Parents send their children to Camp Solomon Schechter assuming they will have many fun, positive social interactions and learn from our rich Jewish environment. They also expect that camp provides a safe and healthy environment. We want you to know that we take the health and safety of your child very seriously. As such, under the advisement of our medical committee and with the support of our Board of Directors, we are expanding our vaccination policy to include the COVID-19 vaccine. Starting in Summer 2022, Camp Solomon Schechter will require full COVID-19 vaccination and any CDC recommended boosters for all campers, staff, and visitors.
While parents may choose to defer the vaccination of their children, for the Schechter community, this is not an option. As with our standard vaccine policy, medical exemptions, which the CDC defines as a child having a medical condition that prevents them from receiving a vaccine, will be accepted. However, we will not accept exemptions based on personal beliefs or religious reasons. The vaccination of all campers, staff, and visitors is a significant public health matter, especially in the confined environment of a residential summer camp with round-the-clock communal living and some vulnerable populations present.
At CSS, we not only teach campers about Jewish values and mitzvot, but we also infuse them into everything we do and every decision we make. Two overriding Jewish values are Pikuach Nefesh (saving a life) and B’tzelem Elohim (the idea that we are all created in the image of God and must do what we can to protect and respect each other). These values put a premium on maintaining the health of others and ourselves and require everyone to take preventive measures to protect their health and wellness. Because of this, along with the clear public health-based need to protect the camp community as a whole, we require all children and all staff and their families who attend Camp Solomon Schechter to be immunized in the manner below:
Required for children up to age 11:
COVID-19 vaccine – full vaccination and any CDC recommended boosters
DTaP/DT (Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus) – 5 doses
Varicella (Chicken Pox) Vaccine – 2 doses
MMR (Measles-Mumps-Rubella) – 2 doses
IPV (Polio) – dose-dependent on age received, at least 3 or 4 doses
Hepatitis A – 2 doses strongly recommended, though not required for camp attendance
Hepatitis B – 3 doses strongly recommended, though not required for camp attendance
For children age 11 and older (completion of the above series, PLUS):
Meningococcal conjugate (MCV4) – given between ages 11-12, booster dose at age 16
Tdap (Pertussis, Diphtheria, Tetanus) – 1 dose between ages 11–12 is highly recommended
Influenza – strongly recommended annually, not required during summer
As stated above, exceptions to the immunization policy will only be granted where the camper’s health care practitioner determines that the camper meets the criteria for a medical exemption as defined by the CDC.
Please plan accordingly to ensure that your child receives their second dose and any CDC recommended boosters at least two weeks prior to the start of their summer session. In addition, please consult your child’s healthcare provider regarding catch-up scheduling of any missing vaccines. Finally, if your child has a medical contraindication to receiving any of their immunizations, please contact us directly.
The vaccination of all community members is essential to establish a safe camp environment for your child. We thank you for your understanding and look forward to welcoming your child to camp this summer!