Handbook & Packing List
Yeshivas HaKayitz is a community of approximately 200 people. We ask for parents and campers’ cooperation in living within our guidelines. The regulations, policies, and procedures which follow reflect the values and mission of Yeshivas HaKayitz and have been established to ensure a safe, healthy, inspiring, and exciting experience for all of our campers. By electing to enroll in the program, the parents and camper accept the rules and regulations under which it operates.
It is necessary that both and your son read the entire Handbook. At the end of the application there is a place to sign off on that the Handbook has been read.
Clothing & Packing
- Due to airline luggage costs, we will accept luggage shipments prior to camp. Please do not have your luggage arrive more than 7 days prior to camp start date. Please make sure the package is labeled with a name and grade.
- Any item found in a room that is against camp’s cell phone or screen policy will be removed by the camp head staff, must be picked by local parents or returned to out-of-town campers upon departure from camp.
- Sharp, potentially dangerous items, fireworks of any kind should not be brought onto the yeshiva campus.
Lost and Found
All items left behind will be displayed in the dining room for one week after camp
Any unclaimed items left in camp after that time will be donated or discarded.
Suggested Clothing and Miscellaneous List
Please make sure that all clothing and accessories regardless of whether it will be laundered or not is labeled with a permanent marker. Camp provides a laundry service twice a summer.
Please send enough clothes for at least 10 days.
10 socks - athletic and dress
10 pair underwear and undershirts
10 shirts/tees - knit or button down
2 long sleeve shirts
3 talis koton (must be labeled with name)
3 long pants
4 short pants
1 sweat shirts or hoodies
2 face towels
2 bath and 2 beach towels
2 bathing trunks
2 pair sneakers
1 pair waterproof footwear: crocks, slides etc.
2 fitted bed sheets and cover sheets
2 pillow cases
1 lightweight blanket (if not using sleeping blanket)
1 bath robe
2 white Shabbos shirts
1 Shabbos Suit / or dress pants
2 ties (optional)
1 Shabbos shoes
bar of soap
tefillin and siddur
plastic rain poncho
hangers as needed
Laundry bag which can be closed and is clearly labeled with camper name
The following items are also suggested:
inline skates, camera, athletic supplies, tennis racket, sunglasses
Camper and Parent Handbook
There are several policy changes that have been made this summer. Please read the entire guide. You and you son must sign the Handbook agreement in the application. Please print and keep this guide.
Yeshivas Hakayitz is a community of approximately 200 people. We ask for parents’ and campers’ cooperation in living within our guidelines. The regulations, policies, and procedures which follow reflect the values and mission of Yeshivas Hakayitz and have been established in order to ensure a safe, healthy, inspiring, and exciting experience for all of our campers. By electing to enroll in the program, the parents and camper accept the rules and regulations under which it operates.
After parents and camper have each read the Camper and Parent Handbook and the Camper’s Pledge they must confirm their commitment by signature at the end of the Enrollment Questions section of the camp application. This is required for acceptance to camp.
Counselors are responsible for implementing and enforcing all regulations. Each camper is expected to give full cooperation to the counselors.
To reach any of our staff members please call (847) 982- 2500. Rabbi Yosef Polstein is the Camp Director. Rebecca Staiman is our camp office manager. Please contact her regarding registration. Mrs Jodi Holeman is our financial manager, please contact her regarding financial matters. You will be provided with contact information for all of our staff prior to camp.
Arrival and Departure
Registration is open from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. on arrival day. Local campers may not arrive prior to 2:00 p.m. If you are arriving from out of town, please check the Travel Form for details regarding transportation to and from camp. On departure day, campers should be picked up beginning at 11:00 a.m. and not later than noon.
Upon arrival, campers are required to deposit any cash over $10 in their camp bank account. We run a cash-less society. Prior to trips, campers have an opportunity to withdraw small amounts from their accounts. A $150 is charged to the camp fee for this account. If needed, parents may add more money during the camp. Any balance at the end of camp will be refunded.
If your son will be preparing for his Bar Mitzvah during camp and you would like to hire a tutor or you already have a local tutor, please contact our Program Director or your son’s Head Counselor to make arrangements.
Each camper must bring his own pillow, bedding, towels, washcloths, blankets, and other personal items, properly labeled. Please note: Either a sleeping bag or bedding may be used.
If you would like your son to receive a birthday cake that he can share with his bunk, look for the birthday cake form under the Forms section of your parent dashboard. You must pay for the cake when submitting the camper application.
Communication with Campers
The fundamental concept that defines a residential summer camp is the creation of a living environment that empowers campers to develop independence. This in turn leads to promoting personal responsibility, relationship building skills, self-esteem, and self-discovery. The recent domination of cell phones and the need for constant contact with the world around us has adversely affected these core goals. Our communication policy is consistent with camps affiliated with the Foundation for Jewish Camping and reflects our commitment to making you son’s camping experience everything that camp is supposed to be.
Mail to campers should be addressed to:
Yeshivas Hakayitz Camper’s name
7135 North Carpenter Road
Skokie, Il 60077
Food care packages are not permitted, and will not be distributed!
Campers may not possess a cell phone during camp. In urgent cases campers may use the office phone. If your son is traveling from out of town with a cell phone it must be given to staff at registration. It will be returned at the conclusion of camp. Campers who fail to abide by these rules will have their phones confiscated until the end of camp. We take no responsibility for confiscated items.
Long pants and appropriate shirts are to be worn during Torah study and davening. Short pants, tees or white undershirts may be worn at other times. It is important that a camper’s attire reflect tzinius/modesty. This includes his hair style as well. Sleeveless or tank top shirts may not be worn on trips or during meals. Neck chains, neck beads, and bracelets may not be worn during camp. Tzitzis must be worn during the day and on evening trips. White button-down shirts are required for the entire Shabbos.
Food, nosh, or drinks, whether for immediate consumption or to be stored for later, is not allowed in the dormitory as it promotes unhealthy eating habits, creates a mess, and attracts critters and bugs. Our camp kitchen provides three delicious meals and two snacks each day. Camp also runs its own discount canteen. Campers are not permitted to bring or have refrigerators in their rooms. Any food found in the rooms will be confiscated and disposed of. Food care packages are not permitted. They will be disposed of! If your son has a food allergy please refer to the Medical and Forms section in the application.
Video equipped devices (of any size) are not permitted. Mp3 players or iPods without video are acceptable for Jewish music. Handheld video games are not permitted in camp. Any item found in camp will be confiscated until the end of camp. We take no responsibility for confiscated items.
Counselors and staff members at Yeshivas Hakayitz are engaged in an important educational mission. We do not require parents to tip. However, counselors work very hard and do appreciate additional recognition for their efforts. Cards are appreciated. If you wish to tip please send tip money prior to the end of camp or directly to the counselor.
Camp tuition does not include the optional $50 laundry service fee but is required for all non-local campers. Each camper must provide his own laundry bag labeled on the outside with his name. The laundry bag must be able to be closed tightly. All clothing, linen, towels, and Tzitzis must be labeled clearly with your son’s first and last name. Please pre-wash all of your son’s clothing as whites and colored clothing are washed together. Please make sure that any clothing you send to camp is colorfast. Clothing is washed twice during camp by our laundry service. You will need to provide enough clothing to last ten days. See recommended clothing list. Parents of local campers may opt out of using the laundry service. Information about laundry pick up and drop off times will be sent out prior to camp.
The camp doctor visits twice a week. There is no charge for the routine services of the camp doctor. In the event that your son requires medical care off campus and you live in the area, you will be contacted and asked to provide transportation for your son. You will not be contacted for routine medical attention unless our camp doctor recommends a prescription. Any prescriptions that need to be filled at a pharmacy will be the financial responsibility of the parents. Of course, if your son is injured and requires a hospital visit you will be notified immediately. Do not schedule appointments during camp.
In the event that a camper is ill in his room or in the infirmary, food will be provided under special arrangements. The use of or entry into the kitchen is never allowed.
Although our dedicated maintenance personnel sweep, mop, and clean rooms, it is the responsibility of every camper to see that his room is kept clean at all times. Rooms are graded every day by our head staff.
Ball playing and roller blading are not allowed in the building. Skates will be confiscated unless used during the In-line hockey elective. Skateboards or ripstiks are not permitted. The freight elevator may not be used except when operated by a custodian. Tampering with fire extinguishers, fire alarms or fire equipment is strictly forbidden. Because of the danger involved, campers may not go onto the roof under any circumstances. Campers and their parents shall be liable for any damage done to the physical plant or surrounding grounds of our camp.
Kayitz "ruach" reaches its highest level during Shabbos. We consider this to be a critical aspect of your son’s experience in camp. The activities on Shabbos revolve around the bunk. When a camper is missing the absence is felt by the entire bunk. All campers are required to remain in camp for all four Shabbasos. Exceptions will be made only for a Bar Mitzva or wedding of an immediate family member. Please do not send your son to camp if this condition can’t be adhered to. Our dress code for Shabbos is a white button down dress shirt and dress-like pants (no jean-like pants, cargo pants, etc.). This is our camp Kavod Shabbos look. Jackets and ties are optional. Parents or other family are not permitted to send or bring to food items or treats for Shabbos. NO EXCEPTIONS. Providing special foods for Shabbos creates unnecessary jealousy. Our meals are delicious and plentiful and so are our Shabbos treats.
Considering the short camp season and the mature age of our campers, we do not have a visiting day. We do not permit parents or other relatives to visit during camp. Please arrange time prior or after camp for visiting relatives. Chicago parents are asked not to make any doctor appointments for their son during camp. Of course, if your son is having a simcha, Tefilin day, Bo-Bayom, or birthday you are welcome to come with the family to celebrate.
Yeshivas Hakayitz/Teen Kollel campers are expected to maintain the highest standards of personal conduct, derech eretz, and Tzniut that reflect the character of Bnei Torah. See Camper’s Code below.
The Camper’s Code of Conduct Pledge
As a camper I pledge to…
- Participate fully in the program.
- Be responsible for my behavior and uphold standards for my peers.
- Follow all scheduled times, including curfew and wake-up.
- Dress appropriately in accordance with camp regulations.
As a camper I pledge not to…
- Leave the camp premises without staff supervision and director permission.
- Disobey directives from camp staff or camp policies, rules and regulations.
- Be disrespectful or direct profanity or obscene gestures towards other campers or camp staff.
- To ever express myself with vulgar language. Even on the sports field when I may be upset or behind closed doors. I know such words are beneath the dignity of a Ben Torah such as myself.
- Bring electronic video equipment to camp, including but not limited to cell phones, MP3 players, iPods, video games, or Kindles and Nooks. (Exceptions are made for campers using MP3 players for bar mitzvah practice)
It is extremely rare that a Yeshivas Hakayitz camper or counselor violate any of the serious infractions listed below. However, even a single occurrence is unacceptable. The best prevention is knowing in advance what is expected from each camper.
As a camper I pledge to…
- Report to the Camp Director immediately any inappropriate, obscene, or sexual remarks, gestures, or touching made by any Staff member, older camper, or fellow camper.
As a camper I pledge not to…
- Play with matches, fire, fireworks, commit arson or engage in any activity that may harm my health and/or welfare of other campers or staff in any way whatsoever.
- Engage in any unwelcome touches. Touches in an area usually covered by a bathing suit are never considered welcomed.
- Needlessly expose any area usually covered by a bathing suit and I will act with modesty even in the privacy of my dormitory room and bathroom.
- Partake in the theft or the unauthorized removal of camp property, staff property or camper property.
- Engage in bullying behavior, hazing of other campers or abusive conduct. This includes physical bullying, such as fighting, provoking fighting, or committing physical abuse to others by hitting, kicking, or pushing someone (or even just threatening to do so), stealing, hiding, or ruining someone's belongings.
- Verbal bullying includes name-calling, teasing or insulting. Relationship bullying means refusing to talk to someone, speaking Lashon Hara, spreading lies or rumors about someone, making someone do things he doesn't want to do.
- Sell, give, deliver, possess, use or be under the influence of drugs, alcohol or tobacco products. This includes the misuse of prescription and over the counter medications.
- Possess a weapon or dangerous instrument to be used as a weapon.
- Intentionally damage camp facilities including graffiti. I understand that my parents will be billed for damages.