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Camp@CSU Channel Islands

Ever since the Woolsey Fire in November 2018, we promised #CampNeverStops. Which is why...

We’re so excited to announce that both Camp Hess Kramer and Gindling Hilltop Camp (clap clap) will be at Cal State University Channel Islands! 

Frequently Asked Questions about Camp@CSU Channel Islands

If you have any questions that aren’t answered below, please do not hesitate to reach out to one of our directors who will be more than happy to chat. See you at camp!

Where is Cal State Channel Islands?

Cal State Channel Islands is approximately 15 minutes north of our historical home in Malibu and about 10 minutes south of Camarillo off the 101 freeway in Ventura County.


How big is Cal State Channel Islands, and will it hold our whole community?

With 2 housing buildings 4 stories high we will have enough space for both camps to run at full capacity. Our new home will continue to have a full staff of medical and inclusion staff as well as counselors, specialists, support staff, senior staff, and directors.


How is the campus secured?

The campus is fully secured with a dedicated 24-hour campus police force. All living spaces and the majority of indoor activity spaces are private access only, and most outdoor activity spaces are designated specifically for our camps.


What will cabins/living situation look like?

The rooms that will make a cabin are all adjacent to each other. In most cases, the rooms will be four campers in a room, then a room of counselors, then a room of four more campers. That way the counselors are always easily within reach and the doors are open so the kids are always free to go between rooms. There will not be counselors in their rooms at night but less than a few feet away with their doors open. Having as many campers in a room as possible maintains more of a bunk feel. Therefore the cabin structure will be 8 campers and 2 counselors, with some being slightly smaller or larger based on registration. All showers and bathrooms are private stalls and are right down the hall from all the rooms.


How do we do bunk requests?

You should fill out bunk requests just as you normally would. As in the past, you get two bunk requests and we will do our best to get them in the same cabin. There is a chance for them to be in the same room but as always nothing is guaranteed. 


Will the two camps run separately as they have in the past, or will they run as one camp?

The cabins will be separated by camp: Kramer cabins and Hilltop cabins. Because we’re running our same sessions, the camps will operate on separate, staggered schedules, retaining both camps’ individual identities. However, operating our two camps on the same campus gives us a beautiful opportunity to have both communities interact with one another more frequently than we have in the past.


How will my camper get to camp?

Just as in the past we will offer several ways to get to camp. First by drop off at Wilshire Boulevard Temple Glazer Campus in Koreatown. Additionally, we will offer a drop off at a temple in Orange County, we will pick up campers from Los Angeles International Airport and finally will be offering a drop-off spot nearby our new campsite.


Can we drop off at Cal State Channel Islands?

Unfortunately, no. At this time we are figuring out the best place to have a drop off near Cal State Channel Islands. We will have an option for those families who are in close proximity to the campus.

Will there be an opportunity to see the campus?

We are working on setting up an Open House where we can give a tour of the site prior to summer as well as a few virtual open houses where you can call into a conference video chat and see a presentation, then ask a director any questions you may have.


How will this summer be different than previous summers?

The truth is - being in a new location won’t change how we take care of kids, create fun, meaningful activities, and develop lifelong friendships. We’ll be offering most of the same programs (and some awesome new ones, too!). Our schedule will reflect those of past summers. Our counselor-to-camper ratio will be the same. We’ll celebrate Shabbat with singing and Israeli dancing. The food will be delicious.


What are the food and dining hall facilities like?

Each camp will eat their meals separately. Just as they were at our Malibu site, the meals will be served family style, along with a salad bar. The CSU Channel Islands kitchen staff has our past menus and will work with us to make sure our community enjoys the classic meals we’ve loved for decades (grilled cheese, coffee cake, etc). We’ll still work with you on an individual basis to make sure any of your child’s dietary needs are taken care of - everybody at camp will be well fed!


Will there be Beach Day?

Big time!

What activities will you be offering?

Basketball, Soccer, Archery, Gardening, Gaga, Cooking, Dance, Improv/Drama, Podcast, Video, Teva (ropes course), Hiking, Swimming, Newspaper, Songleading, Rock Band, Ultimate Frisbee, Table Games (ping pong/billiards), Yoga, and more to come!


Will there be Maccabbiah/Pioneer Days (color wars) and last night Banquet?

No - those are canceled (Winky Face!)


Camp creates lifelong friends, helps kids discover who they really are, and builds a community that loves each individual for their true self. We're energized to keep fostering life-changing experiences in this new chapter of our camps' history.

The newest campus in the Cal State system is beautifully situated just 15 minutes north of Camp. Modern, scenic, warm and inviting, this site allows us to retain our outdoor programs while also embracing the state-of-the-art facilities a college campus offers. A combination of intimate activity spaces and large-scale natural settings gives us an exciting opportunity to bring the magic of camp to a new, yet similarly coastal home. The dedicated campus police will ensure your children are safe and carefree in private-access living spaces and activity areas. 

Because we’re creating unforgettable summers in a new home, we’re bringing the camp classics with us. Beach Day? Check. Grilled cheese and tomato soup? Check. Going crazy on Shabbat? Check. Ocean breeze? Check.

The choice-based structure of our schedule will, for the most part, look the same. We’ll still offer the chuggim (electives) and age-specific experiences that have defined us for decades, along with a handful of fun, new activities!

If you have any questions about this summer, please don’t hesitate to reach out to any of the directors.

Kramer and Hilltop at CSU Channel Islands - Can’t Wait!

Registration for this summer is open, and sessions are starting to fill up!

Register Now
#KramerNeverStops #HilltopNeverStops

The Camp Team,
Doug, Seth, Erica, Ari, Rabbi David, Janine, and Cheri