2021 Health & Safety
Registration and Other Camp Info
If you don’t see your question answered below, please feel free to contact us!
How long are the sessions?
For Summer 2021 we are offering the following options. See our Rates & Dates page for more detailed information:
- 29 day session for campers entering 6th-12th grade in Fall of 2021
- 10 or 14 day sessions for campers entering 3rd-12th grade in Fall of 2021
- One half or full-summer experience at camp for current 10th graders (Avodah) which, in Summer 2021, can be combined with the Newman NFTY in Israel trip
- One half or full-summer experience at camp for current 11th graders (CIT) which, in Summer 2021, can be combined with Newman NFTY in Israel trip
How do I make bunk requests for my child?
Once a camper is registered, parents may submit one request on the Camper Information Form which is located in your CampInTouch account.
You may only request children who are in the same session as your child. We make every effort to ensure that each camper is granted their first request. Please know that the bunk assignments we make are done so in the best interest of all campers.
Is there Insurance available in case our family decides to cancel registration?
INFORMATION – Here is a link to more information about the insurance cost and coverage:
DEADLINE – if you decide to add the insurance, it must be added to your account and paid for before your final tuition payment, or before May 1, whichever is earlier. For many families, final payments are being processed on 4/16 or 4/23.
TO ADD the insurance – Please review the information page, then email email@example.com with your camper’s name and the policy and cost of insurance you wish to add. I will add the insurance, process payment, and send you an account statement.
This insurance is optional, but we wanted to remind you of the deadline in the event that you were thinking of adding it.
Is there financial aid or scholarships available to attend camp?
Yes! First and foremost, please don’t let financial concerns keep you from applying for camp. We understand that for many families, covering the cost of camp can be a challenge, so we are committed to working with you to help find a way for your child to attend. Many Jewish organizations offer scholarships, often called camperships. For detailed information on what resources are available, what is needed to qualify, and who to contact, please visit our Financial Assistance page.
How do you select and train your staff?
At Camp Newman, we take a great deal of pride in hiring only the very best, most competent and energetic people to serve as part of our camp team. Our staff, who are comprised of college, graduate and rabbinical students, as well as professionals in various fields, provide a stable and caring home for campers all summer long. While many have grown up at Camp Newman, others join us from across the country and around the world – all bringing their own special gifts to share.
What is your refund policy?
As we prepare to return to camp this summer, we are committed to open, honest, and ongoing communication with our camper families.
We know that we’re still in the middle of the pandemic and that there may still be challenges related to COVID-19. Therefore, we are updating our current policies to reflect COVID-19-specific cancellations because we know this summer is unique, because we want to be fair, and because we are in this together. As always, the health and safety of our camp community is our top priority at all times, without compromise. And rekindling the love of camp and joyful Judaism is our shared goal and responsibility.
The existing URJ Camps Cancellation Policy states that if there is a cancellation within 45 days of the beginning of camp, no refund will be issued to the camper family. That would include both deposit and tuition. Because of the unusual circumstances we are once again presented with this summer, we are amending that policy for circumstances specifically related to COVID-19.
See the Covid Refund Policy here.
Preparing for camp
How can I best prepare my child for their first camp experience?
New beginnings can often feel both exhilarating and a bit scary. As your child’s first extended time away from home, you want to be sure that you’re sending them to a space that will embrace them and take care of them in the same way that you would. That’s why at Camp Newman we go all out to create a space where first-time campers feel safe to dip their toe into the camp experience – or to jump right in when they’re ready!
Here are some questions you may want to consider as you are deciding if your child is ready for camp:
- Have they been to an overnight at a friend’s house or a slumber party? How did they do?
- Can they perform routine tasks – like brushing their teeth and hair in the morning – on their own?
- Does your child like choosing their own items from a buffet?
- Does your child ever mention the idea of going away to camp?
Start talking about camp with your child – and see what they say! You will know better than anyone when your child is ready for camp.
what should I pack for my child?
To get an idea of what you’ll need, visit our Enrolled Families page for our latest Packing List. Some other items your first-time camper might find fun and useful:
- Clothing or accessories in your camper’s unit color – coming soon!
- Fun socks for “Fun Sock Fridays”
- Silly clothing, such fun hats, costumes, onesies, tutus, you get the idea…
- A deck of cards or other fun games to play with bunkmates.
- Clothing or accessories for Yom Sport (a day of friendly, fun & zany competition from sports like Frisbee and soccer to art & music activities) in red, green, blue and yellow. If you don’t have, don’t worry! We always have extra items and face paint!
The following items are not allowed at camp and if found will be confiscated:
- Candy and outside food
- Electronics such as cell phones, computers, TVs, DVD/Video players. For more info, please read our Electronics Policy in the Camper and Parent Manual on our Enrolled Families page.
- Hotpots, kettles, and other electric appliances
- Candles & matches
- Knives and other weaponry
- Handheld gaming devices, PSPs
Please DO NOT pack items that carry sentimental value to you, your camper or your family since many things inevitably get lost. Items that are best left at home include:
- Expensive clothing
- Items that are considered valuable or sentimental
- Expensive cameras (Cheap or disposable cameras labeled with your child’s first and last name are preferable.)
what should I not send with my child to camp?
Candy and outside food are not allowed at camp, and expensive clothing and items that are valuable or sentimental are all best left at home. Electronics such as cell phones, computers, TVs, DVD/Video players, as well as hotpots, kettles, electric appliances, candles, matches, and knives are all strictly forbidden at camp and will be confiscated. iPods, PSPs, expensive cameras, and all other electronic devices should be left at home as well. Cheap or disposable cameras (labeled with your child’s first and last name) are preferable. For a more complete list, please refer to the Family Guide mailed in the spring, as well as our guidelines regarding Electronics at Camp. View our camp policies on the Enrolled Families page.
will my child need money at camp?
No. Nothing is sold at camp so we strongly discourage bringing money to camp. Camp takes no responsibility for money that is lost or stolen.
will my child need any special equipment from home?
During the course of the session, your child will have many opportunities to learn and develop new skills. In almost all cases, the camp supplies the necessary equipment and supplies to participate. In particular instances where your child is seeking mastery of an activity, he or she may desire their own special equipment; please be selective, and remember that the Camp is not responsible for loss or damage of personal items.
How can I get a camp t-shirt for my child?
The camp fee includes a Camp t-shirt (distributed on the last day of the session), a shirt that your camper will tie dye, and daily snacks. Sundry items such as toothpaste, shampoo, stamps, waterbottles, Frisbees and other items will NOT be available at camp. You can buy Camp Newman merchandise at our online pop-up store in the spring. Follow our eblasts & Facebook page for info!
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.
How does camp accommodate special needs?
We are proud to offer our campers and staff the services of our Nefesh Team. In Hebrew, Nefesh means “soul” and primarily, our Nefesh staff are available to help any campers or staff with any issues of the mind and soul and help all of camp be as inclusive as possible. We always have one Nefesh coordinator, two Nefesh staff members, and two Nefesh faculty members (professionals in mental health fields) on campus.
Camp Newman is an open and inclusive camp. In order to best serve all community members, we work individually with families of campers with any kind of special needs. We ask that if your child has not yet participated in any of our programs, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to speak with a member of our Nefesh Team about whether Camp Newman is the appropriate camp for your child.
While Your Child is at camp
What is a typical day like at camp?
Our campers experience many activity areas either as a whole session or as cabin groups. Our goal is to provide a well-balanced program for each child.
where will my child live?
Our youngest sessions will live in our cabins. Our cabins are your home away from home! Air conditioned, spacious, with plenty of cubby space and hanging room. Our cabins house two bunks – one on each side with a shared bathroom.
Brand New Tents
With a focus on creating communal space with central hang-out points, the Tent Village is a community of large tents which provides a unique space for our teen sessions complete with hammocks, twinkle lights, a fire-pit and more! See our Programs page for where we are planning to have each session live this summer.
how many campers are in each cabin? how many staff?
There will be between 10-14 campers in a cabin with 2-3 staff members and 9-12 campers in a tent with 2-3 staff members.
how are cabin placements made?
Cabin assignments are made on the basis of school grade. We guarantee mutual bunk requests as long as campers are in the same session and unit.
Does camp provide laundry service?
- Laundry service is provided every two weeks ONLY for sessions that are 23 days or longer.
- Laundry service is NOT provided for sessions that are less than 23 days. These campers should pack enough clothing to last the length of their entire session.
- Please send a non-mesh, cotton or nylon laundry bag with your camper, clearly labeled with your camper’s name.
how do you deal with homesickness?
As you pack, discuss anxieties, expectations and hopes together. Discuss the activities that will happen at camp. Watch the video again. The more your child knows about camp, the better they will adjust. Express how proud you are, as a parent, of your child embarking on their camp journey. Never tell your child that they “can come home” or they “can call home” if they are having a difficult time – this will only make it more difficult for them to adjust.
The only “cure” for homesickness is time, coupled with the support of counselors and encouraging letters from home. Our counselors are there to help comfort and encourage your child. They are sensitive, well-trained and, in most cases, were campers once themselves and draw on their own experiences. They also know where to turn for help. Each session, the camp has a faculty of Rabbis, Jewish educators and a team of on-site counselors and mental health professionals (our Nefesh team), as well as senior staff members who are always available to help guide the camper to success.
A good article to read: Help Your Child Combat the Homesick Blues During Sleep-away Camp
When Your Child Is at Camp
Send many positive (and “how proud we are of you”) letters to your child. Have letters waiting for them when they arrive. Say how much you are looking forward to hearing about what they experienced at camp. Discuss the excitement of camp, not what they are missing at home. If they’re not letter writers themselves, send them easy to fill out (“your favorite activity at camp is: _____,” “your new friend’s name is: ____”, etc) self-addressed stamped letters to send you with a report. Address all mail to: Camper’s Name, Camp Newman – Session Name, 4088 Porter Creek Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95404. And don’t forget to include your return address!
What can I do as a parent to make my child’s time at camp more successful?
Please spend time with your camper reviewing basic health and safety guidelines:
- Campers may not share food or drinks
- Discuss coming to pill call to get medications with counselor
- Encourage good hand washing
- Encourage mask wearing
- Wear sunscreen during the day and insect repellant in the evening
- Eat fresh fruits and vegetables daily
- Drink lots of water to prevent constipation and stay hydrate
- Wear closed-toed shoes or sandals with an ankle strap
- Encourage good sleep & nutrition to ensure healthy & happy campers
What if my camper has food allergies?
We are a nut free camp. We’ve had campers with nut, fish, dairy, soy, and gluten allergies, and many other dietary needs. We always offer a vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free option.
We want to make sure every camper has an opportunity to have a safe and healthy dining experience at, therefore do our best to accommodate any allergies, special diets, or picky eaters.
if my child is a picky eater, what kind of menu items does camp offer?
Camp Newman is proud of our kitchen and the food that we serve. Our initial menu was developed through a menu survey. The menus are also available prior to the summer on our website for review by parents and friends. If you have any questions about the food at camp and our ability to provide for a camper’s specific needs, please email email@example.com and we will set up a time to talk more!
will my child get to choose the activities that they want to participate in?
Summer 2021 Activities may look different in the light of COVID-19 precautions
We will still offer opportunites for campers to choose activities that they are interested in!
what if my child's birthday occurs at camp?
We LOVE celebrating camp birthdays! If your child has a birthday that occurs during camp session, we celebrate it. It’s not only a treat for the camper, but a lot of fun for everyone. Ever had a birthday party with 500 friends in attendance? We acknowledge birthdays both on the day, and as a full camp community every Saturday evening. Campers who celebrate their birthday at camp can look forward to a special treat for their cabin, and being honored at a meal with our special camp birthday song – with a few other surprises thrown in.
Please do not send food of any kind for your child’s birthday – we’ve got it covered.
can my family visit during the summer?
For Summer 2021, we will provide clear guidelines for ensuring a safe environment for our campers and staff with regards to Opening and Closing Day. In order to create the safest space, we will not allow visitors during the summer.
can my child leave camp?
Campers cannot leave camp at any time without the permission of the Camp Director. Arrangements are made at the discretion of the Director for special circumstances such as family weddings and bar/bat mitzvahs; however, for Summer 2021, for the health and safety of all, we will not allow campers or staff to leave and return to camp except in the case of medical emergency.
What protocols are in place in case you need to evacuate camp for a fire or other emergency?
Medical & health center
The main mission of the camp Health Center (Mirpa’ah) is to ensure health and safety of the individual campers and the entire camp community while maximizing camper participation. The Mirpa’ah at Camp Newman is open from 8:30 am to 9:30 pm and staffed with a volunteer team of at least 1 physician and at least 3 additional staff, including nurses and medical assistants. If an emergency arises after 9:30 pm, our on-call medical staff is always available.
The Mirpa’ah is a first aid station and triage center. Most minor illnesses or injuries can be handled at camp. In addition, self-serve First Aid Stations will be set up in several strategic locations around Camp. Occasionally, we need to take a child to an outside facility for further consultation. Campers who absolutely need to be taken off camp will be accompanied by two staff members, at least one being a member of the medical team and one other staff member, and their parents are informed. In summer 2021, all campers and staff will be supplied with PPE to wear outside camp and will be tested for COVID-19 in the following days according to our regular testing schedule.
On the first day of camp, all campers attend an orientation regarding general health and safety at camp. Topics include hand washing, no sharing food/drink, daytime sunscreen use, evening and hike insect repellant use, healthy eating, need for sleep and rest, increased fluid requirements while participating in activities. This summer, COVID-19 precautions will be included in the general health and safety information.
Why do you require updated online forms each year? What does camp do with these forms?
These online forms give us current information on your child. The Mirpa’ah is staffed by medical volunteers and often the only history available on your child is what you provide yearly. These forms also give permission to take your child to a hospital or an outside appointment in the unlikely event it is needed while your child is at camp. We also need your consent to treat your child, to administer medications daily or as-needed; or to assess and treat your child in the Mirpa’ah.
Due to limited storage at Camp, no paper forms will be accepted. Parents are responsible for uploading all camper forms by the deadline.
My child has special conditions, allergies, or needs.
Please include all instructions with your child’s online medical forms and, if applicable, with their medications. We can accommodate most issues, both dietary and medical. Comprehensive information is vital so that we can properly take care of your child. If your child has a condition requiring special assistance or accommodations, please contact camp directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) and one of our staff members will be in touch with you.
What about over the counter (OTC) medications?
We stock Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen in liquid, chewable and pill form. We also stock allergy, cold and cough, and digestive medications. Please do not send these OTC medications for occasional or as-needed use by your camper. Any OTC medications sent with campers for occasional or as-needed use will become part of camp’s Mirpa’ah stock and will not be sent home.
However, if your child takes OTC medications (such as the ones listed above or for example, Allegra for allergies) on a daily basis, please send enough to cover the days of your camper’s session. All medications taken on a daily basis must be in the original packaging and clearly labeled with your camper’s name, session, dosage, and time of day it is taken. Please make sure to note these medications on your camper’s health form. Again, we cannot accept daily vitamins or homeopathic remedies.
What happens to the medications I send with my child?
All medications are collected and delivered to the medical staff, who logs in the medication by camper name and session. Medications are then put into a labeled container for each camper by session, and distributed to campers at breakfast and dinner only. Any unused medication will be returned when the camper’s session ends, with the exception of as-needed OTC medications as described above.
My child has specific allergies and/or adverse drug reactions.
This should be noted on your child’s medical forms. These conditions are logged into our confidential medical files and referred to prior to any treatment of your child.
What if my child has a fever?
If your child has a temperature above 100.5, an overnight stay in our Mirpa’ah is required. You will be notified within 24 hours of your camper’s Mirpa’ah stay if this happens. If the temperature is less than 100.4, a child may be just overheated, and only needs a short rest and some water. They will be observed for a short period and reevaluated. If campers stay in the Mirpa’ah for fatigue (called R&R-rest and relaxation), parents are not routinely called.
What if my child has lice?
Please check your camper for lice prior to coming to camp. If you find that they have lice, please treat the lice before your camper’s arrival. Please make sure that all eggs are removed and that all clothes and hair supplies are cleaned.
All campers are checked for lice upon arrival to Camp. Each opening day, we hire a few lice-removal professionals to help with checking campers. If your child is found with lice, they will immediately be discreetly treated by one of these professionals, under the supervision of our Mirpa’ah staff. This allows for our campers to join their session as quickly as possible and removes stigma from the process. It may be necessary to isolate your child for a brief period of 1-2 hours (while accompanied by staff). Please note: We have professionals on site as a fail-safe to ensure that our camp is lice-free. This should not be used in lieu of checking and treating your child for lice prior to camp. The lice removal process takes a few hours and is not the way they (or we!) want to spend their first few hours at camp.
If a child is found with lice after opening day, their entire cabin will be checked and treatment will be given as needed. Treatment for lice WILL be passed on to camper parents at a cost of $75-150 per treatment.
What if my child has an illness or injury that requires an off-site visit?
If your child needs to have more advanced medical care, X-rays or lab testing, an orthodontic visit, etc., a medical team member will be assigned to accompany your child for the off-site visit, and remain with them for the entire time your child is offsite. We will make every effort to contact you prior to your child leaving camp. If an outside service is necessary for treatment, cost will be the responsibility of the camper’s and/or family’s insurance.
Due to COVID-19, we will outfit your camper and the two staff who take them off camp in N95 masks and will proceed with extra testing upon their arrival back at camp (a PCR test 3 days and 6 days post-off camp appointment).
Camp Newman requires more complete vaccinations than my child’s school. Are they really needed?
Camp Newman, and all 15 of our URJ camps, abides by the CDC recommended immunization schedule and the American Academy of Pediatrics. A link to the CDC schedule can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/downloads/child/0-18yrs-child-combined-schedule.pdf.
With campers and staff sleeping in close quarters, as well as a constant flow of campers and staff from all over the world, there is an increased risk of communicable diseases and specific conditions, such as meningococcal meningitis and hepatitis A. We take this policy very seriously for the protection of our entire camp community. The camp volunteer medical staff starts reviewing medical forms mid-May.
If your camper’s immunization status is incomplete based upon the CDC schedule (linked above), you may get a phone call a week or less prior to your camper’s arrival requiring your camper to receive additional vaccines. It is your responsibility to adhere to this policy and ensure your camper’s vaccines are up to date. If they are not, you will be required to get your child’s missing vaccine(s) prior to their arrival to camp.
My child takes prescription medication. How do I send it to camp?
Nearly half of our campers take some sort of daily medication. For summer 2021, we are requesting only FDA-approved medication to treat asthma, allergies, seizures, and mental health conditions be sent. No vitamins or homeopathic medication will be accepted. According to the California Nurse Practice Act, all medications taken on a daily basis must be in the original packaging/bottle and clearly labeled with camper name, session, dosage, and time of day it is taken. Do not send loose medications in baggies or other receptacles other than the original medication packaging.
Medications are given at breakfast and dinner only. Any other arrangements need to be made in advance. All labeled medications must remain in original containers, be placed in a clear zip-lock bag with camper name and session, and be given to the Airport arrival team or at camp in-person check-in.
How is the medication given to my child?
Medications are given with breakfast and dinner. Prior to the end of each meal, an announcement is made for “Pill Call.” Campers taking medication lineup and our medical staff distributes the medications to each camper. A detailed log of campers and medications is initialed by the medical staff as the medication is given.
Before the campers are released from the dining hall, the medical staff compiles a list of campers who have not received their medication and those campers are called, by name, to come get their medication. If your camper is unable to remember to take meds consistently, we work with the counselor to make sure the camper gets their medications.
What if my child needs a refill of their medications?
Refills for meds may be filled by parents and sent directly to the Mirpa’ah. In an emergency situation this summer, refill requests can be called into a Camp-approved pharmacy for pick up by our Mirpa’ah staff. We will ask families to try to avoid this situation so we can continue to limit the times our staff need to leave camp in summer ‘21 due to COVID-19. Parents are responsible for the cost of these medications.
What happens at camp when my child doesn’t feel well?
The first contact is with the child’s counselor, who is trained to evaluate the need for a visit to the Mirpa’ah. If a counselor determines that a camper needs to see a nurse or doctor, the counselor brings the camper to the Mirpa’ah, and a history and examination occur just like at a regular healthcare provider office visit. Prior to any treatment, the health provider reviews the camper health history and special needs. Counselors are involved in the plan of care to ensure that all medical instructions are followed. Campers are always encouraged to return if a condition worsens or doesn’t resolve.
What about a child with an illness requiring antibiotics, like strep throat or conjunctivitis (pink eye)?
If a child presents with an illness requiring antibiotics, the camper may be kept isolated for a minimum of 24 hours. We have several rooms set up for overnight stays, and our staff makes sure to keep them comfortable and fed. Parents are contacted if the camper needs to spend the night in the Mirpa’ah and if prescription medications are ordered. The child’s insurance will be used to pay for prescriptions and camp will cover the deductible.
What if my camper gets a tick bite?
During camper orientation, all campers and counselors are instructed to wear insect repellent, long-sleeved clothing during hikes, and check for ticks during pool and/or shower time. If a camper has a tick that is embedded into the skin, the tick is removed by Mirpa’ah staff and parents will be notified. Parents can determine if they want the tick sent home with their camper and should contact their local health department regarding options for tick testing. If the test is positive for Lyme disease, parents can request treatment started based upon current CDC recommendations.
When does camp call parents?
Parents are routinely called only for the following circumstances:
**For clarification on medications or health conditions
**If a camper must spend the night in the Mirpa’ah.
**If a camper must be taken out of camp for higher level of care, this includes x-rays, stitches, dental care, urgent care, etc.
**If a camper requires additional prescription medication (antibiotics for infection/steroids for poison oak).
**If a camper has repeated visits to the Mirpa’ah.
How can I keep in contact with my camper?
There are a few ways to keep in touch with your camper – you can find more detailed information in the Parent Manual:
1) Send a letter and be sure to pack pens, paper a pre-addressed envelope and stamps with your camper
2) Send a One-Way E-Letter through the CampInTouch System
3) View photos on CampInTouch uploaded several times a week
4) Check our blog and social media for updates
5) Phone Call Policy: While campers cannot use the phone or receive calls, if you have any questions or concerns about your child, feel free to call 415-392-7080 to speak with your child’s rosh eidah (unit head), who will return your message within 24 hours. From Friday to Saturday evening, during Shabbat, our office is closed. Please leave a message!
can I send care packages?
We have a “no package” policy but of course will accept mail to campers in Standard #10 buisness envelopes or Standard greeting card or large flat envelopes (for magazines, thin books, etc.)
We made the decision to implement this policy for several reasons:
- Kehillah – Community. Some of our campers receive many packages while some receive none at all. The reasons why vary, but it still creates a sense of competition and “haves and have-nots.” Camp should be a community where each camper feels they are valued and treated equally. Other Jewish overnight camps that have instituted similar no-package policies report that this change lifted the burden from parents, campers, and camp staff, and it has had a tremendously positive impact on the camp community.
- Food/Candy/Gum. This is not only a health concern due to food allergies, it is also a safety concern as we know food draws bugs and critters into cabins. Campers receive balanced meals with many options, as well as snacks each day (and don’t forget the candy or soda they can choose occasionally!) Sending these items to camp and hiding them in packages teaches our campers the rules do not apply to them or their parents. Food, candy and other inappropriate items will be confiscated, disappointing the camper.
- Sustainable Environment. We have discovered that most of the waste, litter, and rubbish generated in our cabins comes from the contents and shipping materials of care packages. Many parents have told us it is expensive and burdensome to fill and mail packages with toys their campers would not typically use at home, yet they feel pressured to do so during camp. We would like to better model sustainable living by not consuming as much in such a wasteful way.
Of course, we understand that sometimes sending items to camp will be necessary and we will make accomodations for forgotten essential items or lost/broken essentials. More information is available in the Parent Manual.
how can I stay up-to-date with what's going on at Camp Newman over the summer?
There are tons of ways to stay updated with Camp Newman during summer camp – and all year long!
We update Facebook multiple times a day with photos, videos and other updates about the day to day goings on at camp. Click here to ‘like’ us on Facebook!
Want pictures instead of words? We got you covered! Check out our Instagram for photos on all the special little moments and times at camp. Click here to follow us on Instagram!
Summer Central Blog
Our blog is chock full of wonderful articles, stories and features all about camp written by our staff, campers, camper families and faculty. For spotlights on specific sessions, important features, and a weekly summary of camp happenings, read the blog! Click here to check out our blog now.