Safety and Security
Safety is our top priority at Camp Mountain Chai. Each of our specialty program areas have a set of policies enacted to preserve safety. Our highly trained staff works hard to maintain a safe, nurturing environment for our campers.
We are proud to be an accredited member of the American Camp Association (ACA), the only independent accrediting organization reviewing camp operations in the country. ACA’s nationally recognized standards focus primarily on the health, safety, and risk management aspects of a camp’s operation. For summer 2021, ACA is providing a Field Guide for Camps to operate safely. ACA collaborates with experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Red Cross, and other youth-serving agencies to assure that current practices at the camp reflect the most up-to-date, research-based standards in camp operation.
If you would like more information about the value of the accreditation process,CLICK HERE
Security and Covid-19
Updated: February 12, 2021
Camp is more important than ever right now, and the health and safety of our Camp community remains at the forefront of our planning. Through thoughtful and informed decision making and in coordination with medical professionals and industry experts, we are in the process of building a playbook to outline changes in policies and procedures to help Camp Mountain Chai operate as safe as possible. As information changes and evolves, so too will this playbook to reflect current information.
We know these are still uncertain times and receiving this information is of utmost importance as you make your decision about sending your camper to camp. We plan to release the first sections of this playbook in the next 2 weeks. The initial release will include information about pre-camp family expectations, transportation, masking, social distancing, cabin life, testing, other preventative measures, and more. As a result, we are extending our risk-free registration through March 31st. Between now and then, we will be releasing our full playbook and additional information regarding our protocols.
Thank you as always for trusting us with your most valuable possession.
Updated: December 2020
As we plan for the 2021 summer, we want to share with you our philosophy and approach to openly safely. There are two primary goals that we are working towards simultaneously:
- Ensuring the health, safety and security of our campers, staff and community, and
- Providing a genuine Camp Mountain Chai experience, including:
- Celebrating Shabbat
- Making new friends and rekindling friendships
- Being outdoors and disconnecting from technology
- Building confidence and becoming more independent
- Continuing to make camp affordable by offering financial assistance and scholarships
We know next summer will look a little different and we know how we do some things may change, but our core mission remains: return each camper home a better version of themselves.
Our guiding principle in keeping our camp community healthy and safe is to follow the science. While none of us know exactly what the next few months will look like, we continue to regularly consult with medical professionals, infectious disease and industry experts, including Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and American Camp Association.
We believe that testing and/or vaccinations will be critical to operations next summer, and we are closely monitoring their advancements. While the availability and accuracy of rapid testing continues to improve and the vaccines seem promising, we are waiting for additional information before setting a policy.
We are proactively focusing on the following areas right now:
- Updating health center and screening procedures
- Securing additional PPE and medical equipment
- Making infrastructure improvements such as additional sanitation stations and sneeze guards
- Assessing modifications to food service and cleaning procedures
- Learning from schools and camps who have successfully and safely opened
Knowing that campers and staff have had a very different year, we are also working to provide support for their mental health. We applied for and received the Yedid Nefesh grant through the Foundation for Jewish Camp which allows us to hire an additional social worker, enhance counselor and specialist training, and more. We are also committed to hiring an additional employee dedicated to staff life and staff programming.
We will continue to be transparent in our on-going communications with you. We look forward to seeing you way up the tall green mountain again soon. Please continue to wear mask and stay safe.
Dan Baer, Camp Director
Updated: October 2020
Dear Camp Families,
The health, safety and security of all our campers and staff is the utmost important to us, and we are updating our procedures and protocols annually to keep abreast of current trends and concerns. For the first time, these changes and improvements will create a need for a supplemental fee.
In the spring of 2020, we began a project to enhance the overall physical security of our camp facility. This is not in response to any specific event, but rather recommended upgrades made in consultation with experts in the field. In addition to strengthening our relationship with local law enforcement and other first-responders, we have made many significant changes including these that your camper will see upon arrival at camp for the 2021 summer:
- Enhanced access control measures including security personnel, the addition of an entry gate, increased surveillance and updated technology throughout camp
- Upgraded our camp-wide public address system
- Equipment in camper cabins to allow for a secure space, if needed
- Increased security-related training for summer and year-round
Additionally, with coronavirus on everyone’s mind, we are preparing responsibly for the summer of 2021. While none of us know exactly what the next few months will look like, we continue to regularly consult with medical professionals, infectious disease and industry experts, including Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and American Camp Association (ACA).
Our protocols regarding COVID-19 involve:
- Updating health center and screening procedures
- Securing additional PPE, medications, and medical equipment
- Modified food service and enhanced cleaning procedures
- Reserving space at camp to allow for additional isolation facilities, if needed
- Closely monitoring advancements with testing and the availability of a vaccine (while we will likely have a policy that requires testing, a vaccine, or both, we will follow the science as it evolves over the next few months)
These changes and improvements, while partially funded through a California security grant, have created substantial costs and on-going expenses for us. We are instituting an annual supplemental fee of $135 per camper per year (regardless of the number of sessions a camper attends) to cover these additional costs. Even with the addition of this fee, the cost of our standard two-week sessions remains below 2019 levels when registering before year-end.
We are looking forward to getting back up the tall green mountain with your campers; please let us know if you have any questions.