How do you keep campers safe?

Safety is our number one concern at CYJ.  When considering the safety of our campers, we typically think about 3 main areas: Security, Health, and Supervision.

Our camp is surrounded by a fence on most sides with a gate with security camera at the entrance. No one is allowed into camp without permission or prior arrangements. All delivery vehicles and employees who regularly travel in and out of camp throughout the day have their own codes, none of which work outside of daytime hours. As a vehicle approaches the gate, they must call the front office and if the person is not on the guest list, they are not allowed into camp.  Additionally, we have armed off-duty police officers from the local precinct to patrol around and throughout camp 24 hours a day while camp is in session.  All of our staff receives exhaustive training in our emergency procedures during pre-summer training and we strive to stay current with industry best practices. Our camp’s emergency communications technology establishes a direct line between staff in their bunks and our head office. With this system, information and instructions can be delivered instantaneously.

All unit heads and lifeguards are trained in basic first aid and CPR before the campers arrive.  Additionally, our health center is fully staffed throughout camp with 2 nurses and 2 medical assistants who live on-site as well as visiting volunteer doctors who rotate in and out. We also have established relationships with local doctors and care centers who can provide us with additional assistance if needed.

Anyone who wants to work at camp must fill out our application, submit 3 references for review, complete an interview with one of our directors, and pass a background check before he or she may work for CYJ. All staff members must be high school graduates in order to apply. Even though most of our camp staff have been campers at CYJ and are already a part of the CYJ community, every applicant must reapply and re-interview each year. At least one week of training is also required before the campers arrive for the summer.  

Counselors are at camp to ensure that the campers have the best experience possible. They are not only expected to bring campers from one activity to the next, they are expected to be active supervisors who are enjoying the programs alongside the campers and showing leadership as they plan and implement programs for the group. Campers are accompanied by staff members at all times, even at night. No camper is allowed around camp or in a cabin without counselors present. Our system of late-night watch duty, called “shmira”, guarantees that there are staff members in every cabin should a camper ever need them after bedtime. Male campers are not allowed inside the female cabins and female campers are not allowed inside the male cabins.  We have very strict policies and extensive training with our staff regarding proper supervision. Every staff member knows that they are never to be one-on-one with a camper.  Camp is meant to be a group experience and a group environment where all campers feel safe and secure.

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