Who are Mosh's counselors and how are they trained?
The vast majority of our counselors and technical staff grew up at Mosh and are coming back to serve as counselors, in order to create the same magical experience for the next generation of kids. That means we’ve known them for years, know which positions and teams would work best for them, and how to best support them. Counselors who grew up at Mosh went through our leadership programs in high school, including a summer-long counselor-in-training program. Every summer all staff go through a comprehensive 12-day long staff training program.
During staff training, counselors learn about and practice the need to take care of the whole child - their physical and emotional wellbeing, and their social and intellectual needs. Counselors go through, among others, sessions on:
Special certifications for lifeguards, waterfront activities, and ropes course operators
Camper care and supervision
How to support homesick kids
Guiding positive behavior
Restorative justice practices
Before the summer, you will be asked to complete extensive questionnaires about your child’s health, hobbies, strengths, difficulties, etc. Information from these forms, as well as from follow-up conversations, will be compiled and discussed with your child’s counselors so that they’re ready to take care of your child and craft their summer experience.
During the camp session, there are five summer directors (Mazkirut) supporting and supervising counselors, following up to make sure needs of individual campers are being met, helping counselors resolve issues with group dynamics, and continuously adapting and impriving our educational content.
Crafting age appropriate education
How do you ensure campers' health and safety?
Camp Moshava is licensed by the State of Maryland and accredited by the American Camp Association, the leading authority in the promotion of camp safety and quality. That means that we follow hundreds of standards ranging from sanitation to camper/staff ratio, to quality of programming. On our last accreditation day-long visit and assessment, we passed with a 100% score on all standards. That’s because at Mosh, the health and safety of campers is not only our #1 priority, it is also everyone’s responsibility; from the group counselors and camp directors, to our kitchen staff, to our on-site nurses.
Our level of staff certification in First Aid, CPR and AED exceeds both state and ACA regulations. Staff with additional appropriate certification are supervising during activitites such as canoeing, tubing, low ropes and swimming.
Our new camp health center is staffed with 2 nurses (RNs) at all times. If the nurse determines additional evaluation is needed, they may contact one of our consulting physicians and/or they might be sent to see a doctor at the nearby Patient First clinic or Upper Chesapeake Emergency Department (15 minutes away).
Our security assessment was most recently done by the head of security for The Associated - the Baltimore Federation, and have worked with them to review and improve our safety and security protocols, which all staff learn and practice during staff training. We are in touch with local emergency services in town (Emergency Services Manager, Fire Department, Sheriff's Office) throughout the year, and meet with them before each camp season to make sure they’re aware of the details of our operations for that summer.
What are the sleeping arrangements at camp?
Campers are housed by grade and gender identity. Younger campers (grades 3 - 7) sleep in cabins, while older campers (grades 8-12) are housed in platform tents. Though Mosh is designed to be rustic in nature, the cabins and tents are powered with electricity. The cabin area and tent area each have their own bathhouses with well lit paths to and from the living spaces. We also offer the option of all gender housing to older campers who identify as gender fluid, genderqueer, trans and allies. Campers are housed according to their gender identity and where they feel most comfortable. All-gender bathrooms are available at the older campers' bathhouse and in the health center (marp).
What sort of communications can I expect to get from camp?
The Mosh blog is updated a few times a week, and it is the main window into camp activities’ descriptions and photos. It will give you good insight into what your child has been doing and what Mosh and Habonim are all about. In addition, Mosh staff are always available to talk with you when your child is at camp, and messages are answered within the same day.
The most successful camp experiences occur when a child is fully immersed in camp. Therefore, most direct communication with campers will happen in writing, via old-fashioned snail mail. Parents can also send emails, which we print and deliver daily, except on Shabbat.
What is the food like? Can you accomodate special diets?
Kids are active all the time at camp and they get hungry! That’s why we have three meals and two snacks a day. We know how important food is for the wellbeing of campers and we make sure that it feels home-like - comforting and accessible. Food is kid friendly and there are always vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. We serve fresh vegetables and/or fruit at every meal.
Here’s what one day’s menu at camp looked like this summer:
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, cantalope, yogurt, cereal, and cottage cheese.
Lunch: Chicken nuggets/vegan nuggets, french fries, sauteed spinach, watermelon and salad bar.
Afternoon Snack: Apples.
Dinner: Burrito Bar with refried beans, guacamole, cheese, sour cream, salsa and chopped tomatos plus salad bar.
Bedtime Snack: Chocolate cake and milk.
If your child is a picky eater (and many kids are), there are always multiple options to replace or supplement the meal, and counselors and kitchen staff will assist them in choosing, and prepare their meal. Options for picky eaters may include pasta, SunButter and Jelly sandwich, cheese quesadilla, and more. If you’re worried that your child is especially picky, let us know. We will work with you before the summer to make sure that we are aware of their needs and that our pantry is stocked with the food they will eat.
Our kitchen staff is certified and trained to handle food sensitivities and special diets, and we work with parents to make sure that special diets menus are varied and contain the dishes and food items that the camper is used to from home. We have experience with and can accommodate gluten free diets, nut-allergy diets, diets for campers with diabetes, etc.
Mosh is completely peanut free.
What is your policy on electronics at camp?
Mosh is a “screen-free” camp experience! Did you know that American teens spend over 7 ½ hours a day using electronic devices? Camp is a great time to take a break from the screens and connect with new and old friends face to face! Please leave all electronics at home! These devices have a way of getting lost or broken at camp. The only electronics allowed at Mosh are screen-less music players (e.g. iPod shuffles, CD players) and digital cameras.
When can we visit camp?
It is unlikely that we will have visitors to camp in Summer 2021, as we would like to maintain all Covid-19 safety protocols advised by the Maryland Health Department, the CDC, and the American Camping Association.
If you would like a tour of camp before the summer, please contact Abby at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How does Mosh welcome diverse campers?
Habonim Dror Camp Moshava is a safe space for children to learn and grow. We believe that a thriving community is one that embraces and celebrates diverse identities -- age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, nationality, religion, ability and socioeconomic status.
Known in the Jewish camping world as a leader in LGBTQ inclusion, Camp Mosh received the highest rating on the Jewish Organization Equality Index for LGBTQ inclusion in 2012. Mosh was also the first Jewish camp to offer
All Gender housing and bathroom options starting in 2017.
Our programming seeks to appreciate the value that each camper brings to camp-because of the individual, the community is stronger, because of the community, the individual is stronger. Racial Justice Night, Gender Empowerment Evening, queer kids club and Habonim Dror's positive masculinity curriculum are just a few examples of how we infuse the value of "shivyon erech ha'adam", the worth of all human beings, into our daily life at camp.
Our Melavimot (inclusion coordinators) work with parents, campers and staff to make sure we are meeting our campers where they are. Programs like Asepha Klalit (our weekly community meeting), our inclusion specialists, and the
gender inclusive Hebrew we use are some of the ways we empower campers to be their truest selves!
We welcome all campers and families. We know that new experiences can be difficult for some, and we encourage you to
contact us if you'd like to discuss how to make camp a rewarding and optimal experience for your child.
How will my child get to camp?
In summer 2021, transportation will look different. As of January 12, 2021, our plan is to have campers be picked up and dropped off by a guardian at the beginning and end of each session. As we get new information from the state and county health departments regarding covid protocols, we will update our transportation information.
What medical forms need to be filled out for my child to attend camp?
Please view this page -- all about medical forms!
What age group will my child be in?
Nitzanimot - Entering 3rd grade
Amelim - Entering 4th/5th grade
Chotrimot - Entering 6th/7th grade
Solelimot - Entering 8th grade
Bonimot - Entering 9th grade
Bogrimot - Entering 10th grade
Rising 11th graders attend one of two national programs offered:
Madatz (Madrichimot Tzirim) - Young counselors in leadership training. Entering 12th grade
How does camp deal with medical and mental health needs?
At camp, we seek to meet the medical and mental health needs of our campers to the best of our ability. Our year-round camp team, including our camp nurse/medical director and social worker, will work with you throughout the enrollment process to assess whether camp can meet your child’s specific health needs. Once you are enrolled, we will conduct an intake interview to learn more about your child. If your child has greater mental health needs, our melavol (camper care coordinator) will conduct a followup interview to create a care plan for camp. The melavol will also communicate with your camper’s therapist and incorporate their recommendations into the care plan for the camper’s support at camp. This care plan will be reviewed by our camp social worker. If a camper requires additional support while at camp, the melavol will speak with the parents/caregivers about the possibility of having an inclusion specialist working with the camper. Our ability to provide an inclusion specialist is dependent on the availability of the appropriately trained and qualified staff to work at camp during the camper’s session. The inclusion specialist is not a 1:1 aide. Camp Moshava does not provide 1:1 level of care. The inclusion specialist has mental health first aid training, has reviewed the camper care plan, and is a point person for the camper throughout the day. Additionally, the inclusion specialist increases the overall staff to camper ratio for the camper’s age group - making them more available to assist the camper as needed.