How long are your sessions?
- We offer two different sessions for kids entering 2nd-10th grade.
- We also offer mini sessions for first time campers who will be entering 2nd-5th grade.
- We can accommodate more than 700 campers over the course of the summer with two different major sessions. With nearly 350 campers per session and around 150 staff there could be 500 people at camp at any given time!
- Over half of our campers are from cities in Ohio such as Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Akron, and Toledo. We have campers who come from all over the country and all over the world, including Israel!
- All staff have an interview, submit references (which we check), and must pass a background check. During the interview process we are looking for caring, energetic, skilled, compassionate individuals who are committed to providing the best possible experience for our campers.
- Over 75% of our staff return each year and many are former campers. We also recruit international staff through agencies such as Israel’s Schlichim program, Jewish Camps USA, Camp America and CampCounselors USA. Meet our current staff HERE.
- All staff participate in a full week of intensive training that focuses on stages of development, Jewish Life and Identity, helping campers with interpersonal skills, welcoming new campers into the community, and managing homesickness.
- During training, all staff receive certification in American Cross CPR and First Aid.
- Our supervisory staff are all 21 or older, and have an additional week of training in management and leadership skills.
- Our staff to camper ratio is approximately 1:4.
- Camp Wise is located on 325 wooded acres in Geauga County (about 45 minutes east of Metro Cleveland).
- We have a private lake, zero entry pool, high and low ropes course and climbing tower, art shack, podcasting studio, and multiple sports facilities including a covered gym.
- Set back in our woods is a beautiful outdoor chapel for Shabbat services.
- Our Chadar Ochel (dining hall) is our central camp space. Our kosher kitchen serves hot meals to our entire camp community three times a day. It is an amazing experience to be in the dining hall during any camp meal! The ruach (spirit) of camp permeates the entire building!
- Campers live in villages of eight to ten cabins, by age group.
What Happens if My Child Gets Sick at Camp?
- Our Health Center includes two exam rooms, a medicine storage and distribution room, and an administrative workspace. The Health Center allows us to keep all campers healthy and safe while at camp.
- The Health Center has living space for three nurses and recovery and isolation rooms for sick campers. This ensures that a nurse is never far away!
- We have an on-call doctor at all times, who visits camp three times a week for clinical visits.
- Camp Wise is less than five minutes from University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center Emergency Room, should a trip to the hospital be necessary.
How is Camper’s Personal Hygiene Handled?
- Campers are scheduled to shower at specific times each day, and counselors provide supervision to see that this is done. Tooth-brushing and other self-care are folded into the daily routine by our counselors.
- Laundry is done by a professional service twice during Session I and twice during Session II.
- During our cabin clean-up period, counselors actively engage with campers to make sure dirty clothes go into laundry bags, sheets are changed on a weekly basis, and personal belongings are kept in order.
Is Camp Wise Kosher?
- YES! Camp Wise operates a kosher facility. Our kitchen and all foods and snacks served are kosher.
Is Camp Wise a Nut-Free Facility?
- YES! We are a nut-aware facility. We do not serve any food or snacks processed in a facility that also processes peanuts.
What are Meals Like?
- Meals are enjoyed family-style, by cabin. At each table there are three to four staff members who make sure kids are getting enough to eat and are eating balanced meals.
- Breakfast: A hot option like eggs or pancakes along with cereal, milk, juice, fresh fruit, yogurt, and oatmeal.
- Lunch: An entree like grilled cheese, deli sandwiches, or pizza, along with a side of vegetables and/or a starch, and dessert.
- Dinner: An entree like baked chicken or lasagna along with vegetables and/or a starch, and a sweet dessert.
- At lunch and dinner we offer a salad bar with a variety of vegetables and protein options.
How Does Camp Wise Handle Allergies and Dietary Restrictions?
- We accommodate many different diet needs including vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and fructose-free.
Please contact the camp office to discuss your child’s particular needs.
How Do I Contact Camp?
- You can reach us 216-593-6250 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How Do I Communicate With My Camper?
- Campers love to receive letters from home. Write often, and be newsy! Mail is delivered after lunch every day but Saturday.
- You can send emails to your campers through your CampInTouch account.
- You can send your child something special in a flat envelope. Cards, puzzle books, and small group games are good things to send. We do not allow food or gum in these packages. If you chose to send it, it will be confiscated.
How Will My Camper Communicate With Me?
- On the first night of camp, your camper will fill out a quick postcard to let you know their cabin and counselors.
- All campers are required to write home twice a week. They are also encouraged to write to family and friends outside of camp on a regular basis.
How Will Camp Wise Communicate With Me?
- Photos will be posted in CampIn Touch daily.
- The director will post a weekly blog update each Friday.
- Evening programs will be tweeted daily.
- All-cabin messages are videos posted on Facebook.
- If we need to contact you about an issue with your specific camper, we will call you directly at the number listed in your CampIn Touch account.
What if My Child is Homesick?
- For kids of all ages camp is usually a great experience, but days are long, and sometimes nothing sounds better than your bed back at home. Homesickness is healthy and normal to some degree, and our counselors are trained to talk with kids openly and help them work through their feelings. When a camper is told by a parent, “If you don’t like it I’ll come get you,” that camper is likely to have a much more difficult transition. You and your child will be much better prepared with honest words of encouragement and support.
- Campers learn a variety of skills at camp.
- Living in a cabin group helps to nurture social and interpersonal skills.
- They learn personal responsibility for their actions and their personal belongings.
- They will develop a sense of independence.
- They will improve their problem-solving skills.
- They will learn through experiential education in every camp activity.
- As campers enter our older villages they are given more freedoms and responsibilities.
What If My Camper Has a Birthday During Camp?
- Birthdays are special times at camp. We provide a birthday cake, counselors create a special celebration, and the entire camp sings to the birthday camper! You can send a birthday package for your camper that does not include any food items. We do allow campers to speak to their parents on their birthday. Those arrangements should be made ahead of time through the camp office.
How Does Camp Wise Create a Sense of Community?
- Staff work hard to make every camper feel welcome. Everything we do is with the thought and intention to build a strong feeling of belonging and community.
- We build community on multiple levels.
- First comes the cabin community where staff create both datime and bedtime rituals.
- Outside the cabin, campers feel a part of a “village.” Cabins are grouped in clusters by age. Each village is centered around a gathering area where cabins can sit at picnic tables, play gaga, gather before meals, and share a cookout.
- Counselors create fun and engaging evening programs for their village.
- All meals are communal, with singing, cheering, and often, funny skits.
- Shabbat is shared by the whole community. With a special walk from village to village to gather campers together to head to the chapel, a special dinner, lots of singing and dancing, and a beautiful Havdalah service at the end of Shabbat, each piece of this special time promotes community on many different levels.