Frequently Asked Questions

General Question

The JCC Camps at Medford is accredited by the American Camping Association (ACA). ACA Accreditation means that the JCC Camps at Medford holds itself to a higher standard and voluntarily undergoes a thorough (up to 300 standards) review of its operation – from staff qualifications and training to emergency management. ACA collaborates with experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Red Cross, and other youth-serving agencies to assure that current practices at the JCC Camps at Medford reflect the most up-to-date, research-based standards in camp operation. Camp and ACA form a partnership that promotes growth and fun in an environment committed to safety.

ACA helps member camps provide:

• Healthy, developmentally appropriate activities and learning experiences

• Discovery through experiential education

• Caring, competent role models

• Service to the community and the environment

• Opportunities for leadership and personal growth

We recommend that you come out for a visit! Join us for a tour at one of our Spring Camp Open Houses. The Medford Summer Swim Club, which is open to all camp families opens the 3rd Saturday in June, so come out for some family fun and take a walk around camp. Knowing what our campsite looks like will definitely make the transition more comfortable. We also recommend that you save the date for our Meet the Counselor Day (for campers 3-9 years) on the Friday or Sunday (2-3:30 PM) before camp. There, you and your new camper will be able to meet their counselors and other campers in the bunk. Camp Aaron campers (10-13 years) can tour the facility and meet the staff on the Sunday date.

Each camper should come to camp wearing sneakers and a bathing suit under their clothes. In their backpacks, they should have a second bathing suit, 2 towels, and underwear.  We recommend putting the underwear (and shorts for boys) in a plastic bag so they stay dry until your child is ready to change into them.  We also ask that you pack your preferred sunscreen in a plastic bag.  Many parents choose to send a snack and drink for the bus ride home. A frozen drink box or small water bottle is great, as it will thaw but remain cool for the ride home.

Many campers like to bring a water bottle. We have water coolers and fountains throughout the entire campsite, though, so it is not required. We strongly discourage packing electronic games, trading cards, other valuable items, and cell phones are not permitted at camp. Please make sure to label all of your child’s belongings.

You are welcome to send in a snack or cupcakes for your child’s birthday. Due to food allergies and dietary restrictions, many families prefer to send in a small toy, sticker, or game for each child in the bunk instead. Please call the camp office and speak with your child’s division head so they can expect the snack and set up a time for your child’s bunk to celebrate. Any snacks sent to camp must be labeled kosher and peanut and nut free.
Don’t wait to see if the issue goes away, please contact the camp office immediately! If we know about the issue, we can address it quickly.
While tipping is certainly not required, we do suggest that tips are an appropriate way to recognize
those staff members who have contributed toward the success of your child’s summer experience. Below is a guide that may be helpful.
  • Senior Counselor: $25 – $40
  • Bus Counselor: $10 – $20
  • Asst. Senior Counselor: $20 – $30
  • Bus Driver: $10 – $15
  • Junior Counselor: $15 – $25
  • Counselor Assistant: $10 – $20
  • LIT: $10 – $15

You may also wish to consider your child’s Swim Instructor and Daycare Staff.

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Health & Food

We have a beautiful, air-conditioned Health Center with registered nurses on site at all times.  Should your child need minor medical attention (cuts, headache, TLC, etc.) our nurses will attend to your child and send home a note letting you know that they visited the Health Center, the reason and the treatment they received. Should your child become sick at camp (fever, vomiting, etc.) we will contact the parents or guardians to pick up your camper. If they are unable to be reached, we will call one of the emergency contacts provided.
Because many of our campers have peanut and tree nut allergies, the JCC Camps at Medford is a peanut and tree nut aware facility. We do not serve peanut butter or any products made with nuts, and we request that families do not send any of these products with their campers for snack on the bus. We also serve a gluten-free option for each of our lunch menu items. Additionally, we accommodate numerous other food allergies and dietary restrictions. Our Health Center works closely with our Kitchen Director to accommodate these needs. If you have any concerns or want to discuss your individual child’s needs, please contact Beth Segal, Camp Director at [email protected].
Our staff is well prepared for rainy days. The specialists, who run daily activities, visit campers at their pavilions and bring the activities to them. With creative crafts, science projects, special games, and indoors sports, it’s always a fun, spirited day for the campers. We typically do not look to take campers off-site when it has not been previously scheduled.

 

On rainy days, rain ponchos are perfect for camp. Rainy mornings can also be cool, so you may want to pack a sweatshirt. Don’t forget to pack the usual swim towels and suits, as a rainy morning does not necessarily mean a rainy afternoon.

 

On very hot days, we work hard to keep the kids cool! We bring additional campers to the lake, splash park, and sledding slope. Our littlest campers have extra water games in the wading pool and time in our air-conditioned Little Builders room. All activities on the sports fields incorporate slip and slides, sprinklers, water balloons, and bucket brigades. Our counselors are trained to take water breaks frequently throughout the day.

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Security & Safety

Safety and security is our number one priority at camp. Therefore, we do not allow parents to come and visit camp outside of scheduled visitation days. We have three visitations days scheduled for our Camp Hilltop (ages 3-6) campers, one for each age group. Those are a great opportunity for you to visit your child and see camp in action.
For safety and supervision reasons, campers cannot bring visitors during the camp day, as all children at Camp must be registered for Camp, must be covered under our insurance and must have signed health forms (with instructions for an emergency). However, the Medford Summer Swim Club is open on weekends to all JCC members and their guests, and that is a great way to show off camp to friends!
In addition to reference checks, the JCC Camps at Medford performs a National Criminal Background Check and National Sex Offender Registry Check on ALL staff over the age of 18.  While this is neither a state nor an ACA requirement, the safety of your child is our primary concern. Any potential staff member who is unwilling to sign the release for the check is not eligible for employment.

The JCC Camps at Medford requires that all camp families sign off on having read our Code of Honor and Behavior Policy prior to the start of camp.

The JCC Camps at Medford Code of Honor is based of four key areas:

Respect, Honesty, Cooperation and Safety

Campers, parents and staff are expected to adhere to these important principles which we believe are the key elements to maintaining a positive, meaningful community at camp.

A full copy of our Behavior Policy can be found in your Camp Portal.

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Transportation

Transportation is included in the cost of camp. The only additional transportation fee is if you choose to utilize our Shore Shuttle.
This information can be found on your child’s bus/bunk card, which will be mailed home the week prior to camp. The card will list the time that your child will be picked up in the morning, the corner where the bus will stop, and the bus number. The afternoon time you estimate based on the time it takes for the bus to run the morning route. The buses depart camp at approximately 4:00 PM.
A trained bus counselor is assigned to each bus to ensure safety and encourage fun. All of our buses have seat belts and are radio equipped. The bus counselor will help your child get buckled if they need assistance. Once the bus arrives at camp, the bus counselor helps the campers off the bus and ensures that everyone has their bags. The bus counselor then escorts the campers to the main trail where many of our leadership staff are waiting to greet them and match them up with counselors who will walk them to their pavilion every day.
If you decide your child may get off the bus and walk home on his/her own, the bus will drop your child off and continue on. If you plan to be at the bus stop every day, give your bus counselor a note letting them know that you will be there every day. Should the bus arrive to drop off your child and you are not there, the bus will continue its route with your child remaining on the bus. The driver will try to loop around again to see if you have arrived, and we will attempt to call you from the camp office. If you are still not at the stop, once the route is completed, your child will be taken to the Katz JCC in Cherry Hill, where he/she will participate in our daycare program. During this time, we will continue to try to reach you or your emergency contacts.
As space on each bus is limited, no camper is permitted to change buses without the approval of the Transportation Director. If space is available on the friend’s bus, your child will be given permission to ride on the specified day, and a written note or email is required for final approval. For attendance purposes, it is important that we know what bus your child is coming and going on. If your child takes a different bus in the morning, we will need to know if he/she plans to take the regular bus home. The regular bus counselor will have your child marked absent for the morning and assume they are not coming home in the afternoon. When you coordinate with our transportation department, we will inform the regular bus counselor to make sure your child is on the bus in the afternoon.
The express bus leaves from the Katz JCC in Cherry Hill and goes directly to camp without stopping. There are several express buses, and they leave at staggered times so we have smaller crowds waiting for the buses. Just write in the JCC express bus stop number, which can be found on the bus stop listing on your camper’s registration form and we will assign them to a JCC express bus. If you want to change from your neighborhood stop to an express bus, you must contact the camp office and submit your request in writing. There is a $30 administration fee for any transportation changes made after May 15th. Because each bus has a limited number of seats, your camper must ride their assigned bus.
If you know in advance that you will be picking up your child early, please send in a note with your child, let the bus counselor know AND email our Transportation Director ([email protected]) or call camp at 609-654-5192 x106. When you arrive at camp, you will be asked to park in the lower lot. For safety reasons, no vehicles are permitted to drive into camp.  The security guard will check you in and direct you to the offices. If we know the time you are arriving, we will do our best to have your child waiting at the office for you. You must sign your child out in the office.
If your child will not be riding the bus in the morning, please call email our Transportation Director ([email protected]) or call camp at 609-654-5192 x106 either the day before or the morning of so we can inform the bus company. The camp office opens at 8:00AM. When you arrive at camp you will be asked to park in the lower lot. The security guard will check you in and direct you to the office. You must sign your child in with our staff. We will call for a counselor to come greet your child and walk him/her to the bunk.
The JCC Camps at Medford offers both extended AM and PM care for a small additional fee. Extended care hours are located at the Katz JCC in Cherry Hill and led by camp staff. Campers who participate in extended hours will have crafts, games, movies, and more to continue the camp day fun, and a snack is served in the afternoon. Campers in our extended care program will take an express bus from the Katz JCC directly to camp and back.
The Shore Shuttle will take your child to and from camp to Shirat Hayam
(formerly known as Beth Judah) at 700 N. Swarthmore Avenue in Ventnor. We have an additional stop in Northfield at Congregation Beth Israel at 2501 Shore Road. You can use the shore shuttle any day or you can choose to use it AM, PM or both. This service is an additional fee. You can access the Shore Shuttle form in your Camp Portal or you may contact the camp office at 856-424-4444 x1238 and request a Shore Shuttle form. Once you have checked off the dates that your child will ride the bus, we will remove them from their neighborhood bus on those specific dates and assign them to the Shore Shuttle. Any changes that you need to make must be made in writing.

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Aquatics

Yes, every camper receives instructional swim each day through our Lenny Krayzelburg Swim Academy.  Campers are grouped by skill level during instructional swim. Each week they focus on specific skills.  Campers will be periodically evaluated to see if they are ready to move up
to the next level. Camp Hilltop campers (ages 3-6) and Camp Shalom campers (ages 3-9) receive a written report from the swim instructor at the end of weeks 2-7 detailing each camper’s progress.
Each of our four pools at camp are designed for the specific age group that swims there, which is important because we want every camper feeling comfortable knowing that they are in a pool that is just their size. The youngest campers swim in a pool that is only 1 to 3 feet deep. Once the campers realize they can stand without water over their head, we can successfully work with them in the shallow end. If we have a camper who is still not ready to go into the water, we work with them on an individual basis with their counselors using games and activities to make them more comfortable around the pool area.  We will contact parents if a camper will not go in for instruction swim, and we work together as a team to help the camper overcome any fear. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our Aquatics Director at [email protected].

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