Parent Info

Dear Parents:

Thank you for signing your children up for our wonderful camp. In this section you will find answers to frequently asked questions about our program and preparing your child for camp. The content has been divided up into the following sections for ease:

  • Enrollment questions

  • Housing questions

  • Staffing and supervision questions

  • Medical questions

  • Dietary Questions

  • Programming questions

  • Packing questions

  • Transportation questions

  • Summer photo questions

If you do not see what you are looking for here, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 604-263-1200.

ENROLLMENT QUESTIONS

Who owns Camp Hatikvah?
Camp Hatikvah is owned by the Camp Hatikvah Foundation, a non-profit registered charitable organization in Canada.

How quickly does Camp Hatikvah fill up?
Camp Hatikvah is a popular place and many units will be full on the day registration opens. However, we encourage you to call the camp office at 604-263-1200 at any point during the year to enquire about space.

Where do your campers come from?
While the bulk of our participants are from the Greater Vancouver area, close to 30% come from cities such as Calgary, Los Angeles, Toronto, Seattle, New York, Edmonton, Tel-Aviv, and Mexico City.

HOUSING QUESTIONS

What are your cabins like?
Campers in our Giborim, Chalutizm and Gesher units live in large cabins that house between 14 to 16 campers. These cabins, all built over the past 15 years, include toilet and sink facilities. Shower facilities are just a short walk away.

Campers in our Kochot & SIT units live in small cabins that house between 4 to 6 campers. Washroom & shower facilities are just a short walk away.

How are your cabin groupings made?
Each year we happily collect cabin-mate requests by asking you to submit the names of five children that your child would enjoy being grouped in a cabin with. We will then do our utmost to ensure that your child gets to be in a cabin with at least one of those five people. Beyond that, campers should expect to be in a cabin with friends old and new. Please encourage your children to be open and excited about the opportunity to build new friendships; after all that is a huge part of what camp is all about.

STAFFING & SUPERVISION QUESTIONS

How many counsellors does Camp Hatikvah have during the summer and how are they selected?
The counsellors at Camp Hatikvah are comprised of approximately 80 Jewish youth from across Canada, the United States and Israel. Most were campers with us or in our Young Judaea sister camps across Canada and all have a rich love for Jewish Camping.

Each counsellor was selected based on their compassion, intelligence and leadership ability, and while they come to us with an array of exceptional skills, we train each one on issues of child-care, programming, sensitivity and first-aid every year.

How many counsellors will be in my child’s cabin with them?
Campers in our Giborim, Chalutzim and Gesher units will live in a cabin with three counsellors. Campers in our Kochot and SIT units are given a little more independence and do not live with their counsellors. Instead, each cabin is assigned a tent “mom” or “dad” who supports and supervises them by checking in with them regularly.

MEDICAL QUESTIONS

What kind of medical services are available to the campers?
We have a very well equipped infirmary on site that is staffed by professional RNs and a series of doctors who volunteer their time throughout the summer. Our medical team is there to promote good hygiene and health in our participants and to deal with any medical issues that arise during camp.

My child needs to take daily medication, can you accommodate this?
Many of our campers come to us with medical routines including medication regiments. We can happily and safely accommodate these campers.

In order to ensure the safety of all our campers, all all prescriptions, over the counter medications and vitamins sent to camp must be stored in the infirmary. If your child takes daily medication, please ask your pharmacist to prepare these meds in “7 day card” bubble packaging. Any non-daily medications as well as creams, inhalers etc. can be sent up to camp in their original packaging with your child’s name labelled clearly on it.

What happens if my child does not feel well while at camp?
When a child is not feeling well, he or she will be seen by the RN and, if necessary, administered over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol, Advil, cough medicines or mild Laxatives (if you have a concern about the nurse administering over-the-counter medication to your child, please inform our Vancouver office in advance at 604-263-1200). If a child requires further medical attention, they will be seen by the Doctor. Parents will not be contacted when their child is seen by the doctor unless the child is prescribed medication.

Please note: Canadian residents will have their MSP plan billed every time they see a Doctor. U.S. and International residents will have their credit card billed when they see a Doctor and we will send you documentation so you can claim it under your insurance plan.

DIETARY QUESTIONS

What is the food like at Camp Hatikvah?
As far as camp food goes, Camp Hatikvah is a great place to eat. Meals are planned with great care to ensure that campers are receiving the essential nutrients required for them to function and flourish at camp. Most of the meals are ‘kid friendly’ meaning that we select our meal choices based on what kids like to eat. If a child does not like the meal being served, they are offered alternatives such as cheese sandwiches, salads, hard-boiled eggs and veggies.

Is Camp Hatikvah a Kosher camp?
Camp Hatikvah is thrilled to offer kosher-style food. All meat is certified Glatt Kosher.

Can you accommodate special dietary requirements?
Camp Hatikvah is pleased to be able to offer vegan, vegetarian and celiac options to our campers.

PROGRAMMING QUESTIONS

What is the weather like at Camp Hatikvah?
Camp Hatikvah is in one of the most beautiful regions of the country, the Okanagan valley. Temperatures on an average summer day range from 28 to 35 degrees Celsius (80-100 Fahrenheit) and the sun is almost always shining!

What is a typical day at Camp Hatikvah?
Campers attend 6 one-hour periods throughout the day. About half of these periods are spent at the waterfront where campers learn to swim, ski, sail, canoe and kayak. The other half of the day is spent on land where campers participate in sports, drama, crafts and Jewish programming.

Will my child get to waterski or wakeboard every day?
No. Campers should expect to get an opportunity to ski once every four days.

Do you offer structured programming where campers can earn levels?
No. Camp Hatikvah takes a recreational approach to its programming where the focus is on building confidence and relationships. While skill enhancement is supported, we do not offer structured development in programming. The only exception to this is our Red Cross swimming lessons which are offered to all of our campers.

How are Jewish themes woven into the daily schedule at Camp Hatikvah?
Many of our evening programs involve some level of informal Jewish or Zionist learning. Additionally, campers engage in special Jewish programs such as Shabbat, Israel hours and guest speakers.

COMMUNICATION QUESTIONS

How do I communicate with my child while they are at camp?
Families are welcome to send as many emails to their children as they would like via our email portal. Email credits are available for purchase at a rate of $1 per email. Emails are distributed to campers after lunch Monday to Friday.

We also encourage families to send mail to their children via Canada Post. Our mailing address is not listed on our website for security reasons but we will send it out to you before your child’s arrival at camp.

How will my child communicate with me while they are at camp?
Campers will be required to send their outgoing mail via Canada Post only (ie: they will not be offered outgoing email service). Exceptions to this rule will be made for campers from outside B.C. & Alberta or campers whose parents are traveling outside B.C & Alberta. In these cases, campers will be allowed to send TWO emails per week to their parents. These emails will be sent every Tuesday & Thursday.

Will my child be required to write me?
Receiving letters from you is a very important part of your child’s camp experience and we encourage you to write your child regularly. The amount a child chooses to write home to you, however, is left entirely up to them. Some children write home daily while others choose not to write home very often or at all. We recognize that not hearing from your child can be very difficult but we hope that you will come to appreciate that letting your child dictate if and when they communicate with you is all a part of the important growth experience they are having while with us.

Under what circumstances will you contact me while my child is at camp?
We know sending your child away to camp can be scary. Please know, however, that we view you as our partners in your child’s care and we will absolutely contact you in the following circumstances:

  • If your child is experiencing significant medical/dental situations you will be contacted by the Camp Nurse or Doctor, and/or Director.
  • If your child is being placed on prescription medication by a Physician you will be contacted by our Camp Nurse or Doctor.
  • If your child is experiencing significant social or behavioral concerns, (including serious homesickness) you will be contacted by the Camp Director.

How do I reach the camp during the summer? 
We have an established communication protocol to help ensure that we are best able to answer your questions or concerns. If you need to speak with us, please call 250-548-3759. Our office receptionist will answer your call and get some initial information from you so that she can direct your question to the appropriate person. Medical questions/concerns will be addressed by one of the Camp Nurses (or, if necessary, our Doctor) and camper progress questions/concerns will be addressed by the appropriate member of our Leadership Team. You can expect a return call within the day.

Can I contact the camp to check in on my child?
We know how hard it is to be away from your child and understand your desire to check in to know how they are doing. If you have a real concern about your child, please reach out to us and we will happily get back to you with an update on their progress. With that said, we urge you to remember that no news is almost always good news. Before reaching out to us, we ask you to ask yourself; “am I really concerned about something specific or am I just struggling with being separated from my child?” The latter is natural – and we understand it completely – but we ask for you to try to work through these feelings with your spouse or a friend before contacting us.

I know my child is struggling with homesickness, what do I do?
Homesickness is a very normal part of the camp experience and we are very good at dealing with it. Please allow us to care for your child during this learning experience and rest assured that we will call you if their homesickness reaches a level that is not considered normal or healthy.

Should I let the camp know if I receive a concerning letter from my child?
Absolutely! If you receive a letter from your child that indicates that they are unhappy or had a negative experience please let us know so that we can check in on them. It is very important to us to have this information and we are grateful for your partnership in their care.

PACKING QUESTIONS

Is there a camp packing list?
Yes, please click here.

Can my child bring electronics to camp?
Electronics have become a very important part of our daily lives. While we appreciate the value they provide, we also feel that camp offers the perfect (and important) opportunity for children to ‘un-plug.’ This allows them to focus their time and energy on enhancing their camp experience.

Can I send food with my child to camp?
Please do not send your children to Camp with extra food. We have many children with severe (and often life-threatening) allergies. Thus, all food consumed at Camp must come directly from our dining facility. Any food items brought on to camp will be confiscated and not returned.

TRANSPORTATION QUESTIONS

How do campers travel to and from Camp Hatikvah?
Bus transportation to and from camp from Vancouver is provided as part of your fees. As such, most campers from Greater Vancouver take the camp bus to and from camp unless their parents are vacationing in the Kelowna area and select to drive their children to the camp location.

Campers from all other cities fly to and from the Kelowna International airport at their own expense.

To read our bus policies and procedures, please click here.
To read our airline travel policies and procedures, please click here.
To reach our car policies and procedures, please click here.

SUMMER PHOTO QUESTIONS

Do you post pictures on your website?
Yes, all parents are given access to our camp photo gallery where they can download unlimited and complimentary photos during the summer.

Photos are posted Sunday through Friday between 9:30 am and 12:30 pm. There are no photos posted on Shabbat.

Should I call the camp if I don’t see my child in the photographs?
No. We do our best to ensure that we are getting as many quality pictures of as many children as possible each day. While we understand that you may feel concerned or upset if you haven’t seen a photograph of your child for a few days, please rest assured that this is not a reflection of whether or not they are having a successful camp experience; often times they are just too busy having fun to stop to be photographed.