The care of our campers is our most significant priority. We understand that it takes great intentional, active and thoughtful supervision and support to make certain that each and every child is given the chance to enjoy the most positive experience at camp. To do so, we hire and train the best staff, including counselors, supervisors and others. In addition to our staff working directly with campers, Camp Harlam employs a Camper Care team of adult professionals with training and experience in a field related to child development. These professionals utilize their skills and expertise to work with our staff to support the Mental, Emotional, and Social Health (MESH) needs of campers to ensure they have a successful and fun camp experience. We recognize that campers may need varying levels of support while at camp and also that parents are our partners in ensuring the success of each camper. When needed, the Camper Care team will be the staff members that you work with most directly to ensure that we have the information needed to enable your child to have a successful summer at camp.
In keeping with the mission and core values of our camp, and to further our commitment to an Open & Safe Community, Camp Harlam seeks to provide a meaningful Jewish Camp experience to children who are part of the Jewish community, regardless of need. We employ a team of professionals who utilize their skills and expertise to support the direct work of our staff, and to ensure campers have a successful and fun camp experience. We are proud to employ a year-round Inclusion Coordinator, who is a vital part of our Camper Care team and works most directly with our campers and families who may require a greater level of support to be successful at camp.
The Harlam Camper Care Team, which is led by clinical social workers on our professional team, partner with:
- Clinical social workers
- Special education teachers
- All other necessary professionals all year long to support campers over the summer
Each camper is carefully considered, with input from parents, teachers and other professionals, on an individualized basis to determine appropriateness for our program and the types of accommodations needed. Families work in partnership with our Camper Care department and/or our Inclusion Coordinator to ensure the camper’s success for the summer. This may include a more comprehensive intake, collaboration with professionals who work with your child, scheduling a home visit, and maintaining regular communication throughout the off season as we prepare for the summer.
Camp Harlam has long been successful in integrating children of varying abilities and disabilities into the community. We have found that with the right support, campers with various diagnoses can be very successful at camp, including but not limited to:
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Cognitive delays
- Executive functioning delays
- Mental health diagnoses, such as depression and anxiety
- OT/PT needs
- Learning disabilities
- Hearing loss
- Cerebral Palsy
OUR UNIQUE ACCOMMODATIONS
The Harlam Staff is always following and creating best practices that allow campers to be successful at our camp. Over the years, we are proud to offer numerous accommodations on an as-needed basis.
- Alternative Song Sessions
- Fidget Toys
- Visual Signs
- Chill Zone
- Pocket Schedule
- Rocking Chairs
- Many more!
For more information about our Camper Care team please contact Cori Miller, Camper Care and Enrollment Manager, at CMiller@URJ.org or 610-668-0423 ext. 1033.
If your child has special needs and you would like to speak directly with our Inclusion Coordinator, please contact Lori Zlotoff, Inclusion Coordinator, at LZlotoff@URJ.org or 610-668-0423, ext. 1060.
The creation of the Chill Zone stems from the realization that many kids have trouble maintaining their best behavior at camp, often because of sensory overload, constant stimulation, 24/7 communal living, and little down time. This can be hard for many campers at some point throughout the course of the summer- it is especially hard for kids who have challenges living and working in a group setting.
The Chill Zone is complete with:
- Relaxation toys
- Stress relievers
- Sensory items
- Opportunities for proprioceptive input
We offer a dedicated space to take a sensory break from camp so campers can recharge and rebalance themselves in order to enjoy their time at camp!
Raising Understanding and Awareness of Campers at Harlam (RUACH) Team represents a pledge to best support children with challenges in the camp setting.
Our commitment is to drive a culture of acceptance and inclusion by providing a select cohort of staff with:
- Specialized support
- Ongoing training
- Certification in YMHFA to an identified group of counselors and staff who are embedded in cabins throughout camp to provide positive interventions directly to kids
We pledge to best support ALL children in the camp setting… not just children with special needs.