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Healthy Campers = Happy Campers

Everything you need to know about staying healthy and safe over the summer!

Health Center

We work hard to make sure that everyone remains healthy at camp. Yet we also understand and prepare for when our campers feel unwell. We have a wonderful group of supportive medical staff that will take care of them in our newly renovated Mirpa’ah (Health Center). The Health Center serves a variety of purposes and has rooms for campers that may not be able to stay in the bunk as well as an area with treatment rooms.

Registered nurses staff our Health Center 24 hours a day. Most of our camp nurses work as school nurses throughout the year and are both experienced and comfortable treating children and communicating with parents. We also have a physician in residence who is on call 24 hours a day and in the Health Center for daily health calls and for emergencies. Most of our nurses and doctors return to us summer after summer and know our campers and our procedures very well.

Starting With a Healthy Community
The health and wellness of our community directly impacts the experience of campers and staff. We want to start the summer with a healthy community! In the week before camp, we recommend extra handwashing, more rest, avoiding crowds, and staying home if you or the person you planned to see is not 100% healthy.

While at camp, our campers are responsible for their own personal hygiene. We expect them to shower every day with soap, wash their hair with shampoo, change their underwear, socks, and clothes, brush their teeth, and wash their hands after they use the toilet. We expect that they will apply bug spray and sunscreen daily and that they will drink plenty of water.

We know many children will need lots of encouragement from our counselors and nurses to take proper care of themselves. Although we will gently remind our campers to complete all these tasks, you can help us by discussing these expectations with your camper and practice, practice, practice doing these things without you while they are still at home!

Maintaining a Healthy Community

During the pre-camp staff orientation, staff members are thoughtfully trained in the strategies for fostering a healthy camp community and in the specifics of communicable disease control. Hand washing facilities and hand sanitizers will be available at numerous locations throughout camp. Reminders about “safe” coughing practices and appropriate hand washing procedures will be incorporated into the daily life and culture of camp. Posters with “healthy practices” are posted all around camp. Campers and staff will be instructed to not share food or drink.

Housekeeping staff regularly disinfect all our public bathrooms and additional “high contact” areas around camp, including dining facilities, sinks and doors. Regular cleanliness, health and safety inspections are conducted and additional staff training, and camper reminder strategies are implemented during the summer.

What if My Camper Gets Sick?
If a camper is not feeling well, they will visit the Mirpa’ah and be seen by a medical professional. The medical professional will assess the symptoms to determine the best treatment. This assessment may include testing for strep, covid, flu, or any other test the clinician needs to assess the camper’s wellbeing. 
Anyone who has a fever, covid, strep, flu, or is otherwise not feeling well enough to participate fully in programming will stay in the health center. The length of stay will vary based on the diagnosis and resolution of symptoms. As a general rule, all community members must stay in the Mirpa’ah until they are 24 hours fever-free and have a reduction in symptoms before returning to their cabin. If a camper tests positive for covid, they will stay in the Mirpa’ah until there is a reduction in symptoms and they are 24 hours fever-free, and at least 48 hours have passed. If your child stays overnight in the Mirpa’ah, we will contact you and detail the treatment they are receiving. 
In rare cases of extreme illness, we will ask the family to pick up their camper so they can recover at home more comfortably. As always, if our Mirpa’ah reaches capacity, you may be asked to pick up your child until they are feeling well enough to return to camp.
Our goal is to manage routine illness this summer, with our tried-and-true health management procedures escalating situations individually as needed.
Communicating with the Health Center

Our nurses will call you if:

  • your camper has been seen by the camp doctor and/or a prescription has been ordered 
  • your camper is ill and will need to spend the night in the Mirpa’ah (if your child visits in the middle of the night, you will be called in the morning unless there is an emergency) 
  • your camper needs to go to the emergency room
  • your camper needs to see a specialist outside of camp
  • they have any concerns regarding your child’s health or medication 

Our nurses will not call you if:

  • your camper comes to the Health Center with a stomachache, headache, or splinter
  • your camper comes to the Health Center to get ice for a bump or any other common ailment
  • your camper comes to the Health Center to take over-the-counter medication
If you have any concerns during the summer about your camper’s health or medication, you can reach the Mirpa’ah at (413) 889-2610. Please be patient with our nurses who may not be able to answer the phone since they are busy with our campers. Please leave a message and one of our nurses will call you back as soon as possible. 
Out of Camp Care
Should your camper require emergency medical care, including x-rays or any laboratory evaluation, we will bring them to the Emergency Room (ER) at either the Fairview Hospital, in Great Barrington, or Berkshire Medical Center, in Pittsfield.
Our nurses and physician will decide if a camper must be brought to the ER and will contact you (or the person you designated as your emergency contact) before your camper leaves for the ER (except in situations involving time-related emergencies).
A member of our Leadership Team will accompany your camper and stay with them until they return to camp. In the unlikely event that an ambulance must be called to transport your camper to the Emergency Room, a member of our Leadership Team or Medical Staff will accompany them in the vehicle. The adult accompanying your camper will update you (or the person you designated as your emergency contact) when your camper is seen in the ER and when they return to camp, and our nurses or physician will update you with any follow-up care. 
OTC Medications

There will not be any cost to you, nor will our nurses call you, if your camper is given a commonly used OTC medication such as:

  • Acetaminophen or Tylenol
  • Ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin, Naproxen or Aleve
  • Tums, Pepto Bismol, Mylanta
  • Lactaid
  • Benadryl, Robitussin Cough & Allergy Syrup, Mucinex, Loratadine
Prescription Medications

Please refer to the Pharmacy page of our website for more information on prescription medications at camp.

Medication "Vacations" at Camp

“Medication Vacation” is a term given to the practice of suspending ongoing medication treatment. Most commonly, the suspension of medication is for ADD and ADHD such as Ritalin, Focalin or Concerta or the suspension of medication for anxiety such as Prozac, Zoloft and Celexa.

If your camper currently takes medications for any behavioral or emotional reasons, we DO NOT RECOMMEND that you suspend this daily treatment. Although camp is a relaxed, fun environment, without the pressure of homework or tests, camp is still a place where children interact socially and are required to maintain focus and be alert, cooperative, and task-oriented for much of the day. Our experience has taught us that those children who continue their medication during their time at camp are more successful and have an easier time at moments of transition and social interaction.

Please do not make any changes to your camper’s emotional or behavioral medications just prior to camp. Camp is not the proper environment for adjusting to a new medication or to a new dose of medication. Campers should be on their medication for at least one month prior to camp with no intended dose adjustments while at camp.

Medications Prescribed at Camp

If your camper becomes ill at camp and needs medication, the camp doctor will write a prescription that will be filled at a local pharmacy. We will provide the pharmacy with your insurance information for payment, and we will cover the co-pay as indicated by your prescription plan. We will then charge the co-pay to the credit card we have on file.

Of course, our camp doctor will let you know that a medication has been prescribed, and our business manager will let you know about the charge to your credit card.

EpiPens at Camp

If your camper has an allergy that might require the use of an EpiPen, please bring it to camp (in the box with a prescription label) for safe storage in the Health Center.

If your camper regularly carries an EpiPen with them, please bring two to camp: one to store in the Health Center and a second that your camper can always carry. We ask that this second EpiPen be carried in a backpack, string bag, or a fanny-pack so it is not accessible to curious campers around camp.

Camp also keeps additional EpiPens in our Health Center, Dining Hall, swimming pool and outdoor education sites.

During Staff Training Week, our staff receives training on proper EpiPen usage.

Inhalers at Camp

If your child uses an inhaler of any kind, we ask that you bring two to camp in their original packaging. One will remain in your child’s cabin for emergency use, and the other in the Health Center for daily or as-needed use.

Melatonin at Camp

An increasing number of campers each summer have been taking Melatonin to help them fall asleep. Since Melatonin has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in children, and The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children take Melatonin only with physician consent, we will only dispense Melatonin to campers who bring a note from their physician explaining why Melatonin is indicated. Melatonin prescribed by a physician must be packaged by LVIP.


If your camper’s glasses break while at camp, we will send the glasses to our local optician for repair. If the glasses cannot be fixed, we will ask you to send another pair. It is a good idea to send your camper with the last pair of glasses they wore prior to the ones they are currently wearing. It is always good for your camper to have a back-up pair on hand.


Dozens and dozens of campers will come to camp this summer with braces, retainers and other orthodontic devices. Please discuss proper care of all orthodontics with your camper prior to their time at camp.

Sometimes a wire or bracket on a camper’s braces breaks or loosens and causes discomfort. We can take the camper to our local orthodontist so that they can make adjustments to stop the discomfort. We will always call you before we make an appointment for your camper.

We also have campers that use Invisalign. If your camper uses Invisalign we will have you fill out the information in the medication section of the health form, including how often they will need to switch their aligners. Please bring their Invisalign aligners with them on Opening Day.

Tooth Fairy

Yes, the tooth fairy visits Crane Lake! Well, sort of. Campers who lose teeth while at camp will be given a container to store the tooth until they get home and can place it under their pillow. Our Camper Care Team will also give the toothless camper a sweet treat.

Ticks and Mosquitos

We take preventative measures to minimize tick and mosquito bites during the camp season. Each year, we partner with Ivy Oaks Analytics, a public health company based out of Virginia that specializes in the control of ticks, mosquitoes, and poison ivy at large campgrounds, parks, and summer camps. Although this has never been a major issue at Crane Lake, we feel very strongly that we have an obligation to our camp community to do everything in our power to reduce the risks associated with ticks, mosquitoes and poison ivy. Their process includes ongoing tick population measurements, landscape modification, natural control methods and more. Crane Lake is proud to be one of the few camps nationally with an advanced public health standards certification by implementing this program.

During staff orientation, staff members are trained in protocols for tick checks and are expected to help campers check for ticks regularly.

Nikayon (Cabin Clean-Up)

Each day our campers clean their cabins. During this time, campers make their beds, and organize their cubbies. Campers are also responsible for cleaning the communal areas of the cabin. They rotate each day through a list of Nikayon tasks including sweeping, taking out the trash, emptying the clothesline, and tidying up the bathroom (the bathroom is cleaned and sanitized each day by our housekeeping staff). Each cabin is inspected daily by our team of Unit Heads. On Friday afternoon as part of our Shabbat preparation, each cabin cleans a designated area of camp. When it is time for our campers to leave their cabins after Nikayon, they apply bug spray, sunscreen and fill their water bottles.


Your camper’s safety and security is a top priority at Crane Lake. Our professional security staff is on duty 24 hours a day to insure the safety of the entire Crane Lake community. The front gate remains locked at all times and can only be opened by our security staff who also make periodic checks throughout the entire camp grounds.

Working in partnership with the other URJ Camps across North America and our Israeli security consulting firm, we have created, over the last two decades, thoughtful and sophisticated safety and security protocols and procedures that address a wide range of concerns. These protocols are updated annually and we train our camp supervisors and camp staff prior to every summer season so that they are prepared to work as a team to insure a secure camp environment. We have a close relationship with the West Stockbridge Police and Fire Departments, so we can work collaboratively if need be. The confidence of our camp community in our professionalism is essential to our success.

If you’ll be coming to camp during either session, with the director’s advance permission, park your car in the Visitor’s Lot. Call security from the call box by the gate. Please be patient as our security staff radios one of the directors to let them know of your arrival in camp and receives further direction for your arrival.