FAQs for Parents | Camps Airy & Louise
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FAQs for ParentsFAQs for Parents

On behalf of both camps, welcome to your adventure! Now that you are signed up for next summer, let’s discuss how we can help your camper to find his/her inner awesome.

This section will help you to navigate the trail from preparing for the summer all the way through to the Closing Day check-out. Bunk request forms, packing lists and medical forms, drop off and pick up procedures and info on our package policy, technology policy and staying in touch with your child during camp are all included in these pages. Use the menu on the left to find everything you need.

If you’re bursting with questions, scroll down a little to our FAQs for Parents, where you’ll find great information about all aspects of Camps Airy & Louise. If you need any additional information or have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at airlou@airylouise.org or 410-466-9010.

We look forward to helping you as you plan for a fantastic summer!

 

 

What kind of food is served in the Dining Hall?

We offer varied, kid-friendly food with lots of options. Breakfast will always include eggs, cereal (both hot and cold), milk, fresh fruit and yogurt. There may also be bagels, pancakes, waffles or French toast.

A typical lunch may be grilled cheese, pizza, burgers and hot dogs, tacos or chicken tenders.

Dinner may feature chicken, deli sandwiches, or lasagna.

Both lunch and dinner always offer a salad bar, as well as pasta, tuna, fruit and peanut butter and jelly.

All meals are served kosher-style.

How Jewish is camp?

Camp incorporates Jewish culture and customs into our summers in various ways:

  • Our meals are served kosher-style.
  • We recite Hamotzi (gratitude for our meal) before some meals.
  • Camp comes together for Friday night and Saturday morning Shabbat services led by campers and staff from our camp prayer book. At Camp Airy, we wear white shirts and kippot are optional for services. At Camp Louise, we wear all white Friday evening and Saturday morning.
  • Each week we focus on ‘Middot of the Week’. This is a positive trait that we ask our campers to identify and for which we reward on a weekly basis. MIddot include friendship, empathy, teamwork and similar positive values.
  • We recruit and hire approximately 20 Israeli counselors to be among our staff. Most of our bunk counselors are “home-grown” and have various levels of Jewish observance.
  • Our campfires often involve singing Jewish songs – and eating s’mores. Both camps have tzedakah (charity) /tikkun olam (social justice) programs during the summer.
Where are the campers from?

We have a huge turnout of campers from the Washington, DC and Baltimore region. Additionally, we boast a large contingency from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, North Carolina and Virginia.

Do you have a visiting day during camp?

No. But we post plenty of photos everyday available to parents, share regular blog posts about daily activities and communicate consistently to parents via email and social media. We hope you enjoy the time off as much as your children do, and expect you’ll be ready to see one another after the session is complete.

How are activities assigned?

Campers follow a daily schedule of both assigned and choice activities. All campers have some element of personal selection. Junior campers are usually assigned a wide variety of activities to expose them to the many great things there are to do in Camp, because they might not know they like an activity until they try it! For example, campers often don’t know they love archery until they try it out for the first time with their bunk! In addition to their scheduled activities, junior campers have a few periods in which they can select the activity of their choice, often based on what they loved from their earlier scheduled activities.

The older the campers, the greater amount of choice they have to create an individualized schedule. Older campers in Senior Camp have some assigned activities that they participate in with their bunk, but they also have an increased ability to choose their own activities. Senior Campers and Trainees can sign up for workshops or clinics that span several days for more in-depth learning and to build more advanced skills.

How often do the two camps get together?

Camps Airy & Louise get together about once per week and sometimes more, with special events like a carnival or a musical production. Campers of the same grade at Airy & Louise may go on an out-of-camp trip once per session (fun activities such as bowling or ice skating), and also have a dance or two in camp during their session.

How many campers are in each bunk?

A typical bunk has between 12-14 campers of the same grade.

How many counselors are in each bunk?

Most bunks have three counselors. Our oldest campers – the trainees who are more independent – have two.

How do we hire staff?

Staff come to us from a variety of sources. All are at least high-school-graduate age. A large number of staff members have participated in our three year leadership training program, aimed at growing leaders as well as teaching practical skills in counselorship. Other staff members are referred to us by partners that place international applicants or are recruited from colleges and school systems in the area. Before hiring, all staff are interviewed and background checks are conducted.

Is financial aid available?

Yes. We are proud to uphold the values of our founders, Uncle Airy and Aunt Lillie, who decided that no camper should ever be denied a Jewish camp experience due to financial hardships. For more information or to apply for a campership, visit our Financial Support/Campership page.

Are bathrooms in the bunk?

In most Camp Airy bunks, there is a connected bathroom with sinks, stalls and two urinals. Our younger campers live in these types of bunks. The showers at Camp Airy are in separate buildings, with every four bunks sharing a shower house. Older campers sleep in bunks that use a nearby bathroom/shower house instead.

At Camp Louise, every bunk has two showers, two toilets, and two sinks as part of the bunk. There are also public bathrooms throughout camp.

How much storage space is available?

At Camp Airy, each camper gets a bunk bed, a drawer underneath, a cubby and space in a storage closet for larger items. In the older bunks, campers get a set of drawers, closet space and room under the bunk beds.

At Camp Louise, each camper gets a bed, shared space underneath the beds, a set of drawers, and closet space.

How often is laundry done at camp?

Camp laundry occurs weekly for all campers, except those at Rookie Camp who only attend camp for a week. The cost for this service is included in camp tuition. Although our laundry service staff is careful and experienced, Camps Airy & Louise cannot take responsibility for lost or damaged clothing.

What’s not on the packing list?

Often times, we’re asked what’s on the “other” packing list. These are items which are not required but which many parents have told us are helpful.

  • A hanging shoe rack can help keep campers organized, as it can be useful for additional clothing or items that could be kept more neatly in a smaller space.
  • Bring items to personalize your child’s space, such a pictures and posters.
  • Crafts, a deck of cards, magazines or books are always encouraged for down time.
What type of security is at camp?

Our camp gates are guarded 24/7. Security and supervisory staff regularly make surveillance rounds, including at nighttime. All staff members carry Staff ID cards which are scanned upon entry and exit from camp. Visitors are required to show identification at the gate and their identity is verified with the office staff prior to entry.

What happens if my child gets sick?

We are proud to say that doctors and nurses are present on the grounds of both Camps Airy & Louise 24 hours per day, all summer. The number of medical staff at Camps Airy & Louise exceeds the guidelines detailed in American Camp Association (ACA) and Maryland Youth Camp Safety Act (MYCSA) statutes.

What is your policy on iPhones, iPods, etc?

Campers may not have cell phones or any other devices that allow connection to the internet. One of the best things about camp is having an experience that is “unplugged”, and we also don’t want to see expensive personal items get broken. The only exception is that campers who enjoy listening to their music, especially to help them fall asleep, should bring an inexpensive and screenless MP3 player and headphones.

How do I keep in touch with my camper during the summer?

Camp communication with your child is best managed by writing letters. There’s nothing like receiving a good, old-fashioned real handwritten letter in an envelope at camp. You can also use the Camp InTouch section on our website to email your camper – the email will be printed and delivered with the day’s mail. Campers do not have access to make or receive phone calls. If something comes up or you receive a letter that causes concern, call us at the office. You’ll be put in touch with your camper’s Unit Leader who will call you back quickly and assist.

Can I get the contact information for a bunkmate?

We do not give out contact information of any camper unless explicitly given permission. If you would like a camper’s information, we will get in touch with the family on your behalf.