Health, Wellness, & Safety
Safety and Security
The safety and welfare of our campers, staff, and visitors is our number one priority. We collaborate with JFC Security, LLC for all security-related matters. Our grounds are protected by armed, off-duty police officers 24 hours a day. Only approved visitors are granted access to the camp.
All staff participate in an intensive week-long training program and are certified in First Aid, CPR, and security response protocols. Our pool and lake staff are American Red Cross certified lifeguards and our program specialists are trained and certified in their program areas as applicable.
Health and Safety
Camp Wise is proud of our state-of-the-art Health Center equipped with exam rooms, a “walk-through” space for efficient medication distribution, and isolated rest and recovery areas for campers who are feeling under the weather. The Health Center is staffed 24/7 with nurses. A Health Center Manager keeps a log of all visits to the center and ensures that parents are kept in the loop about their camper’s care. Volunteer doctors are on-call, and visit camp 2-3 times each week for campers who require additional medical attention.
Camp Wise is located just around the corner from University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center and Emergency Room. Our medical team has partnered with local Dentists, Ophthalmologists, and Orthodontists should a camper need a special appointment.
Our "Brit" - Our shared agreement to care for one another's well-being
Each camper and staff member who chooses to participate in an amazing summer at Camp Wise also makes a commitment to care for one another’s well-being at camp. This commitment represents the acceptance of and willingness to practice all of camp’s policies and safety measures. Our shared agreement to care for one another includes coming to camp healthy and ready for fun! If you are not feeling well or have a fever before opening day of camp, please be sure you are 100% healthy and at least 24 hours fever free before coming to camp. We will welcome you warmly even if it is a few days late.
Camp Vaccination policy
The health and safety of our entire Camp Wise community is our highest priority. In accordance with the Jewish value of pikuach nefesh (saving a life), we have taken several measures to create a safe and healthy environment that mitigates the likelihood of infection and spread of communicable illnesses. We follow guidance from the Camp Wise medical committee as well as national and local health authorities in making health policies for camp.
Camp Wise requires all campers and staff members to be up-to-date on the same set of vaccines required by the Ohio Department of Education for school attendance. In addition, Camp Wise recommends that all campers and staff have had the recent year’s the Flu Vaccine as well as the most recent version of the COVID-19 Vaccine.
Any camper unable to meet the vaccination requirements will not be permitted to begin their camp session and will forfeit their camp tuition.
Information about COVID-19 is constantly changing and evolving. The Camp Wise team is using best practices for summer camps published by the CDC, American Camp Association, and Ohio Department of Health, as well as medical professionals on the local and national level, in order to establish a set of operations at the highest standard.
Emotional and Social Care
It Takes a Village!
At Camp Wise, we understand that children are at varying developmental stages and have different needs while at camp. With that in mind, campers live in a cabin with other campers in their school grade. Cabins all have three or four staff members (at least two counselors plus specialists) to maintain below a 1:4 ratio and allowing staff to build meaningful relationships with campers. For more information please see our Life at Camp page.
Each and Every Child
We ask you and your camper(s) to provide us with a lot of information prior to camp. This includes two confidential camper questionnaires, one completed by the camper and one by a parent. We use this information—coming from multiple perspectives–to prepare your child’s counselors to best care for your camper as an individual. Special attention is paid to behavior management tips, camper’s adjustment to overnight camp, social history, and the camper’s hopes for the summer. We never share private family information, camper’s medical needs, or mental health diagnoses without consent from parents.
Daily Touch-Base Meetings
Villages are supervised by experienced staff over age 21 who each mentor four to five cabin counselor teams on how to best care for the campers in their cabins.
Each day village supervisors meet with the Director, the Camper Care Manager, the Camper Care team of social workers, and our Health Center Manager to discuss each camper’s health and wellness, cabin dynamics, socialization and work through any concerns. This way our professional staff can help provide strategies for success within a thriving cabin dynamic. Our staff have a direct channel to voice any concerns, be on the same page about health issues, and keep our camper program running cohesively.
Camper Success Plans (CSPs)
Inspired by the use of Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) in schools and Positive Behavior Interventions, this new tool is specifically designed for campers who may need additional support during the summer. Camp Wise staff, including the Camper Care Manager and Social Workers, collaborate with parents and campers prior to the summer to write a plan for camper success. Campers who use the CSPS will also meet with a Camper Care Specialist as needed to scaffold their ultimate success throughout the summer.
Camp Wise utilizes sociograms that allow counselors to visually map cabin dynamics and friendships. This tool identifies friendship groups and provides the staff data to help nurture camper growth and provide engaging activities to best support the development of the cabin group. Sociograms are completed by your child’s cabin counselor team early in the session, and revisited frequently. Sociograms allow our village supervisors to monitor the growth and changing dynamics of cabins over the course of a session in order to best mentor cabin staff on how to support their campers.