FAQs: Camp Questions Answered

I want to come to Summer Inclusion Camp at the J! What’s next?!

*Before registering on CampMinder (JCC online registration) make sure you’ve completed the steps below!

  • Contact Bethany Young, Director of Kehillah, at byoung@springfieldjcc.org or (413)739-4715 x325 to discuss your child’s needs, and to receive an intake form.
  • Read through the FAQ’s below
  • Fill out and return the Intake Form to Bethany
  • Schedule a Tour with Bethany

Camp Registration opens on March 1st. Get a 10% discount on any weeks paid in full between March 1-12th! MAKE CAMP WORK FOR YOU – Start a Payment Plan in March. Scholarships available on a need basis.


JCC Inclusion Camp and Camp Kehillah
Frequently Asked Questions – 2017 Edition

The Springfield Jewish Community Center’s Special Needs Department is called “Kehillah” which means “community” in Hebrew. We offer two camp options for your child to get the most out of their summer experience.

Which camp is right for my child?

Our special needs intake form along with a meet + greet and tour with the Director of Kehillah will assist in determining the right placement for each camper.

Inclusion Camp (8 weeks): The Inclusion Camp is our traditional JCC Summer Camp program with extra support of 2:1 staffing.  It provides all the fun, energy, and activities of a traditional camp to the camper who does well in an inclusion setting and wants to spend time with their peers without special needs.  This camp is for ages 4 to 16.  Some older campers do go on to camp counselor training or vocational camp experiences on an approved basis. 1:1 staffing is available upon request.
Camp Kehillah (1 week): The special needs camp week does well for everyone from the child in full or partial inclusion to the child in a substantially separate classroom environment.  Our days are predictable and structured to prepare for school starting.  We have daily swimming, music therapy, arts and crafts, social skills games and gym times.  Staffing is 2:1/3:1 with additional specialists on staff for the week.

What are the dates and hours of camp?

Camp Hours
To ensure that your child gets the most out of their camp day, we have 3 options available. Your child can attend camp for a half day, 9-12:30pm, 12:00-3:30pm; or full day, 9-3:30pm. Or, Friday only.

Inclusion Camp Dates
Week 1: June 26 – 30th Week 5: July 24 – 28th
Week 2: July 3 – 7th *-7/4 Week 6: July 31 – 4th
Week 3: July 10 – 14th Week 7: August 7 – 11th
Week 4: July 17 – 21st Week 8: August 14 – 18th

Special Needs Camp Dates

August 21 – 25th:
Elementary through Early Teens; 9am – 1pm
Older Teens through Adults; Mon. – Thurs. 2pm – 7pm & Fri 12pm – 6pm

Can I sign up for just one week of camp?

Yes, sign up for one, two, five or all nine weeks.

Can my child sign up for a partial week?

No, unfortunately because space is limited we can only accept campers for full weeks.

Can I supply my own support Staff?

Yes, if you supply your own staff through your school district or personal care assistants, your camp cost is $285 per week. (For Inclusion Camp)

What is the cost?

JCC Inclusion Camp
Half Day
2:1 – Members $285, General Public $350
1:1 – Members $435, General Public $485

Full Day
2:1 – Members $440, General Public $505
1:1 – Members $585, General Public $660

Friday Only
Half Day, Members $65, General Public $75
Full Day, Members $90, General Public $105

Camp Kehillah Special Needs Camp
9 am – 1 pm, Monday – Friday, Members $255, General Public $330
Teens – Young Adults, 2 pm – 7 pm Members $330 General Public $400

Are scholarships & payment plans available?

Partial Scholarships are available through the generosity of the JCC InFUND, Harold Grinspoon Foundation, Korn Family and Sadye Silver Fund for Special Needs Programming. Payment Plans are always available. Payment plans can start in March when camp registration opens.

Support Agency Billing:  If you would like we can invoice DDS or your family support agency with pre-approval of available funds.  We work with many agencies but some are Autism Connections, SC@N 360, Down Syndrome Resource Group, Multi Cultural Services, Association for Community Living and many others.

What should campers bring for lunch?

The Jewish Community Center asks that you send in a non-meat lunch (peanut butter, cheese, tuna or yogurt).  We do not allow children to share any food.   All camp lunches will be refrigerated.  Please write your child’s name on his/her lunch bag or reusable lunch bag.  The JCC can provide water at lunch time, and throughout the day.  If you have any questions or concerns on what to bring for lunch please call Bethany Young.

What kind of medical arrangements does camp provide?

We are equipped to handle minor illness and boo-boos.  In cases where we feel the child should not stay at camp, we will ask the family or contact person to pick up the child.  We wish to protect all children coming to camp and also to prevent you from making an unnecessary trip to camp so please keep your child home if they are not feeling well.  If your child needs to take medication during camp hours or has complex medical needs please contact Bethany Young for the necessary forms and arrangements.

What should the parents expect of the swim program?

We are extremely proud of our safe and fun swim program run collaboratively by Erika Friedman, Aquatics Director, Louis Lasko, Camp Director, and Bethany Young, Inclusion Camp Coordinator.  Campers are tested and placed in their appropriate swimming group based on age, ability and previous water experience.  Receiving these wonderful swim lessons and open swim time to practice is an amazing perk of coming to Camp JCC.  During instructional swim, campers will develop and learn aquatic skills and endurance. Pool safety will be emphasized.  Special attention will be given to campers who are having difficulty adjusting to the water. Please send your child with swim diapers if applicable.

When and how should I communicate with Camp?

Open communication is key to the success of our program! We ask that you communicate concerns, questions and kudos regarding our program or facility. If any challenges arise with your child’s experience at camp, Bethany Young or Kerry Hussey, should be contacted as soon as possible so that the situation can be resolved.  If they are not available leave your name and phone number with the front office and they will return your call as promptly as possible. Email is the best way to reach Bethany and/or Kerry during the camp day (8:30-4:00pm). If there is an emergency do not wait for Bethany or Kerry to get to the phone – leave your message with the Front Desk and they will radio us immediately.

What are the campers allowed to bring with them to camp?

Please keep all Toys and Valuables at home!  This includes cell phones, iPods and electronic games.  If your child needs one of these items to help them throughout the day (i.e. reward, communication, calming) the item will stay with their Inclusion Counselor until needed.

What about my child’s food allergies?

Please make sure we know all the details of your child’s allergies, intolerances and/or autoimmune issues.  We have peanut free tables and will adjust per individual’s dietary requirements.

Is the facility air conditioned?

Yes, the JCC is air conditioned. In summer most of our activities take place outside but we will adjust schedules based on each child’s heat tolerance and needs.

Camp JCC has online registration through Campminder.

For answers to questions not listed here please contact:

Bethany Young
Director of Kehillah
Inclusion Camp Director
413-739-4715 x325

Kerry Hussey
Kehillah Program Manager
Inclusion Camp Assistant
413-739-4715 x315