Frequently Asked Questions

If your questions aren’t answered here, just give us a call! 845-809-0080.

Our staff are the key to bringing our mission to life. Because our focus areas and values appeal to a growing number of young adults, we receive an extraordinary number of staff applications, and our hiring is highly selective. Our counselors and specialists tend to be older than those at most sleepaway camps. We thoroughly screen all staffers, and their training includes pre-camp reading and videos, an immersive 10-day training, and ongoing supervision and mentoring. Specialty staff members are professional educators in their fields, with extensive education backgrounds and current certifications. Counselors are selected for experience and talent for caring for children. The majority of our counselors and specialists come from the U.S.; some hail from Israel and other lands. Many of our staff have served as educators with the Teva Learning Center, Urban Adamah, Wilderness Torah, American Jewish World Service, Jewish Funds for Justice, and other Jewish environmental initiatives around the country.

Safety is our Number One Priority.

We maintain an outstanding 2:1 camper-staff ratio, and counselors are “kid specialists,” with few responsibilities outside their bunks, allowing them to focus on each of their campers. We work closely with the American Camping Association and our county health department, and surpass the basic standards in many areas. During orientation, all staff are trained in our fire-department-approved safety and security procedures. Assigned staffers ensure that all visitors report to the camp office on arrival and are appropriately escorted. Our specialists maintain proper certifications for lifeguarding, waterfront safety instruction, ropes course, wilderness first aid, and more.

One or more registered nurses is available 24/7 in our health center, which exceeds American Camping Association standards for best practices. Our camp doctor is always on call.

Emotional safety is supremely important as well. Our Camper Care Team is staffed by professionally trained mental health providers, we select our counselors for emotional intelligence, and train them in connecting effectively with each of their campers. Our positive, supportive environment is the foundation of everything here at Eden Village.

Our chefs work to accommodate various dietary needs including diets free of lactose, gluten, soy, and nuts. Peanut butter is sometimes offered among lunch options. You will have the opportunity to speak with our chefs to make sure your camper’s needs are met. Please contact us to discuss individual concerns.

Yes. Our full-time, live-in Mashgiach (food supervisor) oversees our strictly Kosher kitchen as directed by the supervision of Rabbi Yisroel Finman of Chai Kosher. We’re glad to share our Kosher certification if you like. Please feel free to call for more details.

For multi-session campers, parents are welcome to visit during Intersession on the dates and hours listed in the Parent Manual. We strongly discourage families from dropping in and saying hello. A surprise visit often can not only disrupt a camper’s experience at camp, but also that of their bunkmates. We work hard to make sure that all campers adjust to camp life as quickly as possible and enjoy their daily routine. Parents are welcome to call the office and hear updates about their campers. We make sure that campers send letters at least twice a week.

Campers live in bunks with campers of the same age, typically all in the same grade (3rd & 4th graders usually share bunks). Bathrooms and showers are all connected to the bunks. While most bunks have their own bathrooms, a couple bunks share a bathroom between two bunks in the same building.

At camp, we unplug from electronics so we can plug into community and ourselves. Cameras are welcome, provided they do not also operate as phones or have internet. We strongly discourage cameras with video capabilities. Phones and electronic games are not allowed. We make our own live music at Eden Village and do have our own recording equipment, so campers can record their own live music in groups and individually.
Just about. All Eden Village campers and all bunk counselors are Jewish, and most of our other staff are Jewish as well. Our program is designed to build Jewish leaders and strengthen Jewish identities, and we hope everyone leaves with a stronger sense of Jewish community and peoplehood. At camp, we talk about “our” Jewish tradition and “our” culture. This said, we welcome all campers and staff, who are interested in and expected to participate in all activities. If you’re interested in coming to camp and identify as non-Jewish, let’s talk to make sure we’re a good fit.

Shabbat is a highlight of our community. We aim to create a comfortable and supportive environment for our campers and staff, who vary in their customs.

Campers spend much of Friday preparing: cooking, arranging flowers, setting the dining hall, preparing Words of Wisdom and parts of the service. In the afternoon campers have an extended shower time, and we encourage everyone to wear white, which beautifully heightens the festive mood. A musical parade leads us from our homes to our outdoor gathering space where we bring in Shabbat. After candle-lighting, we put down our instruments and celebrate with our voices. We close the evening with a true feast and spirited song session, interspersed with campers’ Words of Wisdom (WOWs).

On Saturday morning campers choose among service options, then we all come together for a theatrical Torah experience. In the afternoon, campers pick various activities during structured free time. We don’t farm, travel, turn electricity on or off, or cook food during Shabbat.

At sundown, our Havdallah (ceremony to bring in the new week) often turns into a big dance party!

Maybe! We typically work-trade with parents who are Registered Nurses, Doctors, and Social Workers. However, all are welcome to review the staff page and complete a staff application if you see a position that fits. We are glad to talk about scholarship possibilities for your camper– we want to make it possible for them to come regardless of financial constraints. Parents who do work-trade at camp cannot live with their children, and all children must be old enough to live in a bunk with their peers. We do not have a gan (pre-school) for non-camp age children.

Eden Village is committed to accepting people as they are. Our dedicated Social Work Team supports campers in being at camp successfully, and supports accommodations for children with Special Needs on a case-by-case basis. We also have a small 1-1 inclusion program. Please call and let’s talk.

We don’t allow care packages – camp itself is the gift! This is so as not to create a culture of “haves” and “have-nots” within camp. But letters are always very appreciated!

Camp birthdays are always special at Eden Village. Expect honors at lunch: we’ll lift you in a chair while everyone counts out your number of years (we’ll ask beforehand if that works for you); we ask you to share a wish for the world with all of camp; you’ll be serenaded with our camp birthday songs; and your whole bunk group gets a yummy celebration! Parents may send a birthday package and talk by phone with their camper.

During the summer, you can call us at 845 809 0080 at any time. From 6 p.m. to 8:30 a.m., you’ll get a voicemail system, where one of the options is an emergency extension that puts you directly through to the Camp Directors. If it is not an emergency, you can leave a message or email welcome@edenvillagecamp.org.

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