Camp Prep #3: Camper Communication
Welcome back to the WimberLead, your weekly news source for camp preparation. This week’s topic: Camper Communication!
This week, we’ll cover the various methods of communication to stay in touch with your campers during the summer. As the Beatles once sang, “I’ll write home every day, and I’ll send all my loving to you.” We have no doubts your children will send their love but every day seems pretty ambitious! Here’s how you can get in touch with your campers and how you can expect to hear from them when they aren’t busy having fun in camp!
Campanion App and Camp Photos
The Campanion app puts your CampInTouch account into the palm of your hand. You can send and receive emails with your camper, see blog posts, sort through photos, and more. We think this is a great tool for you to connect with your camper. In fact, we feel so strongly about it, that CYJ will cover the cost of this service which employs facial recognition software.
We know you love to see your child’s face, and we are making it easier than ever! Campanion is a website/mobile app where you can see pictures of your campers in action, taken daily by our madrichim (counselors) and photographers. Photos are sorted by Aidah (age group) and available for free download. For the software to work, you upload a picture of your child to the app before camp, and it will find your child the moment camp photos are uploaded. Additionally, you will get notified when pictures of your camper(s) are posted. On top of that, you can request up to 5 email addresses to receive notifications, so Bubbe and Zaide can also kvell.
Click here to learn more about our Campanion app and download it from the Apple or Google Play store. We strongly encourage all families to download and use this app. Most of our camp communications throughout the summer will be through Campanion. We will upload photos and Microposts for each aidah so you can get instant access to what’s going on at camp on a day-to-day basis.
Whereas adults may wonder what the “E” in “Email” means, your kids are more likely to ask about the “mail”! Call us old school, but we remain big fans of handwritten letters. Your campers love getting letters from loved ones and we love watching them slow down to write about all of their camp adventures and friends. Mail should be addressed as follows:
Cabin Number (you will find this out on Opening Day)
Camp Young Judaea Texas
121 Camp Young Judaea Dr Woodcreek, TX 78676
A few mail hints:
- Woodcreek/Wimberley mail can be slow (except for the WimberLead) - it may take a day or two longer than expected. (Good thing most kids don’t know how long a letter should take!)
- If you mail a letter before camp begins, your kids will be thrilled to receive it when they arrive. For this first round, don't worry about their bunk number – we’ll take care of it!!
- Coach your children on how to address letters and help them pre-address and pre-stamp envelopes for the people they want to write. This is especially important for younger campers. We’ll be sure to fix any mistakes or add missing stamps, although this may delay you getting your much-anticipated letters! Parent Tip: Send a sheet of labels with pre-printed addresses for easily addressed envelopes. This makes it easier for your child to send letters to friends and family.
- Our weather trackers don’t predict any sleet or snow this summer, but we do forecast a day of rest every Saturday. Due to Shabbat, Saturday mail will be delivered on Sunday.
REMINDER: with the exception of birthdays or forgotten items that we cannot provide, PACKAGES ARE PROHIBITED. Please label those packages “BIRTHDAY” or “C/O CAMPER CARE TEAM.” All packages will be opened before delivery and inappropriate items removed.
You can log in to the CampInTouch system or Campanion app to:
- Send an email to your campers. By purchasing “Camp Stamps”, you can email letters which we print and distribute to the campers with the regular mail. Emails sent after 10:00 AM will be delivered the following day.
- Receive emails from your campers. If you request it, your campers will write back to you on special barcoded sheets that we send to your CampInTouch inbox. When you send an email, you can “Request a Reply,” and we will deliver a blank sheet for them to write you back. Keep in mind that your camper may not reply immediately. Parent pro tip: Print 5-10 blank sheets before the summer with your camper’s barcode for them to take to camp (there is no charge until they actually use one of these “emails”).
Facebook and Instagram
If you aren’t already, make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Through our Daily Dashboard on Facebook, you can read more about our daily camp activities, what meals are being served, and a highlight of the day from a camper or aidah. On both Facebook and Instagram, we will share high-quality pictures and videos and love seeing them shared on other pages and networks (hint hint!) If you have any questions, no need to use the postal service. You can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 713-723-8354. Finally, our Knowledge Base is always available, can answer most questions, and has a searchable function to make things easier for you.
Next up in the Camp Prep Series: Homesickness
Click on the links below to read previous Camp Prep emails: