Parent Handbook



Dear Parents,

      Welcome to Camp Gan Israel.  We are delighted that you are joining us and are looking forward to a wonderful camping experience together with your family.  I am looking forward to greeting you on the first day of camp.  Please read through this letter, so that you are familiar with our program, and will have the opportunity to ask any questions about camp.

      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 a summer of great fun!

         Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have throughout the program. 

Looking forward to a fun, safe, and healthy summer, 

Yale Spalter

Camp Director    


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Camp Location

Parkside Elementary School

1685 Eisenhower Street, San Mateo, CA 94403


Summer Schedule

June 26th – July 28th (Camp ends on a Friday).  



Mon. – Fri.  9:00 AM – 3:00 PM (Early and late care options available).

Our main camp program is for children entering K - 5th Grades.

Our pioneers program is for children entering 6th-7th 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: 650-667-9556 or 650-345-2424


Drop Off/Pick Up at Camp

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

Pick-up is at 3:00 PM.

The dismissal pick-up area is located to the right of the Garde Center.  Please park and walk to that area to pick up your children.  Campers will not be allowed to leave with anyone not specified on the camp registration form or without prior notification to the Camp Director/Counselor. Please provide necessary car seats for your children if they are leaving with another parent/guardian. 


Extended Care

Extended care is available at the campsite. Children can be dropped off at 8:00AM and can be picked up as late as 5:00 PM.

The fee is $35 per week for 8:00-9:00 am and $70 per week 3:00-5:00 pm. The drop-in fee is $10 per hour.


Food Policy

Please send along a lunch for your child each day.  Lunches and snacks must be dairy or Parve.  No meat products are to be sent to camp.  We provide snack and cold water throughout the day.


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.

Dairy or Parve lunch
Sunscreen SPF 30 or more is recommended
Sun Hat or baseball cap
Athletic shoes
Tzedakah, a penny or two for charity
Swimsuit and towel (Mon./Wed./Fri. weather permitting) 
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:

Fever or any signs of illness that would prevent your child from having a positive camp experience.
Non-emergency injuries requiring medical attention.
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.  


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.


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.  

Personal Possessions

1.  Camp Gan Israel does not assume responsibility for staff and camper’s personal possessions, including sports equipment, cameras, ipods, 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.


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. 


Camp T-Shirts
Each camper will be given a Gan Israel t-shirt.  Please make sure that your child is wearing a camp t-shirt on trip days!


Camp Gan Israel aims to offer campers a wide 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 the children. Please see our Camp Schedule for dress-up days.


Water Activities
Please send a swimsuit and towel on Mon./Wed./Fri., we have many water activities as well as go swimming once a week (the off-site swimming is for children entering third grade and up).


Field Trips
Wednesday and Fridays are trip days at CGI. Campers in our older division will be going on trips on Wednesdays and Fridays.  Campers in our younger division will be attending trips on Wednesdays. Campers can look forward to experiencing the fun that the Bay area has to offer. Please be in camp at 9:00 AM on trip days. T-Shirts must be worn on trip days. If your child is not coming to camp on the day of a trip, please 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 need to carry it around all day.

The children will be transported to and from the field trips by a reliable bus company.