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FAQs

Pre-Camp

Does Camp Livingston offer scholarships or grants?

Yes! Please check out the Dates/Fees/Financial Aid Section of our website!

What should my child bring to camp?

There is a detailed packing list available on the last page of our parent handbook (downloadable on CampInTouch). Each camper may bring two luggage items. This may consist of one cargo bag and one duffel bag or two duffel bags. Please do not over-pack since space to unpack and store luggage in each cabin is limited. Trunks are not recommended as they take up a lot of space, are very heavy to move, and make it more difficult for campers to keep their cabin clean. In some cases, your child may need to move their own luggage with little assistance.

Warm clothing and rainwear are important. Two blankets are recommended for each camper. A sleeping bag is acceptable as a second blanket, but not as primary bedding, except for camp-outs. If used as a blanket, sleeping bags must remain unzipped completely so it can be spread out like a comforter. It is against fire code and Camp Livingston safety rules for anyone to sleep inside a zipped sleeping bag when in the cabin. Zipped sleeping bags are for outdoor use on overnight trips only.

Personal sports equipment may be brought to camp. However, if it is something that requires adult supervision (i.e. baseball bats) these items may be stored and handled until they are ready to be used by the camper in a supervised activity. The need for storage of certain sports equipment is at the discretion of your campers’ counselor.

Do we really need to label everything?

YES!! All clothing, personal items, and camping equipment must be clearly marked with at least the camper’s full last name. All clothing and personal belongings must be clearly marked with the camper’s name (use indelible ink or laundry marking pens. Please note that name tapes/labels may fall off when laundered).

Many campers bring similar items. Unmarked items that are lost are much less likely to find their way back to their owner.

Do I need to pack enough clean clothes for the entire session?

No, laundry services are provided by the camp and are included in the camp fees.

Mini-session campers will have the opportunity to send one bag of laundry once while full session campers will have the opportunity to have one bag of laundry done twice over the course of the session.Laundry bags need to be cloth, closeable with drawstring or zipper and washable themselves. The bags should be clearly labeled in large easy-to-read letters on the outside of the bag with your child’s name.

Laundry is done by an outside service; as such camp is not responsible for loss or damage of any items sent through the laundry service.

Are there any items we should not send to camp?

Many campers wish to bring certain items to camp that are unnecessary and inappropriate.

Please DO NOT bring to camp:

  • FOOD, beverages, candy and gum. It WILL attract animals and insects into living quarters. Raccoons have an amazing sense of smell and thumbs to open doors, but will only go into cabins if they smell food. Do not bring food.
  • Electrical appliances, including: portable DVD players, video game consoles, tablets, personal computers, and televisions. These items will be taken from campers and returned at the end of camp or mailed home. (Use of personal music players such as iPods and CD players may be used only within the camper’s cabin according to guidelines set up by the counselors. Watching of videos on iPods and other multimedia devices is not permitted at camp. None of these items may have operational internet capabilities or they will be confiscated)
  • Cell phones and smart phones will be confiscated and mailed home. No exceptions.
  • Items of high value such as watches, jewelry, and expensive cameras. Disposable cameras or very inexpensive digital cameras are encouraged. However, Camp is not responsible for any lost or damaged personal property. Please keep this in mind when choosing a potential camera.
  • Clothing that is delicate, new, or valuable. Please do not pack revealing clothing or clothing with inappropriate slogans or pictures advocating usage of cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs.
  • Matches, cigarette lighters, fireworks of any kind.
  • Medication of any kind. All medication MUST go through CampMeds. Please see Medial Information section for more information.
  • Tobacco products, alcoholic beverages or controlled substances.
  • Campers may not bring Pets to camp.
  • Weapons of any kind are not allowed in camp.
  • Money (unless on AU, Hadracha, or Yisrael).

Please do not send money to camp with your child. It is unnecessary for any age camper to bring money. Any money brought to camp will be held in the camp office until the end of the session when it will be returned. Camp will not assume responsibility for anything including iPods, CD players, CD’s, or for any money that is lost or stolen while attending camp.

Can my child bring a musical instrument to Camp?

Music is an integral part of any Jewish camp program and campers will have ample opportunity to play their instruments. Campers are welcome to bring their personal instruments to camp, but we remind you that we can take no responsibility for campers’ belongings.

Why are there so many forms and what are they for?

The data you provide gives us necessary information to best serve your child. Each form is reviewed by the appropriate staff with concerns for that area of your child’s care. All information is kept in confidence and is seen only on a need to know basis. This year many forms are available to fill out on-line.

When do I need to return the forms?

Forms need to be received no later than May 30.

ALL forms must be received and tuition paid in full (or approved payment plan in place) before campers are permitted to get on the bus or arrive at camp. This includes the Medical Form, which requires a medical exam and a copy of the front and back of your health insurance card.

Life at Camp

Where will my child live?

Each camper is assigned to a cabin according to their gender and age and/or grade in school in September. We make every effort to place your child in a cabin group that will ensure their having a positive group experience. We try to achieve a balance of new and returning campers in each cabin. Whenever possible, we will place a child in the same cabin with at least one friend of the same grade. Campers may request up to two bunk mates on our adjustment forms (available online). Only mutual requests are guaranteed.

We have two villages on camp: Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Both Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem (our boys’ and girls’ villages respectively) contain 10 cabins and a shower house. Each village has two senior staff housing “yurts” where members of the camp supervisory staff live to better support the counselors living with the campers. Each shower house has multiple private showers, changing areas, toilets, and sinks. These modern facilities were built new for the summer of 2005 and have been recently upgraded.   Each cabin sleeps a maximum of 8 to 12 campers. Two staff members live in each cabin regardless of the number of campers. Campers will sleep on bunks and be assigned cubby space to keep all their belongings. Our cabins are not air conditioned, but each cabin has a ceiling fan, are well ventilated and each village is shaded all day long. The cool Indiana nights keep our cabins at a comfortable temperature.

How will camp life be different from life at home?

Camp is a communal living experience. This is a big adjustment for most of our children who have their own private bedrooms at home. The success of the camp experience is dependent on the cooperation and involvement of all of the participants and staff working together for a common good. Every effort is made to establish a positive atmosphere and to motivate constructive behavior. Acceptable and non-acceptable behavior is outlined in the Camper Behavioral Guidelines. Acting as contributing responsible members of the camp community is necessary for the well-being of all. All campers are expected to contribute to the overall positive atmosphere, cleanliness and respectful care of their living space, village and camp as a whole. We strive for all campers to be respectful of the overall wellbeing of their fellow community members at all times.

Camp requires children to be responsible for their personal belongings, personal hygiene, and to be responsible for their actions, both intentional and unintentional. Camp helps children develop a greater sense of independence and competence and how to work in a social world where they can affect other’s experiences. Your child will learn to solve problems by working with his or her cabin group and counseling staff. There are many responsible, older adults in camp, however, camp is an opportunity for children to learn to use their own resourcefulness and to problem-solve independently in a supportive and safe environment.

Are swimming lessons required for all campers?

Upon arrival at camp, all campers must take a swim test if they want to participate in any aquatic activities during their stay at camp. Aquatic activities will happen daily. Swimming lessons take place every other day for all campers entering 7th grade and below.

What is the food like at Camp?

We serve three meals daily. All food is kosher and separation of milk and meat is maintained. Meals are healthy and kid-friendly, with plenty of variety throughout the week. When meat is served, a vegetarian option is always available. There is a fruit and cereal bar at every breakfast and salad bar at every lunch and dinner to supplement. We are not a nut-free facility and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are available at every meal as an alternative. When meat is served, an appropriate vegetarian option is always available. In addition to meals, we provide a healthy snack every afternoon and fresh fruit will be available at all times.

What is Shabbat like at Camp?

Shabbat is one of the most special parts of the camp program – for many campers, it is their favorite part of the week. Campers have the opportunity to sing, dance, relax, go swimming, read a good book, take part in leading services, make decorations for the dining hall, and experience Shabbat in a unique environment. Shabbat services happen Friday night and Saturday mornings. There is a short Havdallah service Saturday nights. Camp Livingston is not affiliated with a specific Jewish movement, and as such our services blend many styles that cross a number of different Jewish movements as well as some unique traditions all our own. We encourage the campers to explore and share their own Jewish identities, ask questions and even challenge beliefs in respectful and positive ways. While attendance at services is required, we do not force participation and simply ask for everyone to be respectful and understand that many people have different traditions. Relatively nicer clothes (see packing list for specifics) for Friday night Shabbat dinner, a more relaxed special schedule, lots of singing, and more time spent as an entire community makes this day stand out from the rest of the week.

What if my child signs up for an activity and decides that s/he does not like it?

We believe that every child should use camp as a place to try new things. At times a child will find that s/he does not enjoy an activity. Our Program Director is always available to assist your child in changing to an activity that would be better suited for him/her.

What about tipping the counselors or other staff?

Camp Livingston does not allow any staff member to take tips or gratuities for our services. We do, however, encourage families to make a donation to the staff appreciation fund  on behalf of a staff member or camper. All donations are tax right-offs and a letter will be issued for tax purposes to all our donors.

Will someone keep track of all my child’s belongings?

Campers must assume responsibility for the proper care of personal belongings. Our staff will assist, but it is ultimately each child’s responsibility. This is all part of the camp experience. Camp bears no responsibility for any lost or damaged items. Camp maintains a lost and found and will make every reasonable effort to return items before your child departs camp. After camp is over, if we can identify the owner, we will make every effort to notify you that we have the items and they may be picked up at the Cincinnati office (or shipped home at your own expense) after August 12th. Items not labeled will be donated to the needy or used by camp. Please label EVERYTHING!

Do you have any questions that were not answered here?

Feel free to contact the Camp Livingston offices at 513-793-5554 or send an e-mail to info@camplivingston.com.

Healthcare at Camp

What if my child gets sick at camp?

Should any accident or illness occur, the camp physician, nurse, or camp director will notify the parent if an overnight stay in the camp health center is required for your child. If a prescription drug is deemed necessary, you will be notified by phone and you will be billed for any co-pays or fees. In addition to a copy of your medical insurance card, you should also include a copy of your prescription drug card. If local emergency or non-emergency medical services are required, you will be notified and the provider will bill you for these services.

What if my child is on a daily medication?

Over 70% of our campers have daily medication at camp. To ensure that all medication is handled and administered in the safest possible way we require all parents to use CampMeds for all medications, vitamins, supplements,etc. at camp. All campers’ medication is locked up at all times. The Health Center staff distributes medications daily during meal times. We ask parents and doctors to restructure medication times around meals whenever possible to avoid campers having to be pulled out of regular programming to receive medication. If this is not possible please contact the Camp Director to make other arrangements for medication distribution. Campers may not keep or carry medications of any kind themselves (with the exception of inhalers and epi-pens). Please contact the camp office if you have any questions about our medication policy.Camp Livingston stocks most over the counter drugs (i.e. Tylenol, Benadryl, Ibuprofen, etc) Note that vitamins must also be ordered by CampMeds.

What are the camp health and safety regulations?

We comply with or exceed all State Sanitary Codes and Switzerland County Department of Health regulations governing a children’s camp. In addition, Camp Livingston is fully accredited by the American Camp Association. Waterfront staff holds appropriate certifications. Many other members of the camp staff (including the directors) hold CPR and first aid certifications. At least one member of the Adventures Unlimited staff is also Wilderness First Responder certified. Camp Livingston also has an Emergency Procedures and Safety Manual, on which all staff are trained detailing safety procedures for program areas, as well as emergency procedures covering all types of weather, lock-down, fire and other types of safety emergencies. Drills are held in all emergency procedures during staff week. Fire and weather drills are held at least once each session with campers.

Camp Communication and Visitation Policies

Can I visit my child at camp?

For safety and adjustment reasons visitations during the camp season are NOT permitted. When children are at camp, there is a better opportunity for adjustment and meeting the challenges of the camp situation if their stay is uninterrupted by a family visit. You are welcome to visit and tour camp before or after your child’s session or if you would like to see camp in action you may come during a session in which your child is not enrolled.

If we would like a tour of camp, what is the procedure for visitation?

  1. Any visitation or tours need to be arranged with either the Executive or Assistant Director prior to the actual visit.
  2. Parents, relatives, and friends of campers are NOT allowed to visit during the session the camper is enrolled.
  3. Upon arrival at camp, all visitors are required to check in at the camp office.
  4. No smoking is allowed on camp grounds at any time.
  5. Visitors are not permitted to bring pets, food, or beverages onto the camp grounds.

How do I send my camper mail?

Please write your child often! It means so much to campers to hear from home frequently. For first time campers especially, send mail before they even leave for camp, so it’s waiting for them the first day. Mail is distributed every day at camp except Shabbat (Saturday mail is given out on Sunday). Please think about how your letters might be perceived by your child. Letters detailing how much you miss your child or what a good time you are having in his or her absence may cause homesickness. If you have bad or upsetting news that needs to be conveyed to your child, please call the camp office and consult with the Community Life Director or a Camp Director. You will find out the name of your child’s cabin the day they arrive at camp. We receive literally hundreds of e-mails and pieces of mail every day. With that in mind, please make sure to write the name of the cabin on all mail items or, if cabin name is not known, your child’s grade. This will greatly help us in sorting the mail to make sure it gets to the children as soon as possible.

Please send all mail and packages to your child in the following format:

Your Child’s Name
Camp Livingston- Your Child’s Cabin Name
4998 Nell Lee Road
Bennington, IN 47011

Can I send care packages?

Yes! Campers love receiving packages! Include magazines, toys, games, newspaper clippings, pictures, crossword puzzles, and anything else that your camper and his/her bunkmates will enjoy. There are companies that will make up a foodless package for you (one of the best is Sealed With A Kiss – www.eswak.com), but the best package is the one you make yourself. Please do not include food in your care packages. We provide three nutritious meals a day as well as daily snacks and occasional special treats. Fresh fruit will be available to campers at all times– your camper won’t go hungry. We are a community in the woods, so food in cabins will attract unwanted animals and pests. We are also a kosher facility and do not want to encourage the influx of non-kosher products in our camp. Please note the ALL food will be confiscated and disposed of.

Can I talk to my child on the telephone?

Campers are not allowed to use the telephone while at camp. The only exception is receiving a prearranged birthday call from their parents. We have found that phone calls do not help children who are adjusting to the daily life at camp and can more often be a detriment. If you require information or wish to relay an important message to your child, please call the camp office.

Can my child bring and use a cell phone while at camp?

No, campers are not allowed to bring or use cell phones while at camp. Please do not send a cell phone, smart phone, tablets or MP3 players with internet access with your child. If a camper is found to have one of these items, it will be confiscated immediately and stored in the camp safe or mailed home to the parents. It will be returned to your child as they board the bus on the last day of camp. If your child uses their phone as a camera, they should instead bring either an inexpensive digital camera or a “disposable” camera.

Can I send a fax to my child?

Yes; however, e-mail (CampInTouch) is preferred. The camp fax number is (812) 427-3699.

How do I send my child email?

From our website, we are pleased to offer web services that include e-mail capabilities, camp newsletters, and a photo gallery from our technology partner, Camp Minder. These features are password protected so that only Livingston families may view them.

Can I send my child special birthday food and presents?

Every camper celebrating a birthday while at camp receives a cake that is shared with their entire cabin, plus balloons and a small gift. No one is forgotten. Please do not send food. Presents are, of course, optional. You may telephone your child on their birthday. To set up a phone call, contact the camp office the day before your child’s birthday and set up the time for your call with the Office Manager. We will have your child waiting at the camp office when you call. The call will need to be placed at a time that is convenient to your child’s camp schedule. The best times are just before or after lunch or dinner (12pm or 6pm). Please limit your calls to five minutes.

What should we do if we plan to be away from home during camp?

If you expect to be away from home during your child’s stay at camp, please notify the camp office of the details and emergency contact information. Should an emergency arise, we will need an address and phone number where you can be reached. If we cannot reach you, we will contact whomever you have indicated as your emergency contact on your child’s health form.

How do I get more information about my child during camp?

Many times parents become concerned about not getting enough information in their child’s letters about how camp is going. Some parents have found success through using pre-printed cards on which campers check off answers to multiple choice questions about camp. Also, in your letters to your child, ask specific questions for them to answer when writing back.

If you don’t receive a letter from your child within a week of their arrival, you can call camp and ask to speak with the Camp Director, Assistant Director or Community Life Director who will check on your child and get back to you. Please do not ask to speak directly with your child’s counselor, as it is not typically possible for them to be pulled away from their duties working directly with the children.

How will camp communicate with me, the parent?

“No news is good news” as the expression goes, but we all know that parents are anxious to find out how their children are doing at camp. You can read daily and weekly updates from camp through the newsletter section, look through pictures and follow us on facebook and twitter.