How long are your sessions and what is the tuition?
We offer two different sessions for kids entering 2nd-10th grade.
We also offer mini sessions for first time campers who will be entering 2nd-5th grade.
Please see our Dates and Rates page for more information
How many campers do you take each session?
We can accommodate over 700 campers over the course of the summer with two different major sessions. With nearly 350 campers per session and around 150 staff there could be 500 people at camp at any given time!
Who comes to Camp Wise?
Over half of our campers are from cities in Ohio like Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Akron, and Toledo. We have campers who come from across the country and we have several campers who come from all over the world, including Israel!
How to you select and train your staff?
All of our staff have an interview, submit references and pass a background check. During the interview process we are looking for caring, energetic, skilled, compassionate individuals who are committed to providing the best possible experience for our campers. Over 75% of our staff return each year and many are former campers. We also recruit international staff through agencies such as Israel’s Schlichim program, Jewish Camps USA, Camp America and CampCounselors USA.
All of the staff participate in a full-week of intensive training that focuses on stages of development, Jewish Life and Identity, helping campers with interpersonal skills, welcoming new campers into the community, and managing homesickness. During this time all staff receive certification in American Cross CPR and First Aid.
Our supervisory staff are all 21 years of age or older and have an additional week of training in management and leadership skills
What is the staff to camper ratio?
Our staff to camper ratio is greater than 1:4.
What facilities does your camp offer?
Camp Wise is located on 325 wooded acres in Geauga County (about 30 minutes east of Metro Cleveland).
- We have a private lake, a zero entry pool, a ropes course and climbing tower, an art shack and multiple sports facilities including a covered gym.
- We have a beautiful outdoor chapel for Shabbat services
- Our Chadar (short for Chadar Ochel or “Dining Hall” in Hebrew) is our most central camp space. Our Kosher kitchen facility serves hot meals to our entire camp community 3 times a day- it is an amazing experience to be in the dining hall during any camp meal! It contains the spirit or “ruach” of Camp Wise.
- Campers live in villages of 8-10 cabins.
- We are an ACA accredited facility.
Is your camp accredited?
Camp Wise is accredited through the American Camping Association.
Health & Wellness
What happens if my child gets sick at camp?
Our brand new Health Center was opened in the summer of 2013 and is a state of the art building that has revolutionized health care at CW. With 2 exam rooms, a medicine distribution room, and an administrative work space, the new Health Center allows us to keep all campers healthy and safe while at camp. The Health Center also has living space for 3 nurses and recovery and isolation rooms for sick campers, this ensures that a nurse is never far away!
We have an on-call doctor at all times who visits camp 3 times a week for clinical visits. CW is less than 5 minutes from University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center Emergency Room should a trip to the hospital be necessary.
How do you ensure proper camper hygiene?
Personal hygiene and cleanliness is of utmost importance to us. Campers are scheduled to shower at specific times each day, and counselors provide the supervision to see that this is done. Tooth-brushing and other self-care is folded into the daily routine by our counselors.
Laundry is done by a professional service twice during Session I and twice during Session II. During our cabin clean-up period counselors actively engage with campers to make sure dirty clothes go into laundry bags, sheets are changed on a weekly basis, and personal belongings are kept in order.
What if my child gets ‘homesick”?
For kids of all ages, camp is usually amazing, but days are long and sometimes nothing sounds better than your bed back at home. Homesickness is healthy and normal to some degree, and our counselors are trained to talk with kids openly and help them work through their feelings. When a camper is told by a parent, “If you don’t like it I’ll come get you,” that camper is likely to have a much more difficult transition. You and your child will be much better prepared with honest words of encouragement and support.
How will my child personally grow while at camp?
Campers learn a variety of skills at camp.
- Living in a cabin group helps to nurture social and interpersonal skills.
- They learn personal responsibility for their actions and their personal belongings.
- They will develop a sense of independence.
- They will improve their problem-solving skills.
- They will learn through experiential education in every camp activity.
- As campers enter our older villages they are given more freedoms and responsibilities.
Is Camp Wise Kosher?
Camp Wise operates a kosher facility. Our kitchen and all foods served at Camp Wise are Kosher. We are also a nut aware facility, we do not serve any food that has been processed in a facility that also processes peanuts.
What do you serve for meals?
Meals are enjoyed family-style by cabin At each table there are 4-6 staff that make sure that kids are getting enough to eat and are eating balanced meals.
- Breakfast: A hot option like eggs or pancakes along with cereal, milk, juice, fresh fruit, yogurt, and oatmeal.
- Lunch: An entree like grilled cheese,deli sandwiches or pizza along with a side of vegetable and/or a starch and dessert.
- Dinner: An entree like baked chicken or Lasagna along with a vegetable and/or a starch and a tasty sweet dessert.
- At lunch and dinner we offer a salad bar with a variety of vegetables and protein options.
What if my child has allergies or special dietary needs?
- Camp Wise is a nut-aware facility—we do not serve food that contains nuts or has been processed in a facility that processes nuts or uses machinery that processes nuts.
- We accommodate many different special diets: vegetarian, vegan, dairy free, gluten free, and fructose free.
Please contact the camp office to discuss your child’s particular needs.
How do I get in touch with camp?
You can reach us 216-593-6250 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I communicate with my camper during the summer?
- Campers love to receive real letters from home. Write often and be newsy! Mail is delivered after lunch every day but Saturday.
- You can send emails to your campers through your CampInTouch account.
- You can send your child something special in a flat envelope. Cards, puzzle books, and small group games are good things to send. We do not allow food or gum in these packages. If you chose to send it, it will be confiscated.
How will my camper communicate with me?
- On the first night of camp, your camper will fill out a quick postcard to let you know their cabin and counselors.
- All campers are required to write home twice a week. They are also encouraged to write to family and friends outside of camp on a regular basis.
How will camp communicate with me?
Each week camp will communicate with you in many ways.
- Photos will be posted daily.
- The director will post a weekly round-up each Friday.
- Evening programs will be tweeted daily.
- Cabin letters home are posted on Facebook.
What happens if my camper has a birthday while at camp?
Birthdays are special times at camp. We provide a birthday cake, counselors create special celebration and the entire camp sings to the birthday camper. You can send a birthday package for your camper that does not include any food items. We do allow campers to speak to their parents on their birthday. Those arrangements should be made ahead of time through the camp office.
How do you create a sense of community throughout camp?
Staff work hard to make every camper feel welcome. Everything we do at camp is done with the thought and intention to build a strong feeling of community
- We build community on multiple levels. First comes the cabin community where staff create both day and bedtime rituals. Outside the cabin, campers feel a part of a “village.” Cabins are grouped in clusters of cabins with similar-aged kids. Each village is centered around a central gathering area where cabins can sit at picnic tables, play gaga, gather before meals, and share a cookout. Counselors create fabulous evening programs for each village.
- All meals are a community event with singing, cheering and funny skits.
- Shabbat is a time at camp that is shared by the whole community. With a Shabbat walk, services, a special dinner, dancing and Havdallah servies, each piece of our Shabbat promotes community on a different level.
What kinds of programs do you offer?
Check out our Activities page to learn more about what activities are offered at Camp Wise.
What types of Jewish Programming do you do?
- Jewish programming is included in– most things we do at camp. Our six core values permeate all of our activities and Shabbat. From clearly defined prayers before and after meals, to a discussion of Jewish values after a nature hike – campers are always aware that they are in a Jewish setting.
- Each Shabbat is planned for and led by a specific village under the supervision of our Jewish Educator.
- Each cabin participates in Jewish-based activities including time with our educator, engaging in Israeli-based programs, and time spent with our song leaders.
- Israeli Night and Israel-themed meals, planned by our Israeli staff, help kids connect with Israeli culture.
- Hebrew sign with English translations and transliterations are built around camp and on our buildings.
When can I visit?
Camp welcomes parents, alumni, families and friends at our pre-summer Open House. When camp is in session we do not allow families to visit camp. Parent visitation is disruptive to our program and prevents campers from making the necessary separation that ensures their success.
Where can I find more detailed information for my enrolled camper?
Our Parent/Camper Handbook is a wonderful source for detailed information about everything you need to know before your child arrives at camp and while they are there.