Parent Handbook


Summer 2017

Dear Parents,

Welcome to the 2017 season of Camp Gan Israel. We are delighted that you are joining us and are looking forward to a wonderful camping experience together with your family.

At Camp Gan Israel we are committed to providing a highly stimulating and exciting camp season. Everything we do with your children is designed to enhance their self esteem, teach cooperation, increase their level of responsibility, and ground them in a rich tradition of Jewish values and customs. The counselors have been selected for their talents, personal warmth, and their ability to care for each child. Together with exciting programming, camp spirit, and summer days filled with laughter and fun, we can count on CGI ’17 to be remembered for years to come.

Please feel free to contact us with questions or concerns you may have throughout the program. Looking forward to a safe and healthy summer,

Chaya Berkowitz Rabbi Dovber Berkowitz
Camp Director Co-Director, Chabad of Contra Costa
925-351-3875 925-209-3575

Camp Location

at the Athenian School in Danville

Summer Schedule

June 26 – July 28


Kiddy Camp Ages 3-5

M-F - 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM

Half Day Program  9:00 AM – 1:00 pm

M-F 9:00 AM – 1:00 pm

Classic Gan Izzy K-6th grade

Mon. – Fri. - 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM

CIT Program 7th-8th Grade July 10-21 (2 weeks)

Our programs are for children entering Preschool - 8th Grades.

Parent / Camp Communication

We strongly encourage close communication between parents and the Camp Staff. Please don’t hesitate to call us should any issue or question arise. To reach Camp Gan Israel during summer operation call: 925-351-3875. Our weekly camp Newsletter, the G.I. Journal will include a detailed schedule for the upcoming week, including special events and trips. Please take the time to fill out our camp evaluation form, enclosed in your registration packet.

Drop Off / Pick Up at Camp

Morning drop-off at Camp Gan Israel is at 9:00 AM.

Pick-up is at 3:30 PM. 

This year we are going to be offering after care for our camper until 6PM additional fees appl



If your child arrives at camp after Morning Line-up (approx. 9:20 AM), you must sign your camper in our late arrival binder located in the camp office. The same applies if you pick your child up before 3:30 PM. Children should not to be dropped off more than 10 minutes before camp. Please see to it that your child is picked up at dismissal time. Parents, who are continuously late to pick up after camp, will be charged for this extra service. After one grace period of being late, parents will be charged $1 per minute that they are late. Call Chaya if you think that you will not be able to be on time.


Kosher Food Policy

Please send along a lunch and snacks for your child. Lunches and snacks must be dairy or Parve. No meat products are to be sent to camp. Please try to send snacks that have kosher symbols on them, such as:

We provide freeze pops at the end of the day and cold water throughout the day. Nevertheless we recommend that you send along 2 water bottles daily, one of them frozen so that it will still be cold in the afternoon.

What to Send to Camp

Send the following to camp (daily, unless otherwise noted) with your child. Please label everything, hats, towels, sunscreen, etc. Do not send valuables to camp. Camp Gan Israel cannot be responsible for lost or stolen items. On water trip days, please make sure to send water shoes. Check the weekly newsletter for specific trips and dress-up days.

· Dairy or Parve lunch and 3 snacks

· Sunscreen SPF 30 or more is recommended

· Sunhat or baseball cap

· Swim shoes (Mon./Wed./)

· Athletic shoes (Mon./Wed./Fri.)

· Swimsuit and towel (Mon./Wed./Fri.)

· Life jacket, mandatory for Preschoolers and Pre-K campers, and if camper is not yet water safe (Mon./Wed./Fri.)

· Tzedakah, a penny or two for charity

· 2 water bottles, one frozen

· Change of clothes for Pre-School and Pre-K campers to remain in camp throughout the summer (please provide in labeled shoebox).

Health Policy

If your child is sick, do not send them to camp. If your child contracts a contagious condition, notify the camp.

To assist in the event of an emergency or illness, it is imperative that proper phone numbers (cell or otherwise) are entered on your camper’s application. If you and/or the emergency contacts will be more than 30 minutes away from camp during camp hours, please notify your child’s counselor.

Parents/Guardians will be notified by camp staff in the event of the following circumstances relating to your camper:

1. Fever or any signs of illness that would prevent your child from having a positive camp experience.

2. Non-emergency injuries requiring medical attention.

3. Injuries requiring emergency medical treatment (after emergency personnel have been called).

Note: In the event of emergency, CGI will contact emergency medical services, and the parent to discuss transport to emergency facilities. Staff members (Sr. counselors) are trained and certified in first aid/CPR and can assist in an emergency until municipal providers arrive.



If your child needs medication administered during camp, it can only be dispensed under the specific directions of a licensed physician. Please send the medication in its original bottle, with camper’s name, correct dosage, and name and number of physician. Please send in at least 3 days worth of medication. A separate note containing dosage instruction and parent’s signature must be sent as well. The Camp has a staff member dedicated to overseeing and administering medication, and dealing with health-related concerns. If your child has specific health concerns or limitations, you must discuss them with the director.

Head Lice

Parents must have their children checked for lice prior to camp. Children must be lice and nit free in order to attend. Please take the proper steps and care in the event that they do have an infestation.

Special Conditions

If your child has any special challenges, conditions, or limitations (I.e. social, behavioral), the knowledge of which would help us in caring for them and maximizing their camp experience, please bring them to our attention. It will allow us to address these needs properly and eliminate unnecessary difficulties.

Payment and Refund Policy

The $100.00 deposit for each camper that must accompany each registration is non-refundable. Balance of camp fees must be paid in full by May 25, 2017, unless otherwise arranged with the director. If you need to cancel registration, contact the director to discuss your needs. Once a session begins, tuition fees for that session are non refundable.

Personal Possessions

1. Camp Gan Israel does not assume responsibility for staff and camper’s personal possessions, including sports equipment, cameras, ipods, cell phones and electronic games. We advise campers not to bring these items to camp. Camp Gan Israel is not responsible if these items are lost or damaged.

2. Campers’ backpacks and lunches are to be kept in their bunk room in designated areas.

3. Pets are not allowed on campus before, during, or after camp.

4. Weapons are not allowed on the campus.

Smoke Free / Drug Free Campus

The Athenian School and Camp Gan Israel remain a smoke free campus. This applies to all employees as well
as to all guests.


In adherence to State law, any person in possession of or caught abusing drugs or alcohol while on the job will be subject to immediate dismissal.



Dress Code

Boys are encouraged to wear a Kippah or baseball cap. Camp T-shirts must be worn on all field trips.


Tzedakah (charity) is a concept, which is basic to Judaism. Our camp attempts to develop a commitment among our campers to share with others less fortunate than themselves by donating a few pennies a day to charity. Parents are asked to provide young children with a coin daily for Tzedakah.

Mitzvah Note

For the younger groups, counselors may ask you to send in a Mitzvah note. This is a note that tells something special that your child has done. Children really look forward to hearing what their parents have to say. So please be sure to send one if it’s requested.


The C.G.I. Journal, our camp newsletter, is given out each Friday. It recaps the highlights of the week, includes a detailed schedule for the upcoming week, and will keep you up to date with all the camp info on activities, trips, and special programming.



Camp Gan Israel aims to offer campers the widest array of activities, trips, and educational programs. Our camp calendar features the exciting camp themes, activities, and dress-up days that we have planned for your children. A detailed schedule of the upcoming week is included in the weekly G.I. Journal.

Field Trips

Tuesdays and Thursdays are trip days at CGI. Campers can look forward to experiencing all the fun the Bay area has to offer. Camp Gan Israel T-shirts must be worn on all trips. Please be in camp at 9:00 AM sharp, on trips days. Buses are waiting to leave and we cannot wait for late campers. If your child is not coming to camp on the day of a trip, you must call and let us know. On trip days, please send lunch and snacks in a disposable bag with your child's name written on the bag, so they do not have to carry it around all day. Many of the trip venues do not allow backpacks, so stay tuned to the G.I. Journal for updated instruction on each trip.

Do not send any spending money for trips. We will supply extra drinks and snacks. Campers will not be allowed to buy food on the trips. A copy of each Camper’s Health Form accompanies all trips.

Highlight Events and Trips

Each session includes a special Highlight Trip. Each one is optional and fees are listed below. If your child is not participating in the Lake Tahoe trip, he/she may join the younger groups at our Athenian site for those days.

Lake Tahoe –Wednesday, July 12 – Thursday, July 13 - $125

Family Shabbat Dinner

All Camp Families are invited to join in a Shabbat Dinner at Chabad of Contra Costa on Friday evening, July 7 at 7:00 pm. Please watch for notices and RSVPs.

Camp Gan Israel Goodbye Pizza party

All campers and their families are invited to join us for our end of the summer, CGI Goodbye BBQ. Each group of campers will perform a presentation with their bunk group. We will also have an auction, featuring some of the campers’ art work or special projects. Proceeds go to our Scholarship Fund, to help send kids to camp.

Sunday July 30th , 2017 at 1:00 PM Location Chabad of Contra Costa.