2021 Updates

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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.


Enrollment Details

Why Should I enroll now?

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.

Payments,  Refunds, Terms & 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.

Pre-Camp Precautions

Why do we still have to quarantine before camp, even if we are vaccinated?
  • There are still “break-through” cases, and we want to help make sure that you are not one of them.
  • There are other viruses out there that are not COVID. If your camper arrives at camp with one of those, we will probably have to rule out COVID by isolating your camper and their bunk while we test to see what you have.
  • Many viruses present with COVID-like symptoms. Quarantining with your family not only keeps your immediate family safe, but also helps to safeguard our entire camp community against COVID and other viruses that may make their way into camp. Thank you in advance for doing your part to help keep our community healthy this summer.
Why seven vs fourteen days?

Fourteen days is the CDC recommendation for unvaccinated individuals. We believe that seven is sufficient for fully vaccinated individuals to keep other viruses out of camp.

What if I have had COVID within 90 days before the start of my camp session?
  • Contact Amy Kagan, Associate Director (AKagan@URJ.org) in advance and bring the test results with you. After 90 days, if the camper is still in camp and if the camp is still in its testing week, the camper will pick up the same testing schedule as others in camp.
What kinds of COVID tests do I have to do before my Camp session?

See the below section of “Testing” for specifics. All pre-Camp tests are PCR tests. If your test comes back positive, please let Amy Kagan, Associate Director (AKagan@URJ.org) know.

Are there different Opening Day and Luggage Policies this summer?
  • We have made a few changes to plan for a safe arrival to camp:
    • Families may choose to ship their belongings to camp using Camp Trucking service. Alternatively, campers may drop off belongings on a designated day in advance of arrival. Some items may be brought with you on Opening Day
    • Families will be assigned designated arrival times to ensure smooth traffic flow
    • Parents will not be allowed into camper living spaces

Vaccination Policies

Is URJ recommending that we vaccinate our camp 12 years old and older?
  • Yes. The FDA has approved under an EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children 12-15. This adds to the EUA for teens and adults 16 and older. Vaccinations will provide an important tool to mitigate the risks of COVID at Camp this summer.
  • Our URJ Camps Medical Advisory Team strongly encourages the families of all who are eligible to join our fully vaccinated staff. The higher our percentage of vaccinated individuals becomes, the better for the camp community.
What if we cannot get both Pfizer doses for our 12+-year-old campers prior to the summer?
  • The ideal situation is to get both doses, three weeks apart, with the second dose administered two weeks before your session’s Opening Day. This will be easier for later-starting camps and for those campers arriving second session.
  • If you cannot get the second shot, you are still protected two weeks after your first shot. The second dose can be given after camp.
Why do vaccinated campers need to be on the same testing schedule as non-vaccinated campers?
  • While vaccines are incredibly effective, they are not 100% effective.
  • The camper community is also not 100% vaccinated. Of the 2-dose Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, some eligible campers have had two doses pre-camp, some have had one dose pre-camp, and some have chosen not to vaccinate.
  • Because of the recent approval of the EUA, campers who have been vaccinated may not be fully immunized until partially through their camp session.

Program Policies

Are there any changes planned to this summer’s program?
  • To be careful, we will begin the summer with most activities taking place in a “pod”. These are like a “household” in which many masking and social distancing rules do not apply. A group of pods the same age is a “Unit”. As the summer moves along, and our testing program yields some answers, we hope to loosen our cohorts, mask policy, etc.
  • Certain activities deemed to be “high risk” for disease spread will be limited to cohorts.
  • Large group programs indoors will not take place or will happen under physical distancing conditions.
How do you decide what guidelines are needed to keep camp safe and when to change them as CDC guidance changes?

There is a group of staff members at the URJ responsible for developing guidance for URJ Camps. They work together with subject-area specialists.

Who is advising URJ on medical and behavioral issues as we plan for the summer?
  • The Medical Advisory Group is a team of five doctors who have experience or specialization in public health and infectious disease.
  • They meet regularly to review and modify system policies.
  • Each camp has a local Camp Medical Director in addition to the physicians and nurses serving on-site during the summer.
What does it mean for Camp to be in a bubble this summer?
  • During each session, all campers are expected to arrive on time and not leave the camp grounds for non-emergency or non-business-oriented reasons. There will be very limited out-of-camp trips for campers, and only under specific conditions, such as no interaction with those outside of our community.
  • If circumstances allow or the CDC recommendations change, we will review this policy.
Indoors? Outdoors?

Wherever we can, we will have fun outside. This enables us to not only enjoy our environment, but relax some of our masking and distancing, especially during Week One of camp.

Speaking of Masks…
  • During Week One, we will follow State and Federal masking guidelines. We have been told to expect that all Summer Camp guidelines could change at any time prior to or during camp.
  • Within Pods: Indoors no mask is needed. Outdoors no mask is needed
  • With Multiple pods within a unit: Indoors masking and physical distancing. Outdoors no mask and physical distancing between pods
  • Your camp packing list has specified the number of disposable masks you will need for your session (we recommend 3-5 disposable masks per day). We will not allow cloth masks due to issues of cleanliness and loss.
Why does the camp community need to mask outside?
  • Week one is in pods. After that, depending on the group and the activity, campers and staff need a combination of 1) masks, 2) physical distancing or 3) take place outside.
  • Once we finish week one with no positive tests, and if PA guidelines allow, most outdoor activities within a unit will not require masks.
Will all staff be living in Camp or will some be going home at night? How are you limiting that risk?
  • Some of our staff are from the local community and will be “commuting” to camp. Our staff vaccination rule applies to them, as well. All of them will be tested regularly throughout the summer, as opposed to staff in residence who are only tested at the beginning.
What if a camper or staff member must leave camp for a medical emergency like an x-ray or dental problem?

Our designated camp driver, a vaccinated staff member, will be present the entire time. Both will wear masks, observe physical distancing, and visit a medical facility where strict COVID protocols are in place. They will be allowed to return to their bunks on return.

Will siblings and other relatives in different pods and units ever get to see each other?
  • Many of these connections happen in a very organic way, but with our COVID restrictions, it might look a bit different than usual (outdoors, masked). Our staff will make sure that COVID-safe opportunities abound as well as make sure that our younger campers can take advantage of them.

Testing Procedures

What happens if my camper had COVID within the past 90 days but is testing negative for COVID? Do they still need to be in the same testing protocol as non-vaccinated individuals?

Contact your camp in advance and bring the test results with you. After 90 days, if the camper is still in camp and if the camp is still in its testing week, the camper will pick up the same testing schedule as the camp.

What happens if my camper tests positive for COVID during Opening Day?
  • You will not be able to enter camp. We will give you the address of the local clinic or hospital that has the capacity to conduct a PCR test so that you can obtain a negative test and return to camp.
  • If the PCR test confirms that your camper has COVID, we will try to make or find space for a later session.
What happens if someone in my child’s bunk tests positive during PCR Surveillance testing or later if someone in their bunk tests positive?
  • You will be notified by the camp by email.
  • We will begin to test the other campers in the pod for a week.
  • The pod will participate in a “shadow program.”
If a bunk needs to go into quarantine, what restrictions need to be placed on the vaccinated staff members working with that bunk?

The vaccinated staff member will need to wear a mask during the week of quarantine and surveillance testing.