two modern, brightly lit facilities (one for younger campers only) located adjacent to the bunks.
In 2017 we finished a complete renovation of all the cabins in Girls Area. Ranging in size from 8 to 22 campers, the new cabins are rustic but spacious, equipped with modern bathroom facilities and individual showers. Wait until you see them! Plans are now being made to renovate the Boys bunks in the future.
Campers are placed in bunks based on their grade level, and while we do accommodate a bunkmate request, our main goal is to create bunk groups that are welcoming and inclusive to new and returning campers of many different interests and skills. From the moment they arrive, campers are welcomed into the bunk group by counselors who create a strong dynamic of teamwork and support. Two adult head counselors live in each area to supervise and provide support to campers and staff.
Campers share daily chores and compete in monthly clean-up competitions with the reward of an out-of-camp ice cream treat!
Where do campers come from?
Children from a variety of Jewish backgrounds attend camp. We welcome all levels of religious observance and experience. Although the majority of our campers come from the New England area, we have welcomed campers from Florida, California, Texas, Maryland, Tennessee, New York, Arizona, New Jersey, Georgia, and Virginia. In past years, we have also welcomed campers from Canada, France, Norway, Israel, Mexico and England.
Can you tell me about your staff?
Many children start as campers and spend 10-13 summers with us, including stints as counselors. More than 70% of our bunk counselors are former campers who come back year after year to CYJ. Counselors are college-aged; we also have a Counselor Aide Program for a limited number of seniors in high school.
Every year we turn away approximately 50 staff applicants. All of our applicants must go though an extensive screening and interview process. In addition, we hire a small number of experienced Jewish staff from Israel, Canada, England, France, South Africa, and Australia.
Our staff members are activity specialists who live in the bunks with the children; each bunk is staffed by 3-5 counselors. All staff members participate in a one-week intensive training program prior to camp. We also conduct summer long training and evaluation to ensure the counselors provide the optimal summer experience for your child.
What about cell phones, ipods, or other electronic items?
We are big believers in a summer of “Digital Detox”. Items like iPod’s, tablets, TV’s, computers, cell phones, DVD players, handheld games, etc MUST be left at home. You can bring battery-operated radios, “boom boxes,” clocks, and small fans.
At CYJ, kids and staff are disconnected from technology...so they can be better connected with others!
What rules about camp should I explain to my child?
We expect all CYJ campers and staff to: treat everyone with respect, including younger and older campers, counselors and staff
- Be inclusive and fair to everyone
- Attend and participate in all activities with a positive attitude
- Use appropriate language and words that do not put down or hurt others
- Stand up for others who need help; tell counselors when someone is involved in a potentially dangerous or destructive behavior.
We will not tolerate bullying, name calling, swearing, hitting, stealing, or damaging other people’s property!
How do I stay in touch with my child?
Campers must write home three times a week, so you'll definitely be hearing from them, although we can't guarantee length or content! Parents and relatives can send Bunk Notes to campers through Bunk1 and the notes are delivered the next day. It's easy, low-cost, and fun! Other than that, mail and occasional small packages are great ways to connect with your child. We do not allow phone calls or faxes to or from children during camp and no cell phones or other communication devices are permitted.
HOW DO I know how my child is doing?
Please feel free to call our office. Whether you want to ask a question, follow up about a letter you received or simply check in and see how your child is doing, we’re available to provide you with specific information and reassurance!
How do you deal with homesickness?
Homesickness is a common and often brief phase that (some, but not all!!) children go through. We'll provide you with some tips before camp to help avoid or mitigate this issue, and you'll fill out a confidential form prior to camp where you can share information about your child’s individual concerns or needs. If a child experiences brief homesickness at camp, we will provide immediate support and will help the camper quickly adjust. If homesickness persists, we will enlist your feedback and suggestions so we can work together!
What do you do when my child is sick or needs to take medicine?
Our modern, spacious health center is staffed by a compassionate, and nurturing team of registered nurses. In addition, we work with a nearby medical practice as well as a local walk in clinic and pharmacy. Children who receive medication are carefully supervised and monitored by our competent nursing staff.
I'm Coming for a tour THIS SUMMER. Where can I stay?
There are a number of hotels in the area. Here are just a few:
Merrimack: Residence Inn (603) 424-8100
Bedford: Bedford Village Inn (603) 471-1846
Nashua: Crowne Plaza (603) 886-1200 or Marriott (603) 880-9100
Manchester: Radisson (603) 625-1000, Comfort Inn (603) 668-2600
or Quality Inn (603) 668-6110