Summers 2020/2021 FAQ

Dreaming of 2021…

We are heartbroken to share that Camp Tel Noar will not open in Summer 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Out of an abundance of love for everyone in our camp community, all three Cohen Camps will stay closed this season. When the time is right, we will meet again at Sunset Lake!

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

We care deeply about each camper and teen in the Tel Noar family. Parents, you may be wondering how the loss of this summer will impact your child in their future experiences at Tel Noar. Campers and teens, especially in the older age groups, we know it’s really hard to miss out on the summer you were looking forward to. The information below may help you continue to process and look ahead with hope to Summer 2021. We will update this page to add more answers as needed/possible.  

While we intend to make the best of every summer, adapting may also be hard, requiring extra empathy and care from all of us. We ask our entire Tel Noar family to keep each other’s feelings in mind, especially on social media.

How do we find the best solution for each child in uncharted territory?
The Cohen Camps team is responsible for balancing the well-being of each of our campers individually and the well-being of our entire community for this summer, next summer, and every summer after that.

Parents and teens have suggested repeating a year, skipping a year, and blending options in every way possible. For every person who encouraged one choice, another sought something different.

Informed by our decades of camp experience, working as a team of leaders from all three camps, we carefully considered all these alternatives and several others to determine the most positive approach for each member of our community. While making plans, we’re also keeping in mind that we can’t anticipate what the health situation may require next summer, so we will need to look ahead with patience and flexibility. 

What is the plan for each age group in Summers 2020 and 2021?
At all three Cohen Camps, campers and teens will continue on their camp path. Whatever age group/bunk they would have been in this summer, it is still theirs. We will offer bunk hangouts and events this summer to keep the camp spirit flowing! Next summer, campers and teens will move to the next age group/bunk as appropriate. 

For our oldest age groups, to reclaim special 2020 milestones and enjoy them in 2021, there will be a unique approach for this unusual time: 

  • Teens in Bunks 7/17 in 2020 are still 7/17’20. Next summer at camp they will be Bunks 8/18’21.
  • Teens in Bunks 8/18 in 2020 are still 8/18’20. Next summer at camp/in Israel they will be Bunks 8/18’20/Dor L’Dor 2021.
  • Teens who would have traveled to Israel as Dor L’Dor in 2020 are still DLD’20. Next summer in Israel/at camp they will be DLD’20/Kadima 2021.

Everyone will have a leadership experience next summer that provides as much as possible of the experience they have looked forward to, while allowing others to do the same. We’ll ask for input from our campers in late summer/early fall this year so that we understand the traditions that mean the most to them, and we’ll strive to include those in next summer’s plans. Planning a banquet? Getting to be Big Sisters and Brothers to our youngest campers? Leading camp in a Color War? We’d like to hear from teens!

At Camp Tel Noar, we cultivate children and teens’ creativity, resilience, compassion, and care for others—qualities they can rely on in life and that we hope are helping them through the COVID-19 crisis. Together as a camp family we’ll tap into these qualities to forge the best possible experience for each other in 2021.

What does this mean for my teen in Summer 2021?
Bunks 7/17 in 2020/Bunks 8/18 in 2021
Bunks 7/17’20 will have their Bunk 8/18 summer in 2021. They will be 8/18 the whole 2021 summer (not 7/17 for any part of it). Some things will look different in 2021 for them and for all of us, but their core 8/18 experience awaits them.

Bunks 8/18 in 2020/DLD’21 
We know our oldest 2020 campers are mourning the loss of their culminating summers. They will get to create and treasure their own unforgettable Bunk 8/18 moments in 2020 while moving forward with a transformative experience in Israel. They will have a blended 2021 experience: they will come to camp to live together and enjoy many of the special 8/18 milestones, then travel to Israel with their peers from all three camps on Dor L’Dor.

DLD’20/Kadima’21
DLD 2020 teens will also have a blended 2021 experience. They will begin their summer with a trip to Israel and come back to camp for a condensed Kadima 2021 Teen Leadership program. This allows them to move forward with an unforgettable, transformative experience in Israel…then benefit from the leadership growth they’ll be ready for in 2021, and the quality of staff training we now aspire to offer to all of our program graduates who wish to apply to join the staff in 2022.

How can there be two 8/18s at camp in 2021? or two Dor L'Dors?
It will be an exciting camp season—and potentially incredibly empowering for all. We’ve heard from lots of teens over the last few weeks. Each age group has expressed a desire to not take away from the other’s experience while still getting to experience their special moments. That mutual empathy is amazing.

Bunks 8/18‘20/DLD’21 and Bunks 8/18‘21 will each have unique experiences.
8/18’20/DLD’21 will come to camp then go to Israel. Over the coming weeks and months, we will carefully map out and differentiate the experiences and leadership opportunities for each group, including ways to preserve their milestone moments. For example, 7/17’20 would have planned a banquet for 8/18’20 this summer. Next summer,  as 8/18’21, they will get to plan a banquet for 8/18’20/DLD’21 before they depart for Israel. As we fill in these plans and approach next summer, we will share more examples.

Bunks 8/18‘20/DLD’21 and DLD’20/Kadima’21 will each have unique experiences.
8/18’20/DLD’21 will come to camp then go to Israel. DLD’20/Kadima’21 will do the reverse. They will not overlap, and they will maintain unique identities.

Each summer at camp is an opportunity to try something new, while upholding time-honored traditions. Yet each beloved camp tradition we have today was, at one time, new and done for the very first time. Perhaps we’ll even create some new traditions in 2021!

What can Bunks 7/17 and Bunks 8/18 do this year, in Summer 2020?
Let’s make the best of a challenging time together! We want to work with our teens in the coming weeks to determine fun programs for this summer and design the at-camp experience for next summer. Bunks 7/17’20 and Bunks 8/18’20 can still mark and celebrate some of the key moments they have been anticipating.

If you are in 7/17’20 or 8/18’20, and you are ready and willing, you can step forward this summer to play a role in leading camp and setting the tone – sharing your energy, resilience, and spirit – to inspire younger campers, both in 2020 and in 2021. Please email CTN Director Efraim at efraim@cohencamps.org with your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions, and to let him know how you are feeling!

When can we have more details?
Because much remains unknown about the COVID-19 situation in 2021 and its implications for camp and for travel, this is as specific as we can get right now. More clarity in the health and travel situation will allow for more details in the coming months. We are grateful for your patience. We promise to keep you updated and provide more news as swiftly as we can. 

Have more questions?

Please reach out to Camp Tel Noar’s Director Efraim (efraim@cohencamps.org) or Assistant Directors Amanda (amanda@cohencamps.org) or Michelle (mjackson@camptelnoar.org). We are here for you.