Due to new COVID-19 restrictions announced by Baltimore City, Group Fitness classes at the Weinberg Park Heights will be temporarily suspended, effective December 13, 2020.  Join us for new women’s only classes in Owings Mills. 

Shabbat candle lighting: 4:40pm

Summer at the J: FAQs

*Updated July 31, 2020

Summer at the J will look a bit different this year based on state and local guidelines and recommendations.


Mask Policy:

  • The new State of Maryland guideline states that masks are required for campers age 6 and above and staff anytime we are indoors, at carpool, or transitioning from activities. It also requires masks be worn outside for campers age 6 and above and for staff when not social distancing.
  • There are some exclusions to outdoor mask wearing including a medical condition, when it is not safe to do so, eating, drinking, swimming, or when a physical activity would cause a safety risk in the heat. 
  • The only time we are indoors is for extreme weather, during carpool, and when using an assigned indoor bathroom. During these times, all groups are separated by bunk and do not interact with one another.

Out-of-State Travel Policy:

  • Any camper who has traveled to a state identified as having a positivity rate higher than 10% and identified as a “hot spot” by the State of Maryland may not return to camp until after 14 days of quarantine. A list of state COVID-19 test positivity rates can be found at cdc.gov.
  • If your family is planning to travel to any of the states identified by this policy, we understand if you need to unenroll your child for the final sessions of camp. Please make sure to reach out to the camp office at 410-559-2391 or afeldman@jcc.org. Our refund policies will apply.  

As State of Maryland guidelines for Youth Summer Camps continue to evolve, we will continue to monitor and adjust protocols appropriately and safely. We appreciate your continued support and patience as we work towards a summer that is based first and foremost on the health and safety of our campers, staff, and families.

While guidelines are subject to change as the State continues to proceed through its phased re-opening and more information becomes available regarding COVID-19, here are the latest FAQs based on the current recommendations:

How many kids will be in a group?

UPDATE - State of Maryland: Youth Day Camps can resume outdoor and indoor activities with capacity limitations of 15 people or less per group and campers must practice social distancing and other CDC guidelines.

What this means for Summer at the J: We will continue to keep group sizes small and take into consideration the age of our campers in their ability to understand social distancing. Camper bunks at Summer at the J can now include: 

  • K-2nd grade- Maximum of 10 campers plus staff
  • 3rd-6th grade- Maximum of 12 campers plus staff
  • 7th & 8th grade - Maximum of 13 campers plus staff 

If staffing ratios cannot be met we reserve the right to cancel the day of camp for your camper(s) group. 

At all times the camp bunk (group of 15), (described as “pods” or “households” in to COVID-19 guidelines and literature), will remain together throughout the day without mixing with other bunks. If there are times when bunks are in the same area they will remain socially distanced. We will use visual markers whenever possible to make it easier for campers to understand. The recommendation of bunks in “pods” limits exposure to a set group of campers as opposed to an entire camp.

All regular programming will continue to take place in an outdoor setting. Campers will be inside during carpool Drop-Off and Pick-Up, separated into areas to maintain appropriate social distancing regulations. In the event of inclement weather, all children will be brought inside the JCC and each group will have their own space. Staff and children ages 9+ will be required to wear masks. We will no longer need to cancel in the event of a Full day of inclement weather.  

How will drop-off and pick-up work? 

State of Maryland: Arrival and departure times of campers shall be staggered to prevent crowding.

What this means for Summer at the J: Before camp starts, parents will receive their child’s bunk (group) and carpool number by email. Upon arrival on campus, there will be clear signage to indicate where to proceed and where each group is located along the carpool route. No parent/guardian will be permitted to walk their child to the group.

Morning carpool will begin at 9:00am and afternoon carpool will begin at 3:30pm. 

Each child age 9 and older, each adult, and every staff member must wear a face mask upon arrival in the morning and during dismissal at the end of the day.

Based on the State’s recommendations we will stagger arrival and departure times, please stay tuned for more details as to your specific drop-off and pick-up time. 

Further information with specific details regarding your camper(s) drop-off and pick-up time will be sent to you prior to camp.

* Note for those with siblings: There is no need to wait if your children’s groups are assigned different drop-off times. The end goal is to reduce the overall amount of people on the campus at a given time. It is okay to drop off or pick up all children at the same time, as all counselors will be available to supervise children the entire time. However, we will ask assign which time slot you plan to drop-off to maintain consistency and manage the number of cars during carpool.

In the case of carpools and/or ride-shares, consistency (with children and adults)  is recommended.  Ride-shares with campers in your child’s bunk are preferred. It is also recommended that the same person drop-off and pick-up daily. We can only control group mixing within camp; however, this will maximize our ability to keep group contact tracing consistent. There will be a bunk request and ride-share form located in the Forms & Documents section of your CampInTouch account in order to share this information with us.

Screenings: Every day, the parents/guardians may either take your child’s temperature with a digital thermometer brought from home and confirm it with a staff member to log or wait in the car while your child(ren) are checked. If you choose for our staff to check, each child will receive a temporal scan to check their temperature.  You will also be asked a few standard health questions. Once cleared, the parent/guardian may leave and a staff member will escort your child(ren) to their counselor. The staff member will be wearing a mask at all times and keep a 6 foot distance.

Children with a temperature of 100.4 or above will not be permitted to attend camp. Children exhibiting signs of a cough, having trouble breathing, a sore throat, blisters, rashes or who visibly look ill will also not be permitted to attend. 

Parents must arrive on time at the end of the day.  Our late fee is $2/minute.  If you arrive late 3 times, you will be asked to come up with an alternate plan to arrive on time to pick up your child.

Will there be temperature screening for campers and staff?

State of Maryland: No sick camper or staffer may attend camp. Staff and campers shall have their temperature checked and be screened for COVID-19 symptoms when they arrive at the facility each day.

What this means for Summer at the J: Upon the camper’s arrival each day, a staff member or parent will use an infrared thermometer to scan each child’s temperature and staff will ask a few simple screening questions.

Based on the State of Maryland’s guidelines, children with a fever greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit from a temporal reading, or two or more other symptoms, will be required to go home. Summer at the J has a registered medic working on campus every day who will also screen children for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 as appropriate. 

The staff will be screened in the exact same way. Counselors receive medical training before camp begins that will now include information on checking for COVID-19 symptoms. Our on-site medical professional will be available throughout the day for visits.

Are you offering Early-drop Off, Late Stay and Busing?

Our number one goal is keeping our campers and staff safe therefore consistent groupings while in our care will be maintained.  We wish we could continue to accommodate families that live at a further distance or who need extended care, but our number one priority will be making sure to limit risk and keep camp as safe as possible. We encourage families to drop-off/pick-up instead and understand that unfortunately this model will not be feasible for everyone this summer.

Can I still request that my child be in a group with their friends?

As always, we will try to accommodate these requests to the best of our ability.  With the new ratios, we unfortunately will have to make each group smaller. We know that this is challenging, but we are very confident in our counselors and know they will do everything in their power to ensure new friendships are formed and each child feels welcome in their bunk. If you plan to ride-share with another family please indicate that on your bunk request. We highly recommend, if you plan to ride-share, to arrange a consistent ride-share with camper’s in your child(ren)’s group. This form will be located in the Forms & Documents section of your CampInTouch account. All previous bunk requests are voided so please fill out this form if you have a request. Once your children are assigned to a group, they will be unable to change due to current guidelines. 

How will bathrooms and shared spaces work to keep groups separated?

State of Maryland: Closed shared spaces such as dining halls and playgrounds with shared playground equipment, if possible; otherwise stagger use and clean and disinfect between use. If different groups share areas (bathroom, lunch tables, craft room), clean high touch surfaces in the shared area between groups and keep a log of the cleaning date, time and individual who does the cleaning.

What this means for Summer at the J: Bathrooms will be available throughout the campus and will be for camp use only. We will have access to bathrooms outside and inside the building. Each group will have an assigned bathroom between activities, as well as specific changing areas for swim. High touch surfaces will be sanitized between groups and all permanent bathrooms will have no-touch toilets and sinks. Our housekeeping staff as well as our specialists and counselors, who will be trained on how to sanitize, will be responsible for sanitizing these areas on a regular basis/after a group leaves. The biblical playground will be closed this summer due to the inability to sanitize between groups.  

What happens if a child or staff member develops symptoms during the day?

State of Maryland: If a staff member or a child develops symptoms of COVID-19 during camp, safely isolate the person and place a mask or face covering.  Contact the youth camp’s health supervisor and the parent/guardian and arrange for safe transportation to a healthcare facility or home.

What this means for Summer at the J: If a child or staff member develops symptoms, they will be isolated and required to go home until they are cleared by a doctor to return. If the child or staffer tests positive for COVID-19, we will immediately notify parents in their bunk and contact the Maryland Department of Health to report.

Can out-of-state or international campers attend Summer at the J?

State of Maryland: Out-of-state campers are not permitted.

What this means for Summer at the J: Unfortunately, at this time, all campers must be a resident of the State of Maryland in order to attend the program. This includes campers who have been staying with a relative in the state for more than 14 days.

Are visitors permitted?

State of Maryland: Visitors are not permitted.

What this means for Summer at the J: Unfortunately, at this time, Summer at the J is not able to accept visitors.

How do I pick-up my child(ren) early or drop-off late?

We ask that you only drop-off late or pick-up early in cases of emergency. Parent/Guardians will not be permitted onto the campus while campers are in program. If you need to pick-up or drop-off there will be specific procedures to call the camp office and go to the front circle to check in where we will meet you with your camper(s).

Please review the times of the program and make sure it works for you and your family and we ask for your cooperation. If a family is consistently dropping-off late or picking-up early, the family may be asked to leave the program. It is imperative that consistent staffing and adherence to schedule and social distancing be maintained to keep everyone safe this summer.  We will be unable to accommodate early or late drop-off and pick-ups daily.  

Will children/staff be required to wear a mask?

State of Maryland: Staff, children and parents shall wear face coverings when campers are arriving and leaving, and when appropriate, and campers age 9 and older and camp staff should wear face coverings.

What this means for Summer at the J: By limiting group sizes, screening temperatures at drop-off, increasing sanitization methods and managing social interactions between groups, we do not anticipate requiring children to wear masks while properly observing social distancing and participating in activities outside.

Currently, staff, children ages 9 and up, and parents/guardians/chaperones dropping children off or picking up must wear facial covering for drop-off and pick-up and when indoors.

Additionally, on inclement weather days (further discussed below) where all children are brought inside the JCC, masks are required for all camp staff as well as children ages 9+.

It is recommended that parents who wish for their children under 9 years of age to wear a mask to have one packed in their bag and to notify their counselor with instructions.

How will lunches and food be handled?

State of Maryland: Keep each group separate from other groups using physical distance or by using shared areas at different times (like separate mealtimes or separate bathroom times for each group). If different groups share areas (bathroom, lunch tables, craft room), clean high touch surfaces in the shared area between groups and keep a log of the cleaning date, time and individual who does the cleaning. Have campers bring their own meals as feasible, and eat in separate areas or with their smaller group, instead of in a communal dining call or cafeteria.

What does this mean for Summer at the J: All lunch tables will be spread under a 80 x 40 tent with 8 designated areas for each group. Lunch will be staggered into 3 lunch sessions. Tables and chairs will be sanitized between lunch shifts. Campers will be encouraged to sit with proper distancing to meet social distancing requirements. The State of Maryland requires that lunches be stored at a certain temperature, so (as usual) each counselor will collect lunches by bunk in a separate bag and placed in a refrigerator until it is time for lunch. 

There will be no Hot Lunch program this summer, all campers must pack an individual lunch from home as well as a morning snack. All lunches must be kosher- style (no mixing of meat and cheese and no shellfish or pork products). We have a nut-aware policy. Please see your parent handbook for more details. Counselors will wear gloves during all aspects of food service.

Any food that is given out at camp will be pre-packaged and handled by your child’s bunk counselor only with gloves and a mask. Afternoon snack will be pre-packaged.

Will my child be able to swim in the pool?

State of Maryland: Outdoor pools can re-open with strict safety guidelines, including 25% capacity restrictions and strict physical distancing and sanitation measures. 

What this means for Summer at the J: Your child will be able to spend plenty of time swimming this summer! In addition to swimming in the pool, your child will still be able to enjoy various other water play activities. The biggest change in swimming this summer will affect instructional swim lessons. Given the State’s current guidelines, which do not permit different staff to interact with different groups of campers, we are currently unable to effectively hold swimming lessons during camp, but your child will still be able to participate in one free swim session per day.  

Campers will be divided into three different pools (Family Pool, Lap Pool and Instructional Pool) during Free Swim over three staggered swim times. Campers and JCC members will not be mixed and sanitation will take place between member and camper swims. Unfortunately due to current pool regulations the Splash pad and Aqua wall will not be available this summer. Research shows that the likelihood of spreading the virus in the pool is extremely low. Camper groups can intermix, while social distancing, in the water during swim; however, when outside of the water must remain with their group. 

What will happen during inclement weather?

UPDATE - State of Maryland: The State of Maryland has provided camps the ability to operate indoors. 

What this means for Summer at the J:  In the event of inclement weather, all children will be brought inside the JCC and each group will have their own space. Staff and children ages 9+ will be required to wear masks. Staff will be disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and children will be encouraged to wash and disinfect their hands as much as possible.

All regular programming will continue to take place in an outdoor setting. Campers will be inside during carpool Drop-Off and Pick-Up, separated into areas to maintain appropriate social distancing regulations

UPDATE: We will no longer need to cancel in the event of a Full day of inclement weather.

What about hand washing and improved hygiene/sanitation?

State of Maryland: All youth camp programs shall implement the following prevention and mitigation strategies to slow and limit COVID-19 exposure and spread:

  • Practice recommended regular and routine handwashing practices 
  • Avoid use of items that are not easily cleaned and disinfected.
  • Post signs with COVID-19 prevention and control practices.
  • Provide policies and education on COVID-19 symptoms and response.
  • Ensure adequate supplies of tissues, hand soap, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, household cleaning products suited for the facility.

What this means for Summer at the J: We have developed a schedule for increased, routine cleaning and disinfection by counselors, specialists and additional housekeeping staff. In addition to encouraging hand washing before and after activities, we will be providing additional hand-washing stations and signage throughout camp and will provide designated times to wash hands in the daily schedule. If a handwashing station cannot be provided at a particular activity sanitizer and wipes will be available at all times.

Staff will disinfect frequently touched surfaces (e.g., sports equipment, door handles, art supplies, games, etc.) between use as much as possible. Groups will have their own supplies for items that cannot be sanitized between uses. Additional signage and reminders will be posted throughout the campus to remind campers and staff as well.

What if someone is diagnosed with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19?

Any staff or child exposed to a person diagnosed with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 may not work or attend camp until they have completed self-quarantine following the CDC guidelines. Persons who have recovered from COVID-19, must be cleared for release from isolation according to CDC guidelines.

If a group has a staff member or a child that is found to have a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19:

  • The local health department, as well as the parents of children in the group, will be notified immediately, and the group shall quarantine following the CDC guidelines. 
  • Individuals may not work at or attend until completing self-quarantine and obtaining clearance from the individual’s primary care physician.
  • Based on consultation with the local health department, a group or entire camp may be closed based on level of contact and potential exposure.  

What additional paperwork do I need to fill out?

State of Maryland: Obtain clearance from the individual’s primary care physician (as indicated in Section 2C of the State of Maryland’s Directive and Order Regarding Youth Camps) to attend or work at a youth camp for: children under age 5, and individuals of any age with underlying medical conditions that are considered to be higher-risk for severe illness if they contract COVID-19.

What this means for Summer at the J: If you have a child under the age of 5, or with an underlying medical condition, this note must be provided to our medical staff prior to your camper(s) first day. If you have any additional questions, please consult with your primary care physician.

Other Forms - located in your CampInTouch Account:

  • Medical Form Part A
  • Medial Form Part B
  • Summer at the J Waiver
  • Medication Administration Form
  • Asthma or Allergy Action Plan if applicable

Additionally, all parents/guardians registered will receive a supplemental COVID-19 waiver.

Failure to submit any of these forms will result in your child being unable to participate on the first day.

Does my child definitely have a spot in Summer at the J?

There is limited capacity in the Summer at the J due to social distancing and group-size guidelines. Currently enrolled participants will receive priority. If capacity is reached, decisions will be made based on the date of original enrollment. See our interest form (link) if you are not currently enrolled. 

What are your refund policies? 

If camp must close at any point due to Covid-19, will a refund be issued? 
If camp has to close due to Covid-19, families will be given payment options including a prorated refund for any missed days.

What is the refund policy if our child is unable to attend camp once it begins?
You will receive a 75% refund should the summer program not be a good fit for your child (ie: they don’t want to join their camp group without you).  

When is the last date that I can choose to unenroll from camp?
Seven (7) Days prior to your camper’s first day is the last day you can receive a full refund if you choose not to send your child to camp. (i.e. June 29th if your child is attending camp on July 6)

Questions? Contact:  jcamps@jcc.org | 410.559.2390