Summer 2021 Experience

Updated April 5th, 2021

We are fully committed to providing a safe, supportive, and fun environment for everyone this summer.


The information surrounding COVID-19 is constantly changing and evolving. The Camp Wise team is using best practices for summer camps published by the CDC, American Camp Association, and Ohio Department of Health, as well as medical professionals on the local and national level, in order to establish a set of operations which is at the highest standard for our camp families. The procedures, as laid out on this web page, are intended to provide camp families and staff with information about how Camp Wise is adapting policies and procedures this summer to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 in camp. As information changes and evolves, so too will this page to reflect current information.

PLEASE NOTE: A fee of up to $200/camper to cover the cost of COVID-19 medical expenses may be applied to the May 1, 2021 payment deadline. 

Key Definitions

  • Isolation: Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. When someone is asked to isolate that means they must refrain from contact with people outside of their households/pods. There should be no physical contact with anyone outside of the household/pod unless absolutely necessary. We ask other household/pod members to take appropriate social distancing measures (wearing a mask, staying 6 feet away from other people, and washing hands with soap and water frequently) during the isolation period.
  • Quarantine: Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.
  • Pod: A pod is a group of campers/staff who all reside in one living space.
  • Podding: Podding occurs when more than one pod is in the same space.
  • Mask: Camp Wise requires the use of CDC approved particulate filtering face pieces and must fit properly over the mouth and the nose.
  • IPs: In Pods- No mask required
  • OOPs: Out of Pods- Always following 2/3 rule from mixing and masking

Camp as a Bubble

While Camp Wise may not be known for developing basketball superstars, we will be borrowing a page out of the NBA playbook for the 2021 summer in the creation of a closed “camp bubble”. In the creation of our camp bubble, access to camp from individuals outside of our closed community will be limited and approved on a case-by-case basis. The camp session will progress through various levels of practice and procedure following CDC protocols for negative testing, health screening, and congregate living.

Level One (Days 0-5): Your pod is your bunk/cabin. All programs will be experienced as a pod. Cabins will follow a daily schedule of cabin activities. Campers will experience all that camp has to offer throughout their time in level one including swimming, horseback riding, ropes course, lake, and more. During times like Shabbat, we will follow our rules of “mixing and masking” (see mixing and masking below).

Level Two (Days 6-14)*: Your pod may be expanded to include your grade level. Podding may allow for chuggim (individual electives in groups) within each village. Daily cabin activities may continue during this time. During times like Shabbat, we will follow our rules of “mixing and masking” (See mixing and masking below).

Level Three (Days 15-end)*: Your pod may be expanded to include your entire village. All-camp activities may take place continuing to follow the rule of “mixing and masking” (see mixing and masking below). This includes but is not limited to Talent Shows, Carnivals, and Maccabiah.


*Moving from level to level will be dependent on negative COVID test results


It is Camp Wise’s policy – and that of the American Camp Association – that campers be immunized against those communicable diseases listed on the Camp Wise Immunization Record (such communicable diseases, the “Communicable Diseases”). Camp Wise’s policy is to also comply with the applicable immunization requirements under Ohio law, O.R.C. Chapter 3313.

COVID 19 Vaccine

It is the policy of the Mandel JCC that all staff are strongly encouraged to receive a COVID-19 vaccination based on availability as determined by the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, CDC, and the State of Ohio to mitigate the on-going spread of coronavirus. While getting the vaccine will not 100% protect you from getting COVID-19, CDC reports the vaccination works by teaching your immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19, and may protect you from getting sick with COVID-19.

While there is exciting progress and availability for the COVID-19 vaccine, at this time medical experts tell us there will likely not be full communal vaccination by summer 2021. We are actively tracking vaccine availability and distribution plans and will adjust our policies as information becomes available.

Pre Camp Arrival


All campers/staff are required to take an approved COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours prior to their first day on camp. Only campers/staff with confirmed negative test results will be admitted to camp.

Expected Behaviors

  • Pre-Camp Isolation: All campers/staff are required isolate for 7 days prior to their first day on camp. This includes remaining in isolation after your pre-camp COVID-19 test until your arrival day and time.
    • During pre-camp isolation, campers and staff should avoid physical contact with anyone outside their household. This includes school, day camp, sports, and other activities (inside or outside) with people outside of your household.
    • During the pre-camp isolation, we ask household members to take appropriate physical distancing and preventative measures including limiting non-essential travel to reduce the risk of exposure.
  • Screening: During pre-camp isolation campers/staff are required to keep a daily log of at-home health screenings. The log must be submitted prior to their first day for approval by the Camp Wise Health Center.  The log will be available in your CampIn Touch account closer to the start of the summer.

Arriving At Camp


All campers/staff are expected to provide their own transportation to Camp Wise. Here’s what to expect:

  • Plan to drive out to Anisfield- Halle Park for drop off
  • Drop off times will be staggered by village (siblings can come at either time)
  • We will be conducting a Rapid Antigen Nasal swab test during drop off
  • Patience is key!
  • More information will be shared via e-mail in May

For anyone traveling to camp via airplane, please contact the Camp Wise office to make arrangements for travel between the airport and Camp Wise.

Health Screen and Medication Drop Off

All campers/staff must provide negative COVID-19 test results [see testing] and their 7-day isolation health log during an on-site health screen with Camp Wise Health Center Staff. This screen may include:

  • COVID-19 Test
  • Temperature check
  • Lice check
  • Review of health history and physician’s exam form
  • Any daily or as-needed medication during the camp session

Packing and Luggage

Please make all reasonable attempts to pack all camp baggage 3 days prior to arrival day. Medication should be packed separately, following Camp Wise Health Center guidelines that will be shared in the spring.

Pods and Podding

Upon arrival, all camper/staff will be assigned to a specific pod. As we move through the session, and dependent upon CDC practices, pods will be combined to form larger groups. This is called podding, mixing and masking [see Daily Camp Life] must be followed whenever groups are podding.

In Camp COVID Testing

All campers/staff are required to take COVID-19 (specific test tbd) between their 5th and 8th day on camp. Individuals with positive test results will be quarantined and Camp Wise will follow all contact tracing procedures.

Daily Camp Life

Mixing and Masking

Whenever pods are outside of their own living space and/or podding they must follow the rule of “mixing & masking”. Without exception, two of the three must be abided by at all times:

  • Wearing an approved mask [see definition]
  • Being physically distant (at least 6 feet apart) from anyone outside of your pod
  • Being outdoors

IPs: In Pod- No mask needed

OOPs: Out of Pod always following the 2/3 rule


When possible, meals will be served outside in an open-air dining tent. As a general rule, our younger campers will be eating indoors while our older/teen campers will be eating in our dining tent. Pods will have a designated dining location and table. In the event of inclement weather, meals may be staggered.

Meal Service

  • Meal service will remain family-style and camp staff will be responsible for serving the campers in their bunk.
  • Campers/Staff may choose to select options from our breakfast bars, salad bars, and sandwich bars which will be staffed by our SITs under the supervision of our kitchen manager.

Daily Schedule

Click on the photo to expand the daily schedule. Above are two examples of our daily schedule for this summer. Our teen campers will have a variation of this schedule to accommodate their schedule and program.


Camp Wise will continue to facilitate a Shabbat experience while following protocols as laid out at each level. This may mean that Shabbat may take place outside of the chapel in order to maintain physical distance [see Mixing and Masking].

Out of Camp Trips/Travel (excludes ILS)

Anisfield Day Camp in Burton and all its facilities will be a part of the Camp Wise bubble. Pods may take day and/or overnight camping trips to this facility. Amenities include: Beachfront, pool with sprayground and slide, ninja course, hiking, trails, etc. Off-camp, out-of-bubble travel has not been approved at this time. More details regarding trips and travel will follow in the spring.


A general laundry service, off-camp, will be provided twice during each session (once during Rishon). Each camper’s laundry will be individually laundered and returned folded and in their laundry bag. Reusable, cloth face masks will be washed in camp, and after each use, on regular cycle for each pod. More details regarding laundry, masks, and a full packing list will follow in the spring.

Cleaning Prodecures

Camp Wise will follow all cleaning and sanitization standards as set forth by the Ohio Department of Health and the CDC. In addition to our already high level of daily cleaning, the following new procedures will be followed:

  • Electrostatic Cleaning: Daily use of an electrostatic sprayer in all living spaces, bathrooms, and shower houses, and program spaces.
  • Handwashing Stations: In addition to the bathrooms and hand sanitizer stations inside the dining hall, three new handwashing stations have been built for outside of the dining hall. Campers/staff must wash their hands with soap and water prior to entering and upon existing the dining hall.
  • Program Supplies & Equipment: Program equipment and supplies will be designated for each pod at the start of the session. In the instance that supplies or equipment must be shared across camp (i.e. lifejackets, saddles, climbing harness, etc.) it will only done following approved sanitization and disinfection.

Health Center Operations

Daily Medication Management

All daily medications will be passed through our health center “med-pass” window. This medication distribution system allows healthy campers to receive their medication without coming to contact with others. Medication for daily management will be collected on the first day of camp during the arrival and health screen process.

Visiting the Health Center

The Health Center remain open and staffed by a team of registered nurses. While we expect most campers will stay healthy throughout the summer, occasionally campers may become ill or injured at camp. We have a professionally staffed Health Center at camp and our Standing Orders will be adapted accordingly. A more detailed description of Health Center Operations will be available in the spring.


There will be a separate quarantine area for individuals exhibiting symptoms associated with COVID-19 while at camp. Should any members of our community exhibit COVID-19 symptoms or if COVID-19 is confirmed through testing, one or more dedicated nurses will be assigned to those individuals under quarantine.

Coming and Going from Camp

Visiting Camp

There will be several opportunities to tour camp and meet our leadership team in person this spring, prior to the start of our camp season. Pre-camp tours will require advance registration and will follow COVID-19 safe protocols.

Late Arrivals

In order to maintain our bubble, campers/staff will not be allowed to arrive on dates other than their designated start date. There are no deductions for a camper arriving late or leaving early. If you have an extenuating circumstance, contact the camp office in writing prior to set up a meeting.