Camper FAQs

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We are excited to be planning for Summer 2022! 

The health and safety of our families has always been, and will remain our top priority as we work to open camp safely. Living with the new reality of COVID-19, elements of camp life may continue to look different prior to 2019 but we are committed to delivering the same level of excellence in programming and camper care as we always have. With the partnership of our families we had a COVID free summer for Summer 2021! We will plan with COVID-19 in mind to continue upholding health and safety of our community as one of our highest priorities. With the reality of COVID-19 constantly changing, we will update you with our COVID-19 plans.

Registration & Payment Info 

What will the dates be for camp sessions this summer? 

You can find our session dates here. For Summer 2022, we are returning to three sessions, and we will have embedded sessions. Therefore, we have returned Bet and Gimmel to their previous lengths of 21 and 14 days respectively. We have also increase Aleph from 11 days to 12 so new families will be eligible for the One Happy Camper grant.

Will Priority Registration be available for this summer? 

Yes! We encourage you to register as soon as you can to ensure that your child will have a spot in their desired session. Here are the important registration dates you need to know: 

  • October 25th, 2021 –  Priority Registration opens for returning campers and their siblings. 
  • November 3rd2021 –URJ Congregational Priority Registration opens to new camper families that are a member of a URJ Congregation. 
  • November 29th, 2021 - Anyone may register beginning this date. 

I have a credit from a previous summer. Will I need to pay a deposit when I register?

No. As long as the amount of your credit is equal to or above the enrollment deposit ($200 per session), those funds will be counted as your 2022 deposit and you will not need to pay an additional deposit fee when you enroll. 

    Will 2022 tuition be higher due to extra costs brought on by the pandemic? 

    Every year the tuition at camp increases due to rising operating costs and ongoing improvements and upgrades to our program. We have seen an increase in operating costs across the board – goods, shipping, labor, etc. Additionally, all sessions have increased in the number of days for Summer 2022.  Therefore, you will notice next week that our rates have increased, but we have kept the rate increase as minimal as possible and will continue to fund scholarships.

    Will there be scholarship money available?

    Yes! We strive to make camp affordable for all families. Please click here for more information about our camp scholarship program. We know the financial realities of COVID-19 have changed the financial picture for many families and we have been actively fundraising to support this. We are here for you, and we are expecting to hear from many families who will apply for scholarship for the first time for Summer 2022, so please don’t hesitate to reach out.  

    When will camp tuition be due for this summer? 

    All the URJ camps, including Camp Kalsman, now have standardized payment and cancellation policies and schedules that have been created to ensure that families feel confident registering for camp. 

    The payment schedule is as follows: 

        • 25% of tuition is due by January 25th, 2022
        • An additional 50% of tuition (75% of tuition paid) is due by March 25th, 2022 
        • Final payment is due by April 25th, 2022 

    If you have any challenges with this payment schedule please be in touch with us at campkalsman@urj.org.

    If you plan on paying any part of tuition on a credit card, please refer to our NEW Credit Card Policy. Families that choose to pay by credit card will incur a non-refundable 2.75% credit card transaction surcharge. To avoid the surcharge, families may pay by e-check or debit card.

     

    What will the cancellation policy be for 2022? 
    • Cancellation by March 25th, 2022– 100% of tuition is refundable except for the $200 per session administrative deposit.
    • Cancellation between March 25th and May 15th  – 75% of tuition is refundable except for the $200 per session administrative deposit.
    • Cancellation after May 15th – no refunds will be given unless stated below.
    • Camp reserves the right to refund any eligible refund in multiple installments as determined by Camp.
    • Refunds will be given without penalty (including Non-Refundable Deposit):

    –for campers on a “Waiting List” (those not able to be placed in their desired session at Camp) upon request if at any time they choose to be removed from the list, or if they are ultimately unable to be placed;
    –if Camp is unable or elects not to open because of government regulations, orders, or guidelines;
    –if Camp is required to cancel the session of a child with a pre-existing health condition;
    –if Camp is unable or chooses not to open at their own discretion.

    • Refunds will not be made if Camper has attended any portion of the session at Camp. This covers all circumstances, including, but not limited to:

    –Camper missing home
    –Camper’s refusal or inability to participate in the normal activities at Camp
    –Camper’s violation of any rules, regulations, or policies at Camp for which Camper has been provided notice, and as described in “Camper’s Participation and Camp Program Expectations” section of the terms and conditions
    –Parent/Guardian’s decision to remove Camper from Camp for any reason

    • Change of Session

    –If Camp is required to make a change to Camper session prior to summer, You will be notified by Camp in writing. Camp will provide an opportunity at that time for You to cancel Camper’s session without penalty (including return of any deposit). You will also be eligible for this change of session refund for all children in Your household who are registered at Camp regardless if the sessions of the sibling(s) were not changed.
    –A change to the Camper session is defined as one or more of the following: a change of session dates, session cost, or, for regional camps, a camp geographic location change.

    Where can I find information on travel insurance? 

    Please visit this page https://campkalsman.org/travel-insurance/ for information on Program Protector insurance being offered for Summer 2022. You have 20 days from the time of your first payment (typically your deposit paid during registration) to purchase a Program Protector plan. The option to purchase a policy is built into the registration system but is not administered by Camp Kalsman or the URJ in any way. If you have questions or want to purchase coverage by phone, please call the Customer Service Specialists for Program Protector at 1-833-297-2258 the code you will need to provide for Camp Kalsman is URJKAL14WA and refer to plan #’s F530S or F530E.

    General FAQs

     

    Trying to decide whether Kalsman is right for your child?

    According to the American Camp Association, the best way to proceed with choosing a camp is: 

    • Involve your child in the selection process. Review your child’s preferences and let your child ask questions.
    • Review brochures, videos & websites with your child. (And, if you’ve found this page, you’ve already begun that process!)
    • Get answers to some key questions – which we’ve taken the liberty of giving you our answers below!
    • Speak to the Director or a camp representative – by phone, online, or when they come to your community.
    • Ask for references of families who have had their child attend the camp. Speaking with these families can give you valuable insight about the camp and the families that send their children there.

    We’ve tried to respond many of the questions we are asked most frequently. If you have a question that is not covered below, please email us and we’ll get back to you with a response. (And, who knows, maybe your question will make the “frequent questions” page!) 

    TELL ME ABOUT THE CAMP DIRECTOR - Rabbi ilana mills

    Bio coming soon! 

    WHAT ARE THE CAMP’S GOALS AND PHILOSOPHY?

    Campers from across the Pacific Northwest – Oregon, British Columbia, Alaska, Montana, Idaho, and Washington – call Camp Kalsman home. We are committed to our six core values: friendship, kehilah kedoshah (sacred community), Reform Jewish identity, chesed (kindness), connection to Israel, and our relationship to teva (nature). Camp Kalsman’s 300 beautiful acres offer a great balance of education and recreation. We practice active Jewish education, which incorporates Judaism into many different activities. Our campers learn new skills and hone existing ones in athletic, aquatic, artistic, and nature programs. Camp Kalsman is the premiere Jewish camp in the Pacific Northwest. Join us for a summer of fun, friendships of a lifetime, and an unparalleled Jewish experience. We can’t wait to welcome you home this summer.

    WHERE WILL MY CHILD LIVE? HOW ARE CABIN ASSIGNMENTS MADE?

    A camper cabin sleeps 15 campers and 3 counselors in bunk beds. All top bunks are equipped with bed rails. Every camper is assigned a set of cubbies for storing personal items. Each cabin has a bathroom that has 3 sinks, 3 showers, and 3 toilets. Bunk assignments are made based on religious school grade and/or chronological age, geographic distribution, gender identity, and social & emotional maturity. We will honor at least one mutually matching bunk request. 

    HOW WILL I STAY IN TOUCH WITH MY CHILD WHILE THEY'RE AT CAMP?

    Camp offers kids and parents the chance to develop a rarely practiced skill – letter writing. We strongly recommended that parents write to their campers at least every-other-day. A card, letter or e-letter through your CampInTouch account (instructions provided later), arriving regularly, does more for camper morale than anything else. If a camper receives no mail from a parent for five days, we will call home. The camp tries to ensure that campers write letters or postcards to their parents at least twice each week. It is a required activity. Your letters or cards from Camp may be short, but they will be regular. CampInTouch has also launched the Campanion App! This allows you to be notified when your camper is tagged in a photo and is updated with daily photos.

    We also launched the CampMinder integrated app called Campanion! This has everything for summer integrated in one place for Kalsman families. It includes photo recognition with free photo downloads, API connected Texting service reminders, and a Form Uploader within the app (no longer need scanners of fax machines!). 

    WHAT IS THE CAMP’S POSITION ON ELECTRONICS?

    Camp provides our children with a break from “the real world” in favor of the natural world. That is why we forbid campers to have mobile phones, pagers, portable televisions, etc. – these items may be part of the day-to-day life of your child, but they have no place at Camp. 

    That does not mean camp is technology-free. We sometimes use videos and PowerPoint presentations to complement our programs, and we believe that music can provide a great soundtrack to camp life. 

    Please see ourelectronics policy for more information on the types of devices we allow and don’t allow at camp. 

    DO CAMPERS TAKE FIELD TRIPS while at camp?

    In a typical summer, field trips are taken by Tzofim and Kesher camper units. Kesher has included an overnight trip, often to campgrounds around the Washington area. Tzofim has gone on a day trip that has included activities such as roller skating, swimming in lake Goodwin, park visits, and hiking!

    WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE WEATHER IS BAD at camp?

    We don’t let a little bad weather get in the way of the fun at camp! Because we have such a wide-range of indoor facilities, we are able to keep our recreational activity program going rain or shine. And, for those activities that can only happen outside (like swimming), our counselors & specialists always have a “rain plan” – fun activities that can take the place of what campers are missing. 

    If the weather gets extreme, we have detailed protocols in place to make sure all campers are kept safe until the weather passes. 

    If there is a heatwave or extreme heat, we try to maximize our time in the pool and in our air-conditioned facilities. We ensure all campers are properly hydrated.

    We recognize wildfires are happening more often and we check air quality everyday and adjust plans as necessary.

     

    HOW DO YOU SELECT, TRAIN AND SUPERVISE YOUR STAFF?

    At Camp Kalsman, a great deal of pride is taken in the members of its staff, who provide a stable and caring home for campers all summer long. The staff is comprised of college students, graduate students, and professionals in various fields. Each year, we look for competent and energetic young adults to fill our staff positions. While many have grown up at Kalsman, others join us from across the country and around the world – all bringing their own special gifts to share. An extensive training program is provided at the start of the summer season and is ongoing throughout the summer. During the summer, staff are supervised and evaluated by members of our camp leadership team, all of whom have proven experience overseeing the work of staff members. 

    Kalsman maintains a 1:5 staff-to-camper ratio. 

    WILL MY CHILD BE SAFE WHILE AT CAMP Kalsman?

    The health and welfare of our community will always be our top concern. All the URJ Camps are dedicated to providing safe and secure environments for our campers and staff. We work closely with law enforcement officials to make sure our safety standards and practices are the best they can be. During the summer, we maintain a 24-hour-a-day security presence. The health and welfare of our community will always be our top concern. 

    WHAT KIND OF CLOTHING SHOULD MY CHILD BRING TO CAMP?

    We dress informally at Camp, and it is not necessary to buy new clothing for your child. Simple and modest clothing is the most appropriate. Campers often choose to wear T-shirts or blouses with casual shorts, pants or skirts, or sundresses. High-heeled shoes, designer clothes and expensive jewelry are neither necessary nor encouraged. We strongly discourage campers from wearing “inappropriate attire”: Clothes depicting violence, drugs, or content of that nature will not be tolerated at camp. Our days are incredibly active, with activities such as climbing and running around so please make sure the clothing that your camper brings is conducive to those activities. All clothing and personal belongings should be clearly marked with the camper’s full name. One of the most distinctive times at camp is our observance of Shabbat. In keeping with our tradition, we ask that our camp community dress in white tops, and either white or khaki bottoms for Friday evenings. After your camp registration has been processed, you will find detailed packing lists in the Forms & Documents section of your online camp account. We dress informally at Camp, and it is not necessary to buy new clothing for your child. Simple and modest clothing is the most appropriate. Girls usually wear T-shirts or blouses with casual shorts, pants or skirts, or sundresses. Boys usually wear T-shirts with shorts or pants. High-heeled shoes, designer clothes and expensive jewelry are neither necessary nor encouraged. We strongly discourage campers from wearing “inappropriate  

    WILL MY CHILD NEED LOTS OF SPECIAL EQUIPMENT FROM HOME?

    During the course of the session, your child will have many opportunities to learn or develop new skills. In almost all cases, the camp supplies the necessary equipment and supplies to participate. In particular instances where your child is seeking mastery of an activity, he/she may desire his/her own special equipment; be selective, and remember that the Camp is not responsible for loss or damage of personal items. 

    HOW CAN I GET A KALSMAN CAMP T-SHIRT FOR MY CHILD?

    Camp Kalsman T-shirt will be provided to every camper. We will also be selling other Camp Kalsman merchandise online.  Click here to shop!

    HOW WILL MY CHILD'S LAUNDRY GET DONE?

    Campers should have enough clothing with them to last about 11 days. About every 11 days, cabins will have a scheduled laundry day. 

    HOW WILL MY CHILD GET TO AND FROM CAMP?

    We do not provide transportation to and from camp. Parents are responsible for arranging transportation to and from camp for their children. For campers who are flying in, we do provide free transportation to and from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, on the first and last day of each session. Flights should be scheduled to arrive between 9:00am-11:00am on the first day of their session, and to depart between 11:30am-2:30pm on the last day of their session.

    CAN PARENTS CALL THE CAMP TO CHECK ON THEIR CHILDREN?

    Parents are welcome to call the Camp during the summer to find out how their campers are doing. After we receive your call, your camper’s Unit Head or a member of the Director Staff will call you back, usually the same day. 

     

    CAN I VISIT MY CHILD WHILE THEY ARE AT CAMP?

    Parents and other visitors are not allowed to come to camp during the Camp sessions.

    HOW'S THE FOOD?

    Kalsman’s kid-friendly menu offers campers plenty to eat. Our meals are served either buffet-style or family-style in the dining hall with bunks eating together at assigned tables (protocols are subject to change due to Covid). Breakfast includes a hot item, fresh fruit, and cereal. Lunch and dinner include a hot entrée, vegetables, salad, as well as dessert. Whenever meat is served, a vegetarian option is offered. We make accommodations for campers on special allergy- or health-related diets. Consistent with the policies of other URJ camps across North America, Camp Kalsman is a kosher-style facility. We do not serve pork or shellfish, or products containing them, and do not permit such products on camp grounds. Milk and meat dishes are not served at the same meal. 

    ARE CARE PACKAGES ALLOWED?

    No, we do not accept care packages for campers. This includes boxes of any size and large/oversized mailing envelopes. Camp will only accept letters up to a standard size envelope or a standard size greeting card envelope, or standard size postcards. No padded or oversized envelopes. Of course, we understand that sometimes sending items to camp will be necessary. If your camper has forgotten something important or needs something new (e.g. more sunscreen), please contact us at kalsmanpackages@urj.org before mailing the package. Please remember that this is for forgotten essentials only! Unless we know a package is coming, we will refuse to accept it at camp.

    WHAT HAPPENS IF MY CHILD GETS SICK WHILE AT CAMP?

    It is our hope that every camper will remain healthy and fully able to participate in all aspects of camp life all summer long. Just in case, though, Camp Kalsman has a range of systems in place to manage health care issues that may arise, refer to When We Call Home. The Camp’s modern, well-equipped infirmary is staffed by medical professionals all summer long – usually a doctor and a nurse. We supervise the dispensing of medication four times a day. A medical form with comprehensive information will be all we need to take care of your child while at Camp. 

    WHAT IF MY CHILD'S BIRTHDAY OCCURS DURING CAMP?

    Birthdays that occur during the Camp session will be celebrated. This observance is not only a treat for the camper, but a lot of fun for everyone. Ever had a birthday party with 200 friends in attendance? Please do not send food of any kind for your child’s birthday, as we will provide a delicious cake to celebrate their special day. 

    DOES MY CHILD NEED TO BE IMMUNIZED?

    Yes, the Union for Reform Judaism requires that all camp and travel program participants, staff and faculty must be immunized. For more information, read the URJ Policy Statement on Vaccine Status. This link currently leads to our 2021 policy. The vaccine policy for Summer 2022 will updated. Please stay tuned. 

    WHERE CAN I FIND CAMP KALSMAN'S TERMS AND CONDITIONS?

    Click here for our complete terms and conditions that parents must read and electronically sign during the online camp registration process.