As summer approaches, we know you are busy getting ready to send your campers to CYJ for an amazing summer. This page is dedicated to the key steps you need to prepared you camper for a great season.
Perhaps the most important step of all is to read our FAQ’s, since it will inform you on everything you need to know. Our policies on communication, transportation, health, and everything else you can think of is that packet. That’s why it’s won so many awards!**
**(Note: awards won are distributed by CYJ staff, who have been forbidden from reading other camp handbooks…)
Send in Your Forms
All medical information will be requested in our online forms in your CampInTouch. One form is our “Health History” form which can be completed and submitted online. The other two forms are paper forms called “Physician’s Examination” and “Medical Authorization” which must be download and printed and either uploaded to the system or faxed back (without a cover page) to the number indicated on the form itself (832-415- 0584). This form is child-specific with a bar code to ensure that it is automatically added to your child’s electronic record.
All medical information will be requested in our online forms in your CampInTouch.
In order to maintain a safe environment and decrease the risk of preventable illnesses, we require that all members of the community be adequately immunized. We adhere to the standard recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
We recognize that some parents may choose to defer the vaccination of their children. While at CYJ-Texas, however, this is not an issue of individual rights and choice, but an issue of public health and policy. The routine vaccination of all children, staff, and visitors is a critical public health matter, especially in a summer camp environment with intimate communal living and vulnerable populations present.
Pack for Camp
We know this part could be really stressful, but don’t worry — you can just check out our Summer Packing List. We’ve included some tips there, but the most important ones are the following:
- Don’t overpack! It’s just three weeks and a half, and your kids will have their laundry done once a week. No need to send a camper along with forty outfits!
- Pack in a duffel bag instead of a suitcase. They’re easier to stow away when they’re empty!
- Keep your kids’ medicine separate from the rest of their packing goods. If you’re driving to Camp yourself, medicine should be given directly to the nurse; for those riding the bus, medicine will be collected by the chaperoning staff.
- This is one of those things that should go without saying, but we’re going to say it anyway: items that could be deemed dangerous to the health and wellbeing of any campers in any way should not be packed. Such items will be confiscated.
On any given camp day, your child may be running, sweating, painting, hiking, dancing, or battling in an epic pillow fight. That means all property you send to camp is at risk of being broken, lost, or otherwise ruined. Understanding that CYJ is not liable for replacing said items, use your best judgment when preparing your camper. A good rule of thumb: if it would be expensive to replace or you’d be sad to see it lost, don’t send it to camp.
We do not allow campers to bring electronics to Camp besides a digital camera or an mp3 player without internet access. Camp is a time where campers and staff have a chance to unplug. Not only does this prevent valuable electronics from being misplaced, but it also creates a genuine camp experience and allows campers to live “in the moment”. (When found, forbidden technology will be confiscated by counselors and returned to campers at the end of the session.)
Get to Camp
The most common way to get to CYJ is by one of our camp buses, which leave from San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, and Austin. We consider these bus rides the beginning of the camp experience, as they’re the campers’ first opportunity to meet each other, to meet some staff, and to start learning our songs and cheers. Given that it’s also covered by camp tuition, we recommend that everyone join their local CYJ bus if they can.
We realize some parents, particularly of first-time campers, may want to drive their children to Opening Day. Those families should arrive at the campgrounds between 11:00 AM and 12:00 PM.
Any campers flying in will be met at the Austin/Bergstrom International Airport. Camper flights must arrive between 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM on the Opening Day of their session; departing flights must leave between 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM on their Closing Day. Transportation to and from the Austin airport will be provided for free, so long as flights arrive and depart at required times.
We will organize group flights with a staff member from Miami and Los Angeles, depending on the number of campers registered. If you’re interested in sending your child on a group flight, please contact the camp office before you make your flight arrangements.
If you would like to send your child on a plane alone, be sure to familiarize yourself with the airline’s unaccompanied minor policies. Be sure also to keep us informed of your plans, so we can arrange with the airline to pick up your child without issue. We will call you several days before Opening Day to give you the name of the staff member meeting your camper.
Your camper will be all set for the season once the above has been covered….BUT here are a few optional choices you could consider doing before the summer starts:
- If your camper is nervous about their first session at camp, be sure to talk about how fun it will be and how much they have to look forward to! (This can be of great help in preventing homesickness.)
- On the occasion that a cabin is split into two, campers may want to send in a bunkmate request form; fill these out in your My CYJ account.
- Parents planning on flying their children as unaccompanied minors should be sure to check their airline’s policies and inform us of your plans.
- Write a letter to your camper before they leave, guaranteeing they receive mail in the very beginning of camp!
- Give your camper the addresses of everyone they may want to write to during the session.
- If you’re concerned your camper won’t pass the lice screening when they arrive and you don’t want to pay for the treatment the Fairy LiceMothers will provide, act preemptively and get your camper a lice check in your hometown.
- Consider donating to one of our ongoing campaigns to provide tuition assistance to other campers.
- If your middle school camper is preparing for his or her bat mitzvah, you can fill out a Bnei Mitzvah Practice Request to ensure your camper get enough practice during the season.