Category: Camp News

Staff Spotlight: Jason Sinkoff

Posted by April 10, 2019 • Share:

Welcome Back Jason Sinkoff – Tennis Head Coach and Athletic Director!

Jewish Tennis Coach Bay Area

Coaching Tennis in College

Tennis Head Coach Jason Sinkoff is in his second season as the Assistant Men’s Tennis Coach at James Madison University inHarrisonburg, VA.  In his first year they finished with the 3rd most wins in program history going 16-7.  Under his leadership, the program was completely turned around and became a serious contender for the conference title. In his second season they moved up to the #3 seed in their conference tournament for the first time in the program’s history.

Prior to his time at James Madison, Jason was the Head Mends Tennis coach at Wager College where he also received an MBA with a focus in Management, finishing #1 in his class.

In addition to coaching at the collegiate level, Jason has coached youth at summer camps in the San Diego area and worked as the Tennis instructor at a residential camp in Wisconsin.  In 2009 he served as the Assistant Coach for the boy’s tennis team at Torrey Pines High School.  That team won their conference title as well as the San Diego CIF Div 1 Title and sent graduates to compete at the collegiate level at UC Santa Barbara, Princeton, University of Arizona, UC Santa Cruz, UC Davis, UC San Diego, and Pomona College.

 

Playing Tennis in San Diego

Before he became a coach, Jason played tennis at Torrey Pines High School (San Diego, CA), Palomar College, and Hofstra University and was a Team Captain on his high school and college teams.

At Torrey Pines, Jason was named a two-time San Diego Union Tribune Scholar Athlete, and named to the All-City and All-Palomar League 1st Teams during his senior year.  At Palomar College he played #1 Singles and Doubles and was voted Team Captain and Freshman MVP while obtaining a 4.0 GPA.  He then transferred to Hofstra University to play Division 1 Men’s Tennis, was elected Team Captain for 3 years, Intercollegiate Tennis Association Scholar-Athlete, CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award recipient, and Senior MVP. Jason graduated in 2012 with a BBA in Marketing and a Minor in Management.

Tennis at the JCC Maccabi Games

He competed at the JCC Maccabi Games three times, 2002 Montreal, 2003 Houston, TX (Silver Medal in Doubles), and 2004 Boston, MA (Gold Medal in Doubles). In 2010 he competed in the Men’s Open Division representing Team USA at the Maccabi Australia Games and won a Bronze medal in Doubles.

This Summer at JCC Maccabi Sports Camp

Jason is extremely excited to be back at JCC Maccabi Sports Camp. He’s eager to see many returning faces and to help develop confidence on and off the court.

Preparing Your Child for Camp

Posted by April 1, 2019 • Share:

This is the sixth in a series of emails & blog posts covering important topics about sending your child to camp. If you missed the previous emails & blog posts, you can view them here.

Parent Play-by-Play 6: Preparing Your Child for Camp

Going away from home for an extended period of time can be difficult for some children (and not just first-time campers).  It is natural for them to be a little anxious as camp grows closer.  Some will carry their concerns to camp.  To help your child with these feelings, we have compiled this guide for parents.  The pointers below will help prepare your child for the enriching experience that camp provides.

If your child is apprehensive about going to camp or showing any resistance or anxiety, the most important thing you can do is talk about it. Ignoring their feelings or hoping they will go away is not helpful. At the same time, you also don’t have to have a long drawn out conversation. Sometimes a simple recognition of their feelings and the understanding that going away can be scary is all that is needed to help your child feel supported.

If your child exhibits concerns about going to camp, encourage an open expression of feelings. They are worried about the unknown and are looking for your understanding.  It is helpful to tell your child that these concerns are normal and that many other campers feel the same way.  Permit your child to call the camp office to ask questions and receive reassurance.  Let them know that the camp director is always available to help, before and during camp.

Please do not be ambivalent about your child’s stay at camp. Your child needs to understand that they will be coming to camp for 2 weeks (or however long they’ve committed).  It is important that a camper understands this commitment and is not encouraged to think he or she may leave before the session ends.  A “try it out” approach does not work.  Although it may temporarily calm the child at home it creates challenges at camp.  Remember, fees are not refundable for early departure.

Remind your camper that summer camp is about having fun, meeting new people, trying new things and taking on challenges. This approach may not work for all children, but as these are important values of our camp, if the moment feels right, it’s a good time to explore these aspects of being away from home.  Our camp is designed to help campers, new and returning, to meet new people and make new friends. Make sure your child knows this as they prepare for their summer camp adventure.

Reassure your child that everything at home will be the same as when they left. This means that pets will be cared for, possessions will be protected from siblings, and that their room will stay as it was left. If for any reason this cannot be promised, inform the camp office of the circumstances – we can be most helpful when we are informed.

Please notify the camp office of any upsetting event that may have occurred prior to camp or you anticipate happening during the summer. In this category would be an illness or death in the family, poor school grades, divorce, or moving to a new house or city.

When seeing your child off at the airport or dropping your child off at camp, make your parting brief and pleasant.  Prolonged or tearful good-byes can be emotionally upsetting to your child.

Lastly, please discuss with the Camp Director if your child has been under any psychological or psychiatric care at any time prior to camp.  JCC Maccabi Sports Camp is well prepared to deal with most children and the common problems of growing up.  Our knowledge of the facts will give your child the best chance of success. On the flip side, being left in the dark regarding a serious situation leaves us unable to properly care for your child.

As you can see, open conversation and support are best and key to your child’s success. By spending some time properly discussing your camper’s feelings, you can do wonders to set them up for an amazing overnight camp experience away from home.

As always, please feel free to call camp to discuss further. We are happy to be part of any conversation that will offer more support for your child.

Upcoming Topics

  • Summer Communication  – photos, Facebook, blogs and more

Previous Topics

To view all of the topics in this series, click here.

Packing and Gear

Posted by April 1, 2019 • Share:

This is the fourth in a series of emails & blog posts covering important topics about sending your child to camp. If you missed the previous emails or posts on Transportation, Health & Safety, or Camper Care & Campus Life, click here to view them online.  

Parent Play-by-Play 4: Packing & Gear

We want to make packing for camp as easy as possible, which is why we’ve created a thorough packing list with sections for each Core Sport. Click here to download a PDF of the packing list.

What should my child pack?

Packing Information

The following information is meant to serve as a guide to help answer any questions about what your child should bring to camp.  We encourage you to use your best judgment about your child’s needs in helping him or her to pack thoroughly, yet efficiently.

It is critical that you write your child’s name on all clothing and linens. Camp is not responsible for lost or damaged items.

For easy labeling, check out Label Daddy and use code “MACCABI” 

Even though we provide laundry at the midway point of a 13-day session, we still encourage campers to pack clothes for a minimum of 10 days. Given the active sports schedule, campers tend to need more than 1 shirt, socks, etc. for each day.

Shabbat Attire

On Friday evening of our Shabbat celebration, all campers and staff members are asked to dress in a clean, white shirt (polo, t-shirt, button down, etc.)  Please note that you do not need to purchase new clothes for Shabbat; any clean, white shirt will suffice.  Pants, shorts, and skirts do not need to be white.

Sports Equipment, Clothing, and Footwear

Campers will spend 4 hours each day at their Core Sport so it is essential that they have comfortable, appropriately fitting clothes for their sport.  Shoes and cleats brought to camp should be broken in to ensure proper comfort and fit.  Campers must wear appropriate clothing and footwear at all times.

In addition to the necessary gear for their specific Core Sport, we strongly encourage campers to bring gear for other sports, such as a baseball glove, cleats and/or tennis racquet.

See our Packing List in CampInTouch or download a PDF here for more information on what is recommended for each sport.

What items are not allowed at camp?

Items to Leave at Home

  • Clothing with inappropriate logos or words such as references to alcohol, drug, or profanity
  • Weapons of any kind
  • Food, candy, gum
  • Cell phones, personal video gaming devices or any devices with screens, internet or cellular abilities (see Electronic Policy in Parent Handbook for details)

Linens & Bedding

Campers are strongly encouraged to bring their own bedding. The mattresses at camp are twin XL (39” W x 80” L).  In addition to a fitted sheet, campers should bring a top sheet and blanket, or a sleeping bag if they prefer. They will also need a pillow, pillowcase, and 2-3 towels (1-2 for showering and 1 for pool use.)

If campers are flying to camp and/or unable to bring their own bedding, camp will provide a complete linen package, which includes two sheets, blanket, pillow, pillowcase, towels, and a washcloth. It is not necessary to request a linen package in advance. When your camper arrives, we will check to see if they need sheets, towels, etc. and provide them accordingly. There are no additional charges for the linen package. 

Forgotten Items

If your child forgot a necessary item, you can mail it to camp with “Forgotten Item” written clearly on the package and we will deliver it to your child.

Will my child be able to do laundry at camp?

Laundry Service

We provide laundry service to all campers once per session.  As stated above, your child should bring enough clothes to last more than 1 week, keeping in mind that they will usually wear 2 outfits daily (one for Core Sports and one after showering.) It is very likely that campers laundry will be bundled by room, so it is very important to label each item of your child’s clothing.

While we strive to provide excellent laundry service, we strongly discourage campers from bringing expensive clothes or items that require delicate or special care.

Weather

The average daytime temperature at camp ranges from the mid-70’s to the high 80’s. It can be cooler in the evenings with the temperature dropping into the 60’s.

Eye Care

If your child wears glasses or contacts, please send them with extras, as these items are occasionally broken or misplaced at camp.

Electronics

At JCC Maccabi Sports Camp one of our key goals is to help campers forge new friendships and connect with their cabin mates and counselors.  We want every camper and counselor to be an active participant in the daily life of camp and to not simply attend each activity but be present for every activity.

In order to do this, we ask that camp remain a place for campers to “unplug” from the electronics that they use daily at home and at school.

We do not allow any devices that can make or receive a phone call; play a video game, DVD, or movie; access the internet; or send/receive email or instant messages. A general rule of thumb is: any device with a screen is not allowed.  (The only exception to this is digital cameras and e-readers.)

Campers are allowed to bring small music devices without screens, such as the iPod shuffle.  Please note that we cannot be held responsible for lost or damaged items.

Other Policies

Please review the Parent Handbook to review camp policies regarding bringing food, money & valuables to camp and drugs, alcohol & tobacco.  We also encourage you to review Appendix I for the Terms & Conditions that you signed upon completion of the Camper Application.

Upcoming Topics

  • Preparing for Camp – preparing your child to be away from home
  • Summer Communication  – photos, Facebook, blogs and more

Previous Topics

To view all of the topics in the Parent Play-by-Play series, click here.

Transportation

Posted by April 1, 2019 • Share:

This is the third in a series of emails and blog posts covering important topics about sending your child to camp. If you missed the previous topics on Camper Care & Campus Life or Health & Safety, click here to view them online.

Parent Play-by-Play 3: Transportation

The first step to having an amazing camp experience is getting to camp! In this blog post we answer all of your questions about dropping your child off at camp and picking them up on the last day.

The Jewish value of K’lal Yisrael – Welcoming Jewish People and Friends – is one of camp’s core values. It’s not just the similarities but the differences that unite people worldwide. Feeling welcome and part of a community begins the first moment each camper reaches camp. When campers arrive at camp, whether by car or plane, our staff will greet them with a smile and help them feel comfortable at their home away from home.

Clear communication between parents and the Camp Office regarding your child’s travel information is essential. We use  CampInTouch to track campers’ travel plans to and from camp. Please complete the online Transportation Form (which can be found in your CampInTouch portal) by May 1 so we can make the proper arrangements.

When is drop-off and pick-up?

Getting to Camp by Car

On the first day of each session, families are welcome to drop their child off at camp.  Please plan to arrive at camp between 10:00am and 11:00am. To ensure a smooth first day of camp, we ask for your cooperation in arriving during the prescribed window. We will have staff members directing traffic, unloading luggage, and showing you where to park. Families are welcome to accompany campers to their dorm rooms and help them get settled, though there will also be counselors in the dorm and dedicated time later in the day to unpack.

Parents will receive an email a few days before the first day of camp reminding you of important drop-off logistics.

Our summer address is:

JCC Maccabi Sports Camp
c/o Menlo College
1000 El Camino Real
Atherton, CA 94027

If my child is flying to camp, who will pick them up from the airport?

Getting to Camp by Air

For campers who will be traveling by airplane, please book flights to arrive between 9:00am and 11:00am. If you are not able to secure a flight that lands in this time frame, please call or email camp to discuss.

Nearby airports, in order of preference for pick-up:

  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  • San Jose International Airport (SJC)

We will provide transportation at no additional cost to and from these three airports.

Most major airlines allow for travel by Unaccompanied Minors over the age of 5 years old.  We encourage you to review the specific requirements of each airline as they are all different. Please notify us directly if your child will be traveling as an Unaccompanied Minor.

All campers deemed to be Unaccompanied Minors will be greeted inside the terminal by an adult member of our camp staff and transported directly to camp. Those that do not qualify as an Unaccompanied Minor will be met just outside security. Once your child arrives at camp, you will receive a phone call notifying you of their safe arrival.  

When booking travel for an Unaccompanied Minor, the airline will ask for the name of the adult picking up your child at the airport. Due to the complexities of airport pick-up logistics, we are not able to provide this information until days prior to your child’s flight. For now, put “Josh Steinharter” in that space and we will follow-up with you as the date nears to give you the name of the camp staff member that will actually be greeting your child when they get off the plane.

Campers flying to camp are permitted to bring a mobile phone for use during travel; it will be collected upon arrival and kept in the camp safe for the duration of the session. Campers should bring a phone charger and we will ensure their phone is fully charged for the trip home.

If a parent will be flying to camp with your child and does not require transportation from the airport, you should still include your child’s flight information on the Transportation Form but please notify us via email that airport pick-up is not required.

Returning Home from Camp

For families living within driving distance, please plan to arrive at camp between 10am and 11am on the last day of the session. Parents will also receive an email a few days before the last day of the session reminding you of important pick-up logistics.

For campers who are flying home, we will provide transportation to the airport. Campers will be supervised throughout the check-in process and a staff member will remain at the airport until after their flight has departed. Please arrange flights to depart between 10am and 12pm.

As always, contact our office at (415) 997-8844 or camp@maccabisportscamp.org with any questions.

Upcoming Topics

  • Packing & Gear – how to pack, laundry, gear for core sports and other sports  
  • Preparing for Camp – preparing your child to be away from home
  • Summer Communication  – photos, Facebook, blogs and more

Previous Topics

To view all of the topics in this series, click here.

Health & Safety

Posted by April 1, 2019 • Share:

This is the second in a series of emails & blog posts covering important topics about sending your child to camp. If you missed the previous email on Camper Care & Campus Life, click here to view it online.

Parent Play-by-Play 2: Health & Safety

Our top priority at camp is ensuring your child’s health and safety. At camp we talk about Shmirat Haguf – Guarding the Body – and emphasize the importance of caring for our minds, bodies, and souls while at camp. Stretching, eating healthy meals, wearing sunscreen, and staying hydrated are a few of the preventative measures we practice!  This post will focus on our health center, medications, general safety and vaccinations.

Health Forms

Ensuring proper care of your child during their time at camp begins with our forms.  By now you’ve been introduced to CampInTouch, the online information center for enrolled families. If you do not know how to access this area, please email us at camp@maccabisportscamp.org.

Receiving complete and honest information about your child is critical to our ability to provide proper care. Please take the appropriate time to answer all questions and tell us as much about your child as possible. It is important that we know about everything and anything that could come up at camp and might help us to care for your child and enable them to feel as though camp is their home away from home.

Parents should notify camp of issues like allergies, medications, picky eating, bedwetting, apprehension about going to camp (more about how to address feelings of missing home in a future issue), social and behavior concerns.

The more you share, the more we can be prepared to provide the support your child needs to create a successful camp experience.

What happens if my child gets sick or injured?

Health Center

Our Health Center is centrally located on our camps and is staffed by a Nurse and an Athletic Trainer during all camp sessions.

Medical staff is available 24 hours a day and able to handle any and all medical issues. Most medical situations, such as colds, allergies, sprains, and dehydration will be handled on-site. Additionally, the majority of our staff are also certified in First Aid, CPR, and AED by the American Red Cross.

For more advanced medical care, JCC Maccabi Sports Camp has established a relationship with two local medical providers as well as three more commonly needed medical experts:

Stanford Hospital & Clinics – Emergency Room
(Approx. 3 miles from camp)
300 Pasteur Drive
Palo Alto, CA 94305

Pediatric Urgent Care – Palo Alto
(Approx. 2 miles from camp)
795 El Camino Real
Level 1, Lee Building
Palo Alto, CA 94301

Dr. Avram Greenspan – Pediatrician
(Approx. 1 mile from camp)
609 Price Avenue, #4
Redwood City, CA 94063

Dr. Jan Gabus – Dentist
(Approx. 1 mile from camp)
1300 University Drive, #5
Menlo Park, CA 94025

Dr. Scott Kaloust – Orthodontist
(Approx. 1 mile from camp)
1300 University Drive, #2
Menlo Park, CA 94025

Should your child necessitate a visit to on off-site medical facility, you will receive a phone call from the Camp Director, Nurse, or other member of our Senior Staff. As part of our camp forms, you are asked to give authorization allowing your child to be treated by medical professionals. We have found that the staff at most off-site facilities are is likely to call a parent before providing treatment to a minor. As the camp caring for your child, we prefer to let you know in advance of that call so you can be aware it is coming and tend to all incoming calls from unfamiliar numbers.

Parents are notified if their child has been in the Health Center for more than 24 hours, needs to be placed on prescription medication, or has been taken to an off-site doctor, emergency room, or hospital.

Parents are not generally notified if their child visits the Health Center and receives a routine diagnosis and treatment, which would include cuts, colds, bug bites, stomach aches, sore throats, or headaches.

What if my child takes prescription medication?

Camper Medications

If your child takes prescription medication, you should take several steps to enable us to support your child properly while in our care.

  • Fill out the camp medical forms clearly and completely
  • Update your camper’s forms should anything change with type or dosage
  • Send the correct amount of prescription medication to camp with your child in their original bottles/containers – DO NOT SEGMENT YOUR CHILD’S MEDICATION INTO A DAILY PILL ORGANIZER

Our medical staff will store and be responsible for the administration of your child’s prescribed medication. Under no circumstances should a camper retain and administer his or her own prescription medication. This is considered a violation of our camp policies and is grounds for dismissal from camp.

If you would like to speak directly with the Nurse or Camp Director regarding any special instructions for camper medication or treatment, feel free to call our office at 415-997-8844.

We strongly discourage parents from altering their child’s medication regimen during their time at camp. It is important that any medication your child relies on during the school year is continued while at camp to ensure a successful and comfortable experience. If you are considering altering or taking a break from your child’s medication schedule, please call and discuss with the Camp Director.

What is security like on campus?

General Safety & Supervision

Menlo College is located in Atherton, California, one of the more affluent and safe neighborhoods in America. This insulated, safe aspect of the campus is one of the reasons it was chosen as the location for our camp.

Menlo College has a 24-hour security presence and the camp works closely with the school to ensure the same protection is provided for our campers. Additionally, the dorms are secured with a high-level key-code access system that applies to all exterior and interior doors.

Campers are under adult supervision at all hours of the day, including all programming, meals and in dorms. Campers are not permitted to travel the campus without an adult. In addition to these safety measures, we spend considerable time training and preparing staff for a variety of scenarios that might arise during the summer.

Emotional Safety and Bullying

We take pride in the fact that camp is a welcoming and safe community for all campers and staff members. Safety – both physical and emotional – is our top priority and we do not tolerate bullying, threatening, discrimination, or harassment of any kind.

Vaccinations

It is JCC Maccabi Sports Camp policy that campers be immunized against the common communicable diseases listed on our Immunization history form. Every child must have current, up-to-date polio series, measles, mumps, rubella, and tetanus toxoid vaccinations to attend JCC Maccabi Sports Camp. A negative TB test within the past 24 months is also strongly recommended.

If your child has not been vaccinated, please contact our office to speak with the Camp Director.

Upcoming Topics

  • Transportation – how to get to and from camp, drop-off and pick-up times
  • Packing & Gear – how to pack, laundry, gear for core sports and other sports
  • Preparing for Camp – preparing your child to be away from home
  • Summer Communication  – photos, Facebook, blogs and more

Previous Topics

  • Camper Care & Campus Life – who are our staff, dorm life, food, and more

To view all of the topics in the Parent Play-by-Play series, click here.