WHERE WILL MY CHILD LIVE? HOW ARE CABIN ASSIGNMENTS MADE?
A camper cabin sleeps fourteen to sixteen campers and three to four staff members in bunk beds. Every camper is assigned a bed and a set of cubbies for storing personal items. All top bunks are equipped with bed rails. All bunks were replaced and upgraded prior to summer 2012. Each cabin is equipped with a smoke detector, fire extinguisher, and emergency lighting. Cabin assignments are made on the basis of school grade and/or age. Space is provided for your child’s requests on the camper application form.
HOW DO YOU SELECT, TRAIN AND SUPERVISE YOUR STAFF?
At G.U.C.I., we take a great deal of pride in our staff. Our counselors and supervisors provide a stable and caring home for campers all summer long. We know that a camp is only as good as its staff. Our staff is comprised of college students, rabbinic/graduate students, and professionals in various fields. The majority of our staff members are products of our program. They have grown up at G.U.C.I. and feel passionate about camp. Others join us from across the country and Israel. All staff members bring their own special gifts to share. All GUCI staff members participate in an extensive training program at the start of the summer season. Staff training continues throughout the summer. Counselors and unit leaders are supervised and evaluated by members of our camp leadership team, all of whom have years of camp experience.
WILL MY CHILD BE SAFE WHILE AT CAMP?
All of the URJ Camps are dedicated to providing safe and secure environments for our campers and staff. We have 24 hr security, and an electronic gate at the entrance to camp. We conduct regular safety and security reviews and evaluations, and work closely with local law enforcement officials to make sure our safety standards and practices are the best. The health and welfare of our community will always be our top concern. G.U.C.I. has been accredited by the American Camping Association.
WHAT KIND OF CLOTHING SHOULD MY CHILD BRING TO CAMP?
We dress informally at camp, and it is not necessary to buy new clothing for your child. Camp is primarily an outdoor setting and simple and modest clothing is the most appropriate. Girls usually wear T-shirts or blouses with shorts, pants or skirts. Boys usually wear T-shirts with shorts or pants. For Shabbat we dress a little nicer then the average camp day. Boys wear a collared shirt with khaki shorts and girls typically wear a sundress. High-heeled shoes, designer clothes and expensive jewelry are neither necessary nor encouraged. We strongly discourage campers from wearing inappropriate attire: Clothes that are intentionally tight or revealing should be left at home. All clothing and personal belongings should be clearly marked with the camper’s full name.
WILL MY CHILD NEED LOTS OF SPECIAL EQUIPMENT FROM HOME?
During the course of the session, your child will have many opportunities to learn or develop new skills. In almost all cases, the camp supplies the necessary equipment and supplies to participate. In some instances, where your child is seeking mastery of an activity, he/she may desire his/her own special equipment (musical instrument, tennis racquet, etc). Be selective, and remember that the camp is not responsible for loss or damage of personal items.
HOW WILL MY CHILD’S LAUNDRY GET DONE?
We provide laundry service on camp, done by our laundry staff. Four week campers will be able to send laundry twice during the session (beginning of the second week and the latter part of the third week of the session.) The laundry is dried and folded. The camp will not be responsible for lost or damaged items. Do not send delicate clothing or clothing that will fade or bleed or that needs special laundry care. Every camper will need to bring his/her own laundry bag with his/her name clearly marked on it.
HOW WILL MY CHILD GET TO AND FROM CAMP?
Parents are encouraged to bring their campers to camp on opening day, and pick them up on closing day. Bringing or picking up your camper provides an opportunity to see the camp, meet the Director, the staff, and your camper’s bunk counselors. GUCI does provide pick up service for campers who travel by way of public transportation.
HOW WILL I STAY IN TOUCH WITH MY CHILD?
Campers are encouraged to write home at least twice a week. Parents, in turn, should write frequently. Your letters will keep your child happy and make his/her stay at camp more pleasant. You will be receiving a letter from one of your child’s counselors sometime during the session. Address all mail to your child with their name and cabin number, and send to: Goldman Union Camp Institute, 9349 Moore Road, Zionsville, Indiana 46077. On opening day you will learn your child’s cabin number. We will accept faxes for your camper. Our FAX number is 317-873-3742.n PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR CHILD’S NAME AND CABIN NUMBER ON ALL MAIL AND ALL FAXES. To sign up for one-way email service, please see the Bunk Note section of our website.
CAN PARENTS CALL THE CAMP TO CHECK ON THEIR CHILDREN?
Parents are welcome to call the camp during the summer to find out how their campers are doing. After we receive your call, your camper’s unit head or counselor will promptly return your call.
CAN I VISIT MY CHILD WHILE THEY ARE AT CAMP?
While parents and other family members are welcome and encouraged to bring campers to camp and to pick them up at the end of the session, parents and other visitors are not allowed to come to camp during the camp sessions.
HOW’S THE FOOD?
Almost all meals are served family-style in the dining hall, with bunks eating together at assigned tables. Our menu is kosher style. Breakfast includes a hot item and cereal. Lunch and dinner include a hot entrée, as well as the option to visit the salad bar. Whenever meat is served, a vegetarian option is offered. We make accommodations for campers on special allergy or health-related diets.
HOW DOES THE CANTEEN WORK AND HOW MUCH IS APPROPRIATE TO DEPOSIT IN MY CHILD’S ACCOUNT?
ALL DEPOSITS SHOULD BE MAILED TO THE CAMP OFFICE IN ADVANCE OF THE SESSION IN WHICH YOUR CAMPER IS ENROLLED.
ARE CARE PACKAGES ALLOWED?
All campers like to receive packages from home. These can contain film, books, magazines, clothing – in fact, almost anything except food or candy. Please do not send candy or food. We serve balanced and nourishing meals and snacks, ample for every child’s needs. Absolutely no food is allowed in the cabins. Campers are required to open all packages received in the presence of a staff member so that we can confiscate any food. PLEASE EXPLAIN THIS POLICY TO YOUR CHILD BEFORE CAMP SO THAT HE OR SHE WILL NOT EXPECT A FOOD PACKAGE AND BE DISAPPOINTED
WHAT HAPPENS IF MY CHILD GETS SICK WHILE AT CAMP?
It is our hope that every camper will remain healthy and fully able to participate in all aspects of camp life all session long. Just in case, though, we have a range of systems in place to manage health care issues that may arise. The camp’s well-equipped infirmary is staffed by medical professionals all summer long – usually a doctor and a nurse. In case a real emergency arises we are 10 minuets away from St. Vincent Hospital. All medications are stored in the infirmary, and we supervise the dispensing of medication four times a day. A medical form filled out by the family and family doctor is requited for each camper and kept on file in the infirmary.
WHAT IF MY CHILD’S BIRTHDAY OCCURS DURING CAMP?
Appropriate ceremonies are held to mark birthdays that occur during camp. We try to make it a treat and a happy occasion for all. We ask that parents cooperate by not sending gifts to camp, nor by phoning. A card is appropriate, with the written assurance that a gift is waiting at home.
DOES MY CHILD NEED TO BE IMMUNIZED?
Yes, the Union for Reform Judaism requires that all camp and travel program participants, staff and faculty must be immunized. For more information, read the URJ Policy Statement on Vaccine Status.