Camp Prep #5: Camper Communication

CYJ Prep - Camp Young Judea Texas

Hi Parents!

In this Camp Prep we review with you all of the ways that you can communicate with your campers during the session.
 
Mail
We are big fans of hand-written letters.  Campers feel so special when they receive letters from friends and family and we love watching them slow down to write to you about their adventures.  To send mail to your camper, please use this address:

Camper Name
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:
  • Wimberley mail is sometimes slow - it may take a day or two longer than you are used to for mail to arrive.
  • Put a letter in the mail before your campers leave home so they have mail waiting for them.  Don't worry that you won't know their bunk number yet - we do!
  • Coach your campers on how to address letters or help them pre-address and pre-stamp some envelopes to get them started.  This is especially important for younger campers.  You would be surprised how many letters we have to redo or add stamps to before they can be mailed.  
  • Campers do not receive mail on Saturdays in observance of Shabbat, so the Saturday mail will be delivered on Sunday.
  • Please remember that the only packages that you can send to campers are for birthdays or forgotten items that we can’t replace at camp.  Please label your package “BIRTHDAY” or “C/O CAMPER CARE TEAM.”  We will open all packages no matter how they are labeled and remove anything not appropriate.

Email
During the summer the CampInTouch system becomes more than just a way to fill out forms.  When you log in to the system, you will be able to:

  • Send email to your campers.  You can purchase “Camp Stamps” in the system and send email letters to your campers.  We will print and distribute these emails to the campers with the regular mail during rest hour after lunch.  If you send your email before 10:00 am, it will be delivered same day.    
  • Receive emails from your campers.  Your campers can write a letter back to you on special barcoded sheets that we scan back 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.  The BEST idea, however, is to print several blank sheets with your campers’ barcode for them to pack so they can write you whenever they want.  Campers put these emails in the regular camp mailbox and we sort them and scan them in the office.

Camper Photos
We are VERY excited about Waldo this summer!  Waldo is a new website and phone app where you will be able to see pictures of your campers in action.  As always, we will load pictures from our bunk staff and our photographer to the website daily.  Anyone will be able to view pictures grouped by aidah (bunk) and download hi-res pictures from the website for free.  Yes, that says FREE.   What is REALLY special about Waldo is the premium service.  If you participate in the paid service, you will load a picture of your child to the Waldo website before camp and, using facial recognition software, Waldo will find your camper and notify you when pictures are posted real time.  Not only will it search the aidah photos, it will search all of the photos, including the special events where we take hundreds of pictures that can't be grouped by bunk.  You can request that up to 5 emails receive notifications when your camper appears in a photo so that grandparents and other friends and family can enjoy stalking your camper, too :-)  It also helps us keep track of who is appearing in pictures and who isn't so we can send our photographer to capture those elusive kids.  We will cover Waldo in more detail in a separate email later this week, but we are really excited about the possibilities!
 
Facebook and Instagram
If you aren’t already, make sure that you are following us on Facebook and Instagram.  Every day we will post the Daily Digest on Facebook that sums up what’s been going on at camp that day.  We will also feature a few aidot each day and give you a better glimpse into their happenings.  We are very lucky to have a full-time photographer and videographer and we look forward to sharing their work with you on Facebook and Instagram. 
 
If you have any questions at all as you get ready for camp, let us know:  info@cyjtexas.org or 713-723-8354.  You can also search our Knowledge Base to learn more about not only communications with your camper, but anything you may be wondering about to get ready for camp.

Next up in the Camp Prep Series:  Homesickness

Camp Prep Series:
#1:  Transportation
#2:  Food at Camp
#3:  Packing
#4:  Meet the Merakzim
#5:  Camper Communication
#6:  Homesickness
#7:  Camper Care & Medical Teams

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