Frequently Asked Questions
As one experienced camp director noted, “We
have few homesick children, but we have homesick parents by the dozens.”
© American Camping Association
Sending a child to camp can be scary! Here are
answers to a few commonly-asked questions. Please feel free to send
us an e-mail if you have a question that is not answered here.
What kind of supervision will my child
have at Camp Wise?
Every camper lives in cabin with 8 to 12
campers and 2 to 4 staff members. Our counselors
and specialists are all certified in American Red Cross First Aid and
CPR, and all go through an intensive week-long
staff training seminar prior to camp. The counselor selection process
is competitive, and all counselors must submit an application with references
and have an in-depth interview and background check. Our counselors
range in age from entering 12th grade through entering senior year of
cabins comprise a village, and each village has a Village Supervisor.
Village Supervisors are members of Head Staff, who each come with years
of camp counselor experience and additional leadership and supervisory
experience and training.
Each program area of camp is led by an excellent,
well-trained specialist, many of whom work outside of camp in their
specialty area, as professional Jewish educators, environmental educators,
artists, sports coaches, or actors. Our Pool and Lake staff are all
American Red Cross certified lifeguards, and participate in a rigorous
water safety training program at camp. Our Ropes Course, Climbing Tower
and Horseback staff are also appropriately trained and certified.
What happens if my child gets sick at
Our infirmary is staffed 24-hours-a-day
with registered nurses. Volunteer doctors are always either on-site
or on call. We are within a few minutes of a complete network of health
care providers. If your child is not feeling well at camp you can be
confident that he or she will be receiving comforting, excellent, professional
care and attention.
You WILL be notified if: Your
child has been in the infirmary for more than 24 hours, your child
is placed on prescription medication, or your child has been taken
to an out-of-camp doctor, emergency room, or hospital.
You will NOT be notified if:
Your child spends less than 24 hours in the infirmary, your child
receives a routine diagnosis and treatment, which could include cuts,
colds, bug bites, stomach aches, sore throats or headaches.
What if my child has special dietary needs
or food allergies?
We do our best at Camp Wise to accommodate
campers with special dietary needs or food allergies. Please contact
Camp Wise Director Jodi Sperling prior to camp if your child has serious
food restrictions or allergies so that we can prepare for their needs.
We provide lactaid, soy milk, and vegetarian meal options at every meal.
How does my child get to and from Camp
Transportation is provided for all Cleveland-area
campers to and from the Mandel JCC in Beachwood. We believe camp begins
on the bus, and our bus counselors immediately engage campers in games,
songs, and cheers, so when the campers step off the bus they’re
already feeling comfortable and safe. Transportation for campers from
other communities is arranged based on that community’s camper
numbers. More detailed information for our Toledo, Akron/Canton, Youngstown,
Dayton, and Columbus campers is sent out each spring.
What if I am unable to afford Camp Wise
this summer, but I value the importance of overnight camp for my child?
We offer several payment plans for families
that would like to spread their payments out over the course of the
year. Additionally, limited scholarship dollars are available for members
of the Cleveland Jewish Community Center. Non-members and out-of-town
families are welcome to contact the Camp Wise office for more information
regarding other resources for financial assistance.
Can my child request bunkmates?
Once registered for camp, you will receive
a Parent Handbook and several forms, including a bunk request form.
Your child will be allowed to request a friend to bunk with. While
we do our best to grant one request for each camper, we cannot guarantee
this, and mutual requests always get priority. Please remember that
one of our goals at Camp Wise is for every camper to make new friends
and break down social cliques – therefore, we try to avoid cabins
consisting entirely of children from one school or synagogue. We do
not grant requests to be with campers in other villages. If we are not
able to accommodate any of your child’s requests you will receive
a phone call prior to your child’s arrival at camp.
What’s the best way to keep in touch
with my child?
Write letters! We strongly recommend this
form of communication, because opening an envelope is still much more
exciting than just reading an e-mail! Write as often as you want. In
fact, we even recommend mailing a letter or two before your child leaves
home so that it is there when he or she arrives at Camp Wise. The American
Camping Association recommends that you keep letters upbeat and ask
specific questions about your child’s favorite activities, cabin
life, and friends. Although you may want to keep your child informed
on what’s going on back home, don’t go into great detail
as your child may feel like they are missing out. Also, letters or
e-mails are not an appropriate means of letting your child know bad
news, such as a sick relative or pet.
You may also send faxes or e-mails to your child
that will be distributed with the mail each day.
Campers are encouraged to write letters often,
and several times a week campers must turn in a letter home to receive
canteen. Campers are not allowed to send e-mails or faxes, or make telephone
calls from camp.
We’re going to be driving by Chardon
next week. Can we just stop by to give our camper a hug?
Camp Wise has a strict No Visiting policy.
As much as we love our Camp Wise friends and family, visitors are disruptive
to the camp program. In addition, visitors coming and going decreases
our ability to provide a secure and safe environment for your children.
If you would like to see our facilities, please go to the events
page to learn about our spring Camp Wise Open Houses, where you will
be able to meet some of our staff and have a tour of camp.
My child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah is in
the fall. Can they receive tutoring at Camp Wise?
Yes! At Camp Wise we have a Bar/Bat Mitzvah
tutoring program available. We will set your child up with one of our
staff members trained in tutoring, and they will work together throughout
the session to make sure your child is ready for their big day! This
must be arranged prior to the summer, so please contact our office for
more information. All materials should be sent with your child to camp.
child will be at camp for his or her birthday. What does Camp Wise do
to make it special?
Birthday celebrations at camp are AWESOME!
Counselors go all out to make sure the day is special for your child,
and camp honors each birthday boy or girl with a special cake and celebration.
We recommend that you celebrate your child’s birthday with them
before or after camp, but if you would like to send them something special
you are welcome to send any non-food gifts to our camp office for your
child’s special day.
Can I send my child packages to camp?
You are permitted to send your child packages
at camp, but every package will be opened and searched in our office.
Any food, gum, candy, or inappropriate items will be removed from the
package before it is given to your child. Food in the cabins attracts
mice, bugs, and raccoons, and compromises our Kashrut policies. Additionally
food in cabins can lead to theft and jealously among children.
What is canteen?
Canteen is our “camp store.”
Every day campers can choose one snack from the canteen. This is included
in the camp fees and has no additional fee.