Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a health clinic at Camp Tavor?
Yes! We have a fully staffed and stocked wellness center at Tavor called the mirpa’ah (or Marp for short) with a waiting area, an exam room, and many bedrooms for campers to stay overnight if necessary. Campers come to the mirpa’ah after meals to take any medicine they might need and to check in with the nurses to ensure that they are in good health. The mirpa’ah is air conditioned and staffed 24/7 in case of emergency.
We have two healthcare professionals present at Tavor during the summer, at least one of whom is a registered nurse and is present 24/7. There is an Urgent Care facility ten minutes away from camp for anything our on-site nurses can’t handle. The Three Rivers hospital is less than 5 minutes from camp for any emergencies that may arise. Every year, we work closely with local fire and police stations to ensure camp is safe and that we have effective emergency procedures in place. You will be contacted by one of our nurses if your child is taken out of camp for a medical reason, if they have to stay in the mirpa’ah (wellness center) overnight, or if any other serious medical conditions arise.
What kind of financial aid do you offer?
At Tavor, we strive to create an affordable and accessible enriching summer camp experience, but we know that scholarships, financial aid and grants are critical to maintaining that accessibility. We’ve compiled a variety of resources – national, regional, and local – that we hope will helpful to you as you plan for your summer at camp. First-time campers may be eligible for up to $1000 off of camp tuition through the One Happy Camper Grant! Head over to our financial aid page to learn more. We are also happy to create payment plans that begin upon registration to enable families to make monthly payments towards tuition for up to 9 months. Contact Amit at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
What ages of children attend Camp Tavor?
Children entering 3rd through 10th grades are welcome at Tavor. We also have a counselor in training program called Madatz that is for campers entering 12th grade. We welcome campers practicing all different kinds of judaism at Tavor. We have chanichimot (campers) that are affiliated with reform, conservative, reconstructionist, and orthodox synagogues, as well as many that aren’t affiliated with a synagogue at all. Chanichimot are welcome to observe their judaism in whatever way is important to them. If a camper is passionate about integrating prayer or ritual practice more deeply into their camp schedule our madrichimot (counselors) are more than happy to work with that camper to make their vision of judaism at camp a reality.
How are campers supervised?
We have a very low counselor to camper ratio at Tavor, usually around one counselor for every four to five campers. All structured activities have multiple madrichimot (counselors) supervising them. At night, there is always a counselor in the shetach (living area), and counselors sleep in the same tents or cabins as the campers. Throughout the night several counselors make rounds of the entire camp multiple times to ensure everyone is safe and comfortable in their tents or cabins.
What are the kids’ bedtimes?
The times change year-to-year but generally the youngest kids (Amelimot) go to sleep around 10:00, and the oldest kids (the Bogrimot) go to sleep around 12:00. The other kids’ bedtimes fall between those two times in order of age. If a chanichol (camper) wants to go to sleep earlier than their set bedtime the counselors are always happy to escort them to bed and make sure there is someone in the area. The bedtimes are slightly later on Friday evening so that the campers can take part in our evening shabbat activities (Israeli dancing and basketball).
What does Jewish education at Tavor look like?
Jewish education at Tavor is very holistic. We explore Judaism through many different lenses: social justice, empowerment, agriculture, ecology, music, theater, discussion, critical thinking, and reading, among many others. The overall educational theme of each summer is created by our Merakez(et) Chinuch (educational director) and informs the day to day activities of the campers. Some past themes have been concepts like compost, revolution, and freedom. We strive to empower campers to engage with their Judaism and to form a personal and intimate connection with it.
What does Israel education at Camp Tavor look like?
Tavor educates about Israel to develop in chanichimot (campers) a sense of connection to and responsibility for Israel through a progressive Zionist lens. We have a daily block of time for Israel education, which consists of fun educational activities, sometimes in small groups and sometimes with all of camp (but always using active and creative methods!). Themes of our education include the history of Jewish peoplehood, the history of labor Zionism, the plurality of cultures, ways of religion, and people in Israel today, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and especially connection with our sister movement in Israel, HaNoar HaOved. We also incorporate Israel into our education throughout the day. All of our education strives to bring relevant, current, honest content, and to inspire hope and action for the future.
What is Tavor’s Kosher food policy?
Three balanced and filling meals are served each day at Tavor. In addition, the campers are served healthy snacks in the afternoon. Soy nut butter and jelly, fruit, milk, cold juice, and bread are always available. Kosher dietary laws (kashrut) are observed in the purchase, preparation, and serving of all food at Camp Tavor. Vegetarians and alternative eating styles are readily accommodated.
How do you deal with food allergies at Tavor?
Tavor is a completely peanut free and nut sensitive camp.There are no peanuts or food processed in facilities that process peanuts allowed at camp. We do not serve foods with other nuts in them, however some ingredients we use may be processed in facilities with other nuts or have traces of other nuts in them. If your camper has any food allergies or other special food needs, please include all dietary restrictions on her/his health form and we will work closely with you to ensure we can accommodate your camper’s dietary needs.
How do you observe Shabbat at Tavor?
Shabbat is the most relaxed time of the week at Tavor. The whole camp comes together to welcome Shabbat on Friday night and observe Havdallah on Saturday evening. There is special programming offered on shabbat, including musicale (a musical talent show), an oneg (play) created by a different age group each week, rikkud (Israeli dancing) and midnight basketball on Friday night. As a way to create a more relaxed and intentional Shabbat, no announcements are made over the rom-kol (camp-wide speaker system) on Shabbat, no email updates are sent to parents (disregarding extenuating circumstances), and no pictures are posted online.
How does transportation to and from camp work?
Round trip bus transportation to Camp Tavor is available for campers from Chicago, Ann Arbor, and Detroit. The round-trip bus fee is $150 for one camper. The round-trip bus fee for any additional campers from the same family is $100. One-way transportation for all campers is $75. Transportation from Madison, Champagne, or other midwest cities may be available for specific sessions based on demand. Please contact the camp office to discuss these possibilities
How does communication with children during the summer work?
Every camper writes one postcard home during the first week of camp in addition to any other mail they wish to send home throughout the rest of the session. You will also receive a letter from your child’s counselor during the second week letting you know about your child’s activities and friends. Additionally, photos will be posted online several times per week that can be accessed through through CampInTouch. We will send a Shabbat E-Mail Newsletter on Friday afternoons to give families an overview of the week. If you want to contact your camper there are several options available. You can send a physical letter or package to camp. Mail will be delivered every day after lunch, except on Shabbat. Or you can send electronic communication through Campminder or to the email address email@example.com.
Can I visit my child?
Yes! There is one visitor’s day during each session of camp. First session visitor’s day is two weeks into the session, and second session’s visitor’s day is two and a half weeks into the session. Visitor’s day is a wonderful opportunity for you to come see camp, meet your camper’s madrichimot (counselors), and experience a little bit of what makes Tavor such an amazing and unique summer camping experience.
Are there shorter programs available?
Yes! We have several shorter programs available at Tavor. Taste of Tavor is the shortest overnight option available. The two sessions of Taste of Tavor run 5 and 7 days.
Explore Tavor is a medium-length overnight program. The two sessions are 14 and 19 days long.
We also host a family fun day each session during the summer. These are single-afternoon events where we welcome parents and campers interested in learning more about camp to Tavor so that they can experience Tavor’s unique programming and get a clearer picture of what makes Tavor so special.
Who are the counselors?
Tavor counselors are known for their boundless energy, huge hearts, passionate idealism, and smarts. Alumni of Camp Tavor and Habonim Dror leadership programs, our counselors create a curriculum mean to inspire and develop camper leadership skills. Most of our staff is college-aged or older. Our youngest counselors are recent high school graduates. The vast majority of Tavor counselors were campers themselves at Tavor and many of them have spent significant time in Israel. Tavor also has several summer shlichim (educational emissaries) from Israel to create a living link between campers in America and their chaverim (friends) in Israel. All of our counselors go through a serious application process and are personally interviewed. There is a mandatory twelve day training orientation immediately prior to camp.
What is kupah?
Kupah literally translates from Hebrew to “cash register.” At Tavor we translate it as a “cooperative fund.” Kupah is one of the ways in which we integrate elements of cooperative living into camp life. All campers pool funds and then decide as a democratic community how to use those funds. Through the practice of kupah, campers learn about sharing, teamwork, compromise, democracy, and budgeting! Kupah funds are used as a central canteen from which campers can draw personal necessities such as toiletries, stationery, etc. The fund can also be used for special treats as decided by the campers.
What if my child doesn’t speak Hebrew?
Don’t worry! The Hebrew we use at camp is very simple and easy to understand. Campers pick up the camp Hebrew very quickly and return home able to integrate Hebrew into their everyday lives! Our campers and counselors are always happy to ensure everyone understands the Hebrew used at camp. Sometimes the Hebrew that we use at camp is pure conversational Hebrew and other times, it is Hebrew that has evolved within the Habonim Dror movement and is more unique to our own community. We always work to provide English translation in our materials (including our website!) to ensure that everyone – long-time Tavor families and new families – can engage with the enriching way we use Hebrew at Tavor!
How does laundry work at Camp Tavor?
We send our laundry out to be done at a facility once a session. The laundry usually comes back the next day folded, clean, and ready to wear. As a way of ensuring that each camper ends up with their clothes at the end of the session, we encourage all campers to label their clothing with their full name.
What are showers like at Camp Tavor?
Chanichimot (campers) at Tavor shower according to gender in communal showers. There are 4 main bathrooms with showers—in amelimot, the bonimot/garinimot shetach (living area), bogrimot/madatz, and one for the chotrimot The bathroom in chotrimot is also attached to the pool and used by all to shower before and after swimming.
Tavor cultivates an atmosphere of body positivity, with the goal that all members of the Tavor community feel comfortable in their own bodies! With this atmosphere, and attentive supervision, communal showers are a positive and safe space for all. Communal showers at Tavor are the site of many fun singing parties, and quality time with other chanichimot!
Sometimes chanichimot are not ready for communal showers—that’s ok! We want to ensure everyone is comfortable and clean, so we accommodate chanichimot by working with them to find a time for them to shower without others, like right before bed or during free time.
Where do I register?
You can register through our website using a service called CampInTouch. You will provide an email address, as well as a password when you first access the system, and can use that same login information in the future to fill out forms, send messages to your camper, and look at pictures of Tavor during the summer.