Who are our campers?
Kids come to 6 Points West because they love STEM or The Arts. They either tried a general camp and didn’t find it compelling because it didn’t have enough of the activities they love most, or maybe the idea of summer camp didn’t appeal to them until they found us!
One of our 5 core values is Radical Acceptance which, to us, means that we all have different needs and we try to support each and every camper at 6 Points West. We have found that kids who love STEM and the Arts often need support around ADD, ADHD, ASD, anxiety, making friends, flexibility, etc. We are prepared for our campers, built a program and hired staff who are ready to help them succeed. Campers must be able to participate in our fast-paced, busy days and living in a communal setting.
We believe inclusivity, diversity and equality are mindsets through which we view our camp community. Campers and staff come from a variety of lived experiences which informs our daily language and practice.
Will my camper feel left out if they are new?
Absolutely not! Campers join us for the first time all along the age spectrum because we are a specialty camp. They might be ready for camp at a later age, or they might have spent 1 or 2 summers at a general camp before realizing their real home was at a specialty camp. Additionally, we opened our doors in 2018 so we do not have a culture of long-standing families who have attended for generations. Its easy to make new friends when everyone in camp loves the same subjects as you!
How much time is spent on screens?
Some of the campers in our Sci-Tech track use computers for their workshop or electives and some do not. We view computers as a tool to learn and achieve more than we could without them. While we are using this tool, we are also working in pairs, practicing communication, flexibility and how to both give and receive feedback. When we are not in those workshops, we put our computers away! We spend lots of time laughing, swimming, inventing, playing and building. It’s still camp, after all!
What is the food like?
We are fortunate to rent space on a college campus, so our dining hall is a college cafeteria. We have exclusive use of a dining room and schedule our meal times to avoid other groups on campus. We take advantage of the multiple stations and choices offered like salad bar, sandwich bar, hot entrees and dessert choices. Vegetarian, gluten-free and lactose-free alternatives are always available. The meat is not kosher, so our kosher campers eat vegetarian while at camp. On Friday night, we bring in kosher chicken for dinner. Having so many choices means that our campers practice independence. We coach them to have lots of colors on their plate and listen to how their choices have made their bodies feel.
How do dorms work instead of cabins?
We have exclusive use of our dorm building. Campers are grouped into halls with those who identify as the same gender and who are the same grade level. These halls are equivalent to cabins at a traditional camp and that group is their home-base family for the session. Each hall has at least 2 assigned counselors who live on the hall. Campers are housed in rooms of 2, sometimes 3. Each hall has a bathroom with private shower and private toilet stalls. The sink area is communal.
We have an Open Door Policy while we are in the dorm to maintain supervision and a communal environment. We have all the same fun that happens in a traditional cabin, we just do it rooms without beds!
Do you do laundry?
Campers who stay at camp for multiple sessions have their laundry sent out during session break. Campers who are at camp for a single 12-day session will not have laundry done. We have access to laundry facilities on campus in case an issue arises.
How can I communicate with my camper?
There are lots of ways! You can send letters in the mail. If you want your camper to write you back, we recommend sending stationary and stamps plus consider pre-addressing the envelopes. This is a skill that we find our campers have not yet mastered. You can also send e-letters which are emails that we print for your camper so they remain “unplugged.” They can also reply to e-letters which is a handwritten note we scan and email to you. We also post lots of photos each day which are only accessed by our enrolled families. Your first point of contact in camp is our Nefesh staff (nefesh is Hebrew for soul) who provide extra support to our campers who need it. They are available to you if you need a check in.
Where is 6 Points West located?
We rent space at Scripps College in Claremont which is about 45 minutes east of Los Angeles. We have moved a few times so you might have seen us at Cal Lutheran in Thousand Oaks or American Jewish University in Bel Air in the past.
Health & Safety
My child takes daily medications
No problem! We have 2 RNs on camp with us who dispense medications 4 times each day. Medication must be brought to camp in their original packaging and will be dispensed according to the doctor’s printed directions. You do not need to provide over the counter medications which we stock in our health center.
What happens if my child gets sick at camp?
Our goal at camp is to maintain your child’s health. Our wonderful 24-hour Health Center is staffed by registered nurses who live on camp. The Health Center is equipped with supplies to deal with minor injuries and illnesses. Our medical staff coordinates and monitors all daily medication distribution along with any as-needed medications directed to campers. If necessary, multiple local hospitals are close by, and emergency services are available immediately since we are located in an urban area. We have relationships with a local dentist and orthodontist if your child has an emergency during camp.
How do you deal with safety & security at camp?
We take safety and security at camp very seriously. All of the camp directors participate in extensive professional training to handle minor and major safety and security situations. Our summer staff are trained to manage and handle safety and security situations during our pre-camp orientation. We work closely with the 24-hour, on-site campus security who patrols the entire campus. Our dorm building remains locked and only our staff have keys to enter. This means our campers need to be with our staff at all times on campus.
Does my child need to be immunized?
Yes, the Union for Reform Judaism requires that all camp and travel program participants, staff and faculty must be immunized, including age-appropriate Covid-19 vaccinations. For more information, read the URJ Policy Statement on Vaccine Status.
Who are your staff members?
Our staff has been carefully selected and intensely trained by our camp directors to keep our campers safe, happy and instill the values of 6 Points West. They are enthusiastic about Science & Technology or The Arts so they can be the very best mentors and role models to our campers. All staff members participate in an intensive training program before our campers arrive including workshops led by our camp directors, outside professionals, and industry experts. Our counselors are college students who bring abundant warmth and energy to our camp community. Our various workshop instructors are subject matter experts who share their particular areas of expertise with our campers.
A rotating group of dynamic rabbis, cantors, and educators from our URJ congregations come to camp for a week or two at a time to explore Judaism, STEM, Arts and have fun with our campers. A few Israelis join our staff each summer as counselors, infusing Israeli culture into the daily life at camp and teaching us Hebrew.
How are staff trained?
Our staff has been carefully selected and intensely trained by our camp directors to keep our campers safe, happy and instill the values of 6 Points West. All staff members participate in an intensive training program before our campers arrive including workshops led by our camp directors, outside professionals, and industry experts. We prepare them to address homesickness, interpersonal conflicts, how to deal with safety and security issues and hallmarks of quality supervision. We also train them on engaging with campers, leading fun and appropriate programming and when to use the senior staff for help.