How Jewish is Emma Kaufmann Camp?
The Jewish feeling at Emma Kaufmann Camp is a wonderful mix of cultural pride and a warm welcome to kids of all backgrounds. Emma Kaufmann campers include kids who are very connected (through synagogue, JCC or day school), some kids for whom EKC is their primary Jewish experience, plus a few who are not Jewish. They all share great Jewish experiences because we offer – and never force – positive, fun, inspirational and uplifting Jewish learning and programming. Beautiful Friday Night Shabbat services, a wonderful Shabbat dinner including our world famous Matzo Balls, a ruckus Friday Night song session and engaging Saturday morning services and programming are what makes EKC so special on Shabbat.
We’ve heard so much about Emma Kaufmann Camp and would love to see it. Can parents visit camp?
We welcome you to bring your whole family to EKC for any one of our scheduled programs/events including our Open House (Sunday June 5, 2016, 11am-3pm) or our Family Camp (Friday, June 10 – Sunday, June 12 OR Friday, August 26 – Sunday, August 28). We also encourage you to visit any other time which may be convenient for you – just call us at 412-697-3550 and we’ll be happy to work something out to fit your schedule. However, we do not allow you to visit your child while they are attending a session at camp, and we do not have a parents’ day. These types of visits would interfere with you and your child making a healthy separation, which is a big part of the way children will gain confidence and maturity at camp.
My kids are really picky eaters. Will they like the food at camp?
YES. We are prepared for a variety of diets including vegetarian, gluten free, diabetics and lactose intolerant as well as other allergy restrictions. Meals are served family style. In addition to the main entrees there is always peanut butter (or sun butter) and jelly as well as a salad bar with many different options including tuna and fresh fruit. At most meals, plain noodles are available. At Emma Kaufmann Camp, we do not mix milk and meat, we distinguish our silverware, plates, etc, between meat and dairy meals and we never serve non-kosher foods.
We have a decent income but camp feels a bit out-of-reach. How can we get information on assistance?
We recognize that the expense of summer camp may feel out of reach even for families with an otherwise comfortable income. Assistance is provided confidentially, in a way that reflects not just your income but also special circumstances. To receive more information, please call us at 412-697-3525 and ask for Jane Stokar.
My child has never been to camp and doesn’t know anyone. Do your counselors know what to do?
YES. Every session has a mix of new and returning campers. Emma Kaufmann Camp has built its reputation as a warm, welcoming place for every child by paying careful attention to the emotional experience of each and every camper. We create a non-competitive environment in which there is no hierarchy between kids. Our group-centered and family philosophy brings kids and facilitates deep and lasting friendships.
I’m worried that my child will be home-sick. Are you ready for this?
YES. Homesickness is a natural feeling. We carefully train our staff to have frequent conversations with homesick kids to help them get acclimated to camp and make new friends. By the first full day of camp, the vast majority of homesick kids are happy and adjusted. In more serious cases, our management team of directors, nurse and Unit Heads, along with the assistance of our Social Worker, are brought in to make a plan for success. In rare cases, we’ll call parents for additional help.