Summer 2021 Information
We are excited to be planning for an in-person program for Summer 2021! 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 will look different, but we are committed to delivering the same level of excellence in programming and camper care as we always have.
We know that the best practices surrounding COVID-19 are continually changing. We will remain responsive to ever-evolving standards and protocols both within the camping industry and as required by our federal and local governing bodies and will be as transparent as possible as our summer plans continue to take shape.
As we meaningfully consider every aspect of our program and operation, we have created the following FAQs to answer some of the questions you may have. We will continue to update this information as it becomes applicable as we work to welcome us all back to Kunkletown for Summer 2021.
We know you have a lot of questions, and we will have frequent updates as the summer gets closer; To that end, beginning in early March, enrolled families can expect to receive weekly Harlam Essentials emails. Each week’s email will feature a different topic with important information, action items, and new developments.
So you can prepare accordingly, the Harlam Essentials schedule is as follows:
Non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) will be a cornerstone of our COVID-19 mitigation strategy this summer. NPIs include mask-wearing, handwashing, physical distancing, and being outside as much as possible. We anticipate that when campers are interacting outside of their pods, they will need to be wearing masks, and in areas that allow for maximal distance and airflow. Additionally, facility modifications, including outdoor program and dining space, and handwashing stations and sanitizers throughout camp, are in process. There will also be additional signage around camp and additional time throughout the day for symptom checking, handwashing, and sanitization.
At camp, we strive to teach the Jewish value of derech eretz - caring for our community. This summer, every day will be an opportunity to have that value put in action as following guidelines around NPIs for our campers and staff will be critical. We will be looking to each member of our community to do their part in keeping each other healthy.
COVID testing will also be a key way we can protect our community. We anticipate administering tests when campers arrive and having them available as needed throughout each session.
Sealing the “bubble” is another way camps in 2020 were able to run successfully and safely. We will aim to operate as a closed system as much as possible. We’ll have protocols in place for routine deliveries, dayworkers who live outside of camp, and dealing with injuries and illnesses that might require offsite care.
We’re also doing everything we can to limit interactions between campers and the outside community, especially once a session begins. We plan to significantly limit visitors at camp and will have a smaller number of faculty (such as rabbis, cantors, and educators) than we have in years past. The faculty who we do have will be at camp longer and will not return to camp if they must leave.
Likewise, while we normally try to be flexible around campers arriving to camp late, or having to leave camp and return mid-session, we expect that we will not be able to accommodate that this year as it poses too great of a risk.
Food service this summer will be handled by Sterling Foods, a leader in the camp food service industry that operated successfully at camps in summer 2020. Their experience and knowledge of operating during COVID will enable us to continue providing all the great options our campers enjoy in a safe way.
We’re modifying and strengthening our Health Center. We are fortunate every summer to have a health center staffed by physicians and nurses, generally about eight to 10 professionals. Many of our healthcare staff this summer have been working throughout the year in communal settings and are well-versed in operating within the parameters of COVID-19. Our health care staff will follow guidelines based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control, state and local health authorities, and the URJ COVID-19 medical taskforce - a group of five physicians from across the country who have been working hand-in-hand with URJ camps. Additionally, we’ve set aside quarantine space at camp, if needed.
Vaccine availability and rollout varies state-by-state and clinic-by-clinic, so we’re continuing to monitor developments and timelines. We’ll remain flexible with our protocols accordingly.
We know that the best practices surrounding COVID-19 are continually changing. We will remain nimble and responsive to ever-evolving state and local standards and protocols. We are working with a team of medical experts, including infectious disease doctors, to guide our decisions and revamp our protocols and procedures. We are also working in close coordination with the American Camp Association and Foundation for Jewish Camp to gather learnings and insights from the field. We continue to closely monitor CDC guidelines. We are considering a variety of factors with our medical experts and will continue to update families as we know more about the coming summer.
We are considering a variety of factors with our medical experts and will continue to update families as we know more about the coming summer. These considerations include pre-camp testing and screening, quarantine protocols, travel to and from camp, capacity/spacing in bunks, isolation procedures, cleaning protocols, medical staff, PPE, activities by cabin, and more.
We are opening enrollment with more limited capacity than a typical summer, to ensure that we have the flexibility to enact health and safety protocols, including social distancing, to keep everyone in the camp community safe. As such, we encourage those who are ready and able to commit to camp to do as early as possible to ensure a space at camp!
Everyone, regardless of whether you forwarded credit or made a donation, will pay the 2021 fees.
We are so grateful to those who were able to roll over their paid tuition towards 2021 enrollment. If the amount rolled over is equal to or above the $500 enrollment deposit, those funds will be counted as your 2021 deposit and you will not need to pay an additional deposit fee when you enroll. Please make sure that you complete the registration, as your rollover funds do not automatically enroll you.
We will remain nimble and responsive to ever-evolving state and local standards and protocols, and hope to be able to adapt our summer program accordingly. If, however, camp is unable or elects not to open camp due to government regulations or if camp chooses not to open at its own discretion, you will receive a full refund, including the deposit, without penalty. If camp is required to make a change to a camper session prior to summer, the family will be notified by camp in writing. Camp will provide an opportunity at that time for parent to cancel camper session without penalty (including return of any deposit). Parent will also be eligible for this change of session refund for all children in their household 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 camp geographic location, session dates, session cost, or session “program” offering (for specialty camps only).
If changes outlined in the previous question do not apply and a family decides to cancel, our normal cancellation policies will apply.
Yes! We strive to make camp affordable for all families. Please be in touch with Cori Miller at CMiller@URJ.org for more information about our Financial Assistance program. Applications for Financial Assistance can be accessed in your Camp in Touch account once you have completed the enrollment process and are due within 2 weeks of registration along with your 2019 taxes. While we will not be able to provide you quickly with an award determination, your early submission is necessary and will allow us to allocate as much funds as possible to all that apply on time.
Every year, the tuition at camp increases due to rising operating costs and ongoing improvements and upgrades to our program. This year, we also anticipate additional expenses related to COVID-19 around staffing, equipment, testing, and more.
Yes, as in past years third party travel insurance is available. This year very few insurance companies are offering cancel for any reason insurance, but we are excited to present some available options that include a cancel for any reason policy that covers 75% reimbursement, with the general interruption and medical policy covered at 100%.
Payment, Refunds, Terms and Conditions
Yes, we have made some changes considering the current circumstances. We have standardized payment deadlines across all URJ camps and have revised our refund policy with some COVID-19-specific factors in mind.
- Cancellation more than 90 days prior to the first session start date – 100% of tuition is refundable except for the deposit.
- Cancellation between 90 and 45 days prior to the first session start date – 75% of tuition is refundable.
- Cancellation within 45 days of the first session start date – no refunds will be given unless stated below.
- Camp reserves the right to process any eligible refund amounts in multiple installments as determined by Camp.
- Full refunds will be given without penalty (including deposit): for campers on a “Waiting List” (those not able to be placed in their desired session at camp) if at any time they choose to be removed from the list or 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 to secure a rental facility; if Camp is unable or chooses not to open or at the discretion of the Camp Director or their delegate.
- 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’s homesickness; 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.
- Change of Session: If Camp is required to make a change to Camper session prior to summer, Parent will be notified by Camp in writing. Camp will provide an opportunity at that time for Parent to cancel Camper session without penalty (including deposit). Parent will also be eligible for this change of session refund for all children in their household 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 camp geographic location, session dates, session cost, or session “Program” offering (this is for specialty camps only).
We have standardized payment deadlines across all URJ camps, to create more uniform policy:
- 150 days prior to Camp’s first session start date – 25% of tuition payment is due;
- 90 days prior to Camp’s first session start date – an additional 50% of tuition payment is due (75% of tuition paid);
- 60 days prior to Camp’s first session start date – final payment is due.
If your family registers after one of more of these deadlines have passed, you will be responsible for the tuition percentage that reflects the current date.
We are working to open camp safely and will be as transparent as possible as we further develop our summer plans. Although elements of camp will look different this year, we are committed to delivering the same excellence you have come to expect from us. Examples of what we are thinking about include our procedures in locations like our dining hall and health center, capacity and spacing, limiting campers and adults coming and going from camp, avoiding large group gatherings during the session, and more.
We are exploring alternative options for participants who cannot attend an in-person summer experience. We will be sure to update families as those plans come into focus.
Although we know that the best practices surrounding COVID-19 are continually changing, due to the need to keep our campgrounds safe, we will be canceling our typical out-of-camp trips this summer, for both Junior and Senior camp, to avoid unnecessary exposure. Based on local and state regulations, if we feel that it is safe for us to visit local places, we will make the determination closer to the summer season. We know that these trips are a highlight for our campers, and we hope to provide other exciting opportunities for them.
The Full Season camp experience will now include, with no additional cost, intersession programming. While we are still figuring out the details of what the program will entail, we encourage all of our families to take advantage of this opportunity to minimize the risk of campers coming in and out of camp during a short period of time.
Our partners at NFTY in Israel have partnered with us to create a summer program which combines 3.5 weeks at Harlam in our Gesher program with a 3.5-week trip to Israel for the teens who were supposed to be in Israel in summer 2020 but were unable to do so because of the global pandemic. Our plan for this unique situation is for teens to participate in three weeks of community-building and leadership and skill development in our Gesher program at Camp Harlam, and then leave directly from camp to depart for 3.5 weeks of travel in Israel. As we continue our summer 2021 planning, we are exploring the feasibility of allowing those who choose not to go to Israel as part of this program to remain at camp after the initial 3.5-week Gesher experience. Click here for more details about the program and registration process.
Right now, both to minimize the risk of people arriving/departing during our session, and from a programmatic perspective, we are not opening enrollment for this program.
Yes! A tour of camp is a great way to learn about us! We are currently offering in-person family tours on our site in Kunkletown for those families that are interested and comfortable. A member of our Professional Staff team will lead tours for individual families and will adhere to safety protocols and procedures to help ensure the health and safety of all visitors.
Taking a tour of camp is one way to meet our camp directors. We are also offering a virtual Taste of Camp program, as well as virtual Parlor Meetings. You can schedule a virtual Home Visit with one of our camp directors as well.