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PARENT INFORMATION AND RESOURCES: COMMUNICATION

Getting in touch with us

  • Emailing* us at info@bbcamp.org is the best way to get in touch with us with any questions you have or to request a phone call from us.
  • Call* us at 541-994-2218. We are often either with Campers or on the phone with other parents, so please leave a message!
  • *Email and Phone are monitored Sunday-Friday, 9 am-5 pm. We work hard to respond within 24 hours.
  • Emergency use only: 971-421-9403. Our after-hours emergency line is monitored daily from 5 pm-8 am, and all-day Saturday.

Getting in touch with your Camper

  • Send your Camper a letter! Mailing address below
  • Send your child an email by logging into your CampInTouch account and clicking on “email”. These emails are printed and delivered daily.

Camp Mailing Address
Camper’s Name / Grade in Fall
B.B. CAMP
P.O. Box 110
Neotsu, OR 97364

When to communicate 

Maintaining open lines of communication with parents is of prime importance to us. If you have questions or concerns, please contact us. We strive to respond as quickly as possible. However, please keep in mind that the senior staff and administrators spend the majority of their time “in the field” with the campers, not in the office. If there is a situation regarding your camper’s health, safety, or behavior, a BB Camp staff will contact you.  

How long does it take for someone to get back to me? 

You should allow up to 24 hours for us to return your phone call or respond to your email. We are often able to work faster than this, but your patience is greatly appreciated. Messages received after noon on Friday may not be returned until Sunday due to Shabbat. 

If I can’t reach someone, is it better to talk to multiple people? 

No, please only contact one person. If you contact multiple people with the same concern, the overlap can cause a delay. If you do not hear back after 24 hours you should email or call the Camp Director for follow-up. 

Can I get information about my camper through social media messengers?

Please avoid using social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) to communicate about your camper.  Social media messages are delivered directly to our Marketing Director in our Portland office.  These messages are not delivered to our summer camp staff.  Your message and answer will be delayed if you use this method of communication.  Please use the recommended communication methods shared on this page if you have questions or concerns about your camper during the summer season.

Who will be contacting me when I have an issue? 

Senior staff members will return calls concerning your children. Our unit heads, inclusion coordinator, assistant directors, and camp director handle the bulk of summer communication with parents. 

With general Camp questions during the summer, call the summer phone: 541-994-2218

B’nai B’rith Camp office hours (during summer season)  

Sunday-Thursday: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM 

Friday: 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM 

Saturday: Closed for Shabbat 

We check phone messages frequently when the office is closed, including evenings and throughout Shabbat. 


With general Camp questions during the summer, call the summer phone: 541-994-2218

B’nai B’rith Camp office hours (during summer season)                

Sunday-Thursday:   9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Friday:                        9:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Saturday:                     Closed for Shabbat

We check phone messages frequently when the office is closed, including evenings and throughout Shabbat.

For other BB Camp Staff Contact Information, please click here

BB Camp mailing address:

Camper’s Name / Grade in Fall 2022
BB CAMP
P.O. Box 110
Neotsu, OR 97364

We serve over 600 campers throughout the summer. It is imperative that you write your camper’s grade (fall of 2021) on every item sent. This greatly helps us sort the bags of mail.


Writing to your camper

Correspondence with your children is a critical aspect of the camp experience. It is important that your children hear from you in the form of letters. We have some practical tips for letter writing: 

  • It’s a great idea to send a letter or card before your child leaves for camp so that mail is waiting for them on the first day. 
  • Keep your letters positive and upbeat. 
  • Two to three letters each week is plenty, as too many letters can make a well-adjusted camper homesick and is counterproductive. 
  • If your child complains about a certain situation that is upsetting them, it is okay to acknowledge it when you write back, but try to focus on a positive aspect of their personality and say you are confident they will work it out. We also certainly encourage you to follow up with Camp staff via phone or email regarding any possible negative situation your child communicates to you. 
  • Avoid phrases like “the house is so empty without you.” 
  • Letters cannot include food, gum, candy or any contraband 
  • Make sure to put your child’s full name and grade on the letters. 

Outgoing Letters

There is time every day for campers to write and read mail. But most campers prefer to read mail more than they like to write home! At the beginning of each session, every camper will receive a pre-stamped postcard, and the counselors help make sure campers send a note home. After this postcard, it is up to each camper how often they would like to write home.  

Campers are often so focused on friends and new experiences that writing home can be challenging. Getting happy campers to write home is like getting them to come inside on a sunny day to do their homework. We do encourage campers throughout the session to write letters. As parents, please discuss this subject with your children and set expectations with them individually. If you find your child not writing home enough, we encourage you to write or email your child directly and express how important it is to you to hear from them. 

For many campers, sending a letter is a new experience. Along with pens and stationery, it is essential that you provide your children with pre-addressed & stamped envelopes; this helps ensure letters are delivered correctly. Extra supplies are available for purchase in the camp store. 


 Receiving Difficult Letters

There is nothing worse than receiving a disturbing letter from a child away at summer camp. Yet this is a completely normal occurrence. You may find that you receive a homesick letter or a letter complaining about a certain situation, but by the time you receive the letter, the situation usually has resolved itself. We work with and train our staff on how to handle many different types of homesickness and issues that may arise in a community living setting. 

Of course, we welcome your calls, but do understand that letters are often written as an impulse reaction to an event or momentary feeling of unhappiness or frustration. Once vented, those feelings subside or disappear. A good standard is this: a negative letter probably isn’t serious, but if it is a recurring issue, it is worth checking out. Please do let us know if you continue to receive troubling letters, or if you hear of something we should be aware of, so we can resolve the situation. 


Packages

To minimize the risk of outside delivery drivers coming into Camp, this summer, we will only allow letters to be received at Camp. Letters can be sent by mail or through our camp email system. Packages will not be permitted this summer. 

Mail received after a session is over will be forwarded when possible or returned to sender. 

You will be able to write your camper through your CampInTouch account. This feature essentially functions as a one-way email service for BB Camp. There is a small fee associated with every email you send. You can send emails up until midnight, with the guarantee that your child will have it delivered with their mail the following day. The only exception is during Shabbat. 

We are very sorry, but we do not allow any visitors at camp. We find that children have more successful camp experiences if their stays are uninterrupted by family visits. It is very important for your child’s sense of independence and self-reliance to not have parents “dropping by.” Even if your child would not be affected by a visit, other children at the camp may be impacted. Visitors’ days create major disruption to the normal flow of the campers’ experiences, causing campers to go from being happy and well-adjusted to severely homesick. Write often, but do not plan on visiting BB Camp this summer.  

Cell Phones & WI-FI Enabled Devices 

BB Camp strictly prohibits cellular and wi-fi enabled devices for campers at Camp.  Unfortunately, in recent years, we have seen a rise in the number of campers who attempt to sneak their devices into Camp. We need the support of parents, to ensure that BB Camp can remain an immersive environment for children to connect with their peers while disconnecting from their phones and screens. 

The impact of cellular and wi-fi enabled devices at Camp is incredibly disruptive. It can intensify homesickness, lead to conflicts within the cabins, and cause campers to not fully immerse themselves in the camp environment and activities. You have made the decision to send your child to camp, so that together, we can provide your child with the best possible experience of personal, social, and spiritual growth.  

Cellular and wi-fi enabled devices are strictly prohibited at BB Camp. If your child comes to Camp with a cellular and wi-fi enabled device, your child will be asked to turn their device into the camp office upon arrival to Camp.  Camp will safely store your child’s device in the camp office during their stay.  Your child will not have access to their cellular and wi-fi enabled device during their stay at Camp.  If we find a device in your child’s possession, after given the chance to turn it in on the first day, we will confiscate the device, store it safely, and your child’s camp account will incur a charge of a $250 fine. 

Children traveling by plane, or the Seattle-area bus, may travel with cellular and wi-fi enabled devices. Upon arrival at camp, staff will collect all devices, and store them securely until your camper’s departure to the airport or home from Camp. 


Telephone Calls 

An important part of camp for your child is to learn how to function independently. These are two reasons you send your child to camp. For these reasons, no campers will be permitted to make phone calls home unless there is an emergency. From years of experience, we have found that phone calls only inhibit the progress of a camper that is having difficulty adjusting to camp. 

Believe us when we say we know how difficult it is (especially in today’s age of instant communication) to be out of communication with your child. We understand and ask that you realize this is your child’s time to learn and grow in a safe and warm environment.  

Campers will not be able to call home for parents or siblings’ birthdays, anniversaries, etc., so please make arrangements to celebrate these special occasions either before or after camp.  

If a camper is celebrating his/her birthday at Camp, we will set up a phone call, so you may wish your child a happy birthday. 

Should you have any questions or concerns about camp, or your child’s adjustment to the camp program, please call the camp office, and we will be happy to provide an update on your child or connect you with their unit head or our inclusion coordinator. Please bear in mind that our unit heads spend most of their time with campers and may require up to 24 hours to be back in touch with you.  


Electronics  

Devices with the following capabilities are strictly prohibited at camp: 

  • Connect to wi-fi for internet browsing 
  • Watch a video or movie 

This means DVD players, laptop computers, tablets, and gaming devices, are strictly prohibited at camp.  Mp3 players and E-readers are permitted, as long as they do not have wi-fi or video capabilities, and that all content other than appropriate music and books have been removed prior to camp. Devices may be inspected by staff and administrators upon arrival, and any devices with any form of video or inappropriate content will be confiscated.  

 

Devices with the following capabilities are strictly prohibited at camp:

  • Connect to wi-fi for internet browsing
  • Watch a video or movie

This means DVD players, laptop computers, tablets, and gaming devices, are strictly prohibited at camp.  Mp3 players and E-readers are permitted, as long as they do not have wi-fi or video capabilities and that all content other than appropriate music and books have been removed prior to camp. Devices may be inspected by staff and administrators upon arrival, and any devices with any form of video or inappropriate content will be confiscated.

Regular updates on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/BBCamp) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/bbcampor) will be posted regarding the general goings-on at our BB Camps, including news about special events, performances, and programs on camp (like Maccabiah!), plus photos of staff and activities.  These photos will follow our strict photo policy and will not be featuring current summer campers.

We post and share camper photos after the summer season is completed.

This policy was established on ongoing research and experiences of our staff and advisors, which shape our understanding of the most meaningful and impactful camp environment. Our board and staff have determined that, while it may be a bit harder on the parents, giving the kids a few weeks in the summer free of their electronic tethers and their parents’ loving eyes significantly enhances their camp experience.

You are giving your children a great gift by sending them to camp, where they are disconnected from technology and busy experiencing, exploring, playing, learning and, yes, Building Friendships For Life. If there is an emergency, or issues arise, rest assured you will receive a call. And as stated in our Communication Brit (agreement), we promise to keep you informed on what is going on at camp in other ways. In the meantime, we hope you understand that we are doing what we think is best for our campers.

For more information about the benefits of this policy, please see Time magazine’s very detailed article on this topic (Please click on the link and read the entire article: “How ‘Kidsick’ Parents Stay Connected (Obsessively) with Their Kids in Summer Camp”  http://healthland.time.com/2012/07/09/how-kidsick-parents-stay-connected-obsessively-with-their-kids-in-summer-camp/ ).  As you will read, the author agrees with our position.

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