Life at Camp
Where will my child live? How are room and hall assignments made? Campers and staff live in dorms and are grouped into “halls” with rooms and halls based on grade and gender. Dorm buildings are divided up by units/grades. Transgender campers or staff members are housed on the halls that affirm their gender identity and non-binary campers and staff live where they are most comfortable. Counselors live on each hall to supervise, mentor, and engage their campers throughout the day, both when in the dorm and when at activities. Each hall is staffed by counselors who live on the hall and travel with their campers to meals and activities throughout the day. Rooms are mostly doubles or triples, with a few quads. Roommate assignments are made based on camper grades and mutual requests.
Can my child request to be with their best friend? As long as they are in the same grade and the same dorm, we do our best to accommodate one mutual roommate request per camper. A housing info and roommate request form is included in the camper paperwork released in the spring where you can put this request.
Will my child need lots of special equipment from home? We will provide all equipment that is necessary for all activities at camp, including both STEM and recreational activities. Campers may choose to bring non-electronic games and sports equipment (such as their personal tennis racket), but we encourage you to leave anything expensive at home. Please also see our Personal Technology Policy for more information on personal electronics at camp.
How can I get a 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy t-shirt for my child? All campers will receive a 6 Points Sci-Tech t-shirt at camp. Additional shirts and camp clothing and gear can be purchased at our online camp store.
How will my child’s laundry get done? Campers will have their laundry sent out to a local wash-and-fold service about halfway through each session. Campers staying multiple sessions will also have their laundry done during intersession. We encourage you to also label each article of clothing to help ensure everything makes it home!
How’s the food? Amazing! The food service is provided by The Governor’s Academy, in their air-conditioned dining hall. The dining services staff are year-round professional employees of the school (many of whom live on campus), who are highly skilled in preparing tasty, nutritious meals for kids. Most meals are served buffet-style with multiple options. For more information about food service, see our Facilities and Food page.
What if my child’s birthday occurs during camp? We love birthdays at camp! It is a special day for a camper, and we celebrate as a community by singing happy birthday in the dining hall and giving the camper birthday cake to enjoy with their hallmates. During the Boker Big Bang that morning, the camper gets to participate in the experiment of the day, and counselors make it an extra special day for their campers by decorating their door or hall. Our birthday campers also get their own star named after them in the Sci-Tech Star Registry! We know that birthdays are a difficult time for campers to be away from their families, so we also schedule a special phone call so that you can wish them a happy birthday, too!
How are the different grades organized at camp? At Sci-Tech, campers are divided in three ways: Upper Camp (grades 8-11) and Lower Camp (grades 5-7), by camp unit, and by hall. Day-time activities, like Workshops, Chugim, Sababa, and Kinesthetic Sciences are grouped by Upper Camp and Lower Camp. Meals and hall nights are grouped by dorm hall. Evening programs and special camp traditions/milestone moments are grouped by camp unit. Grades at camp are determined by the grade a camper would be going into for the following school year (i.e. a camper who is currently in 4th grade would be a 5th grader at camp).
What are the different camp units? Our five units at camp are Kiloybytes (Grades 5 – 6), Megabytes (Grade 7), Gigabytes (Grades 8 – 9), Terabytes (Grade 10), and a special 3rd session only 11th-grade unit called the Yottabytes. We also have a full-summer 12th-grade leadership and CIT program called Machon.
Can 11th graders come to camp? We have a special, 3rd session only unit specifically for rising 11th graders. This is called the YOTTABYTES. Yottabytes are able register for the Sci-Techkun Olam: Teen Leadership Incubator workshop, which is specifically designed for teens.
Can 11th graders going on Sci-Tech in Israel also come to camp as a Yottabyte during 3rd session? Yes! The dates for Sci-Tech Israel (run by NFTY in Israel) do not overlap with our third session. Depending on international travel regulations by the end of the summer, it will be possible to attend both!
We highly encourage families who can attend Sci-Tech in Israel to do so, as it is an adventure of a lifetime. However, we recognize that the Sci-Tech Israel program is not accessible to everyone, and we wanted to make sure that all our 11th graders have a chance to be with their Sci-Tech community during the summer whether in Byfield or in Israel!
Can 12th graders who are going on the Sci-Tech Israel trip attend the Machon Teen Leadership Program? No. Unfortunately, the Sci-Tech Israel trip overlaps with the dates for our Machon Teen Leadership program. Our Machon Program is a full-summer, immersive teen leadership and Counselor-In-Training experience and it is not possible to start the program later in the summer.
Camper Readiness and Camp Visits
Is my child ready for overnight camp? We believe that all children are capable of having a rewarding overnight summer camp experience. Our two-week sessions are a great choice for families looking for a shorter experience. Our camp professionals are happy to discuss preparing your child for their first summer at camp to ensure it will be a successful experience!
Can we visit and tour the camp? Currently, due to COVID-19 health and safety restrictions, we are not able to tour our host site, Governor’s Academy. However, we still would love to meet you! Please visit our Virtual Parlor Meeting page for more information and to register today! We are working on scheduling a virtual tour during camp.
Can we arrange a home visit to meet the camp director? Currently, due to COVID-19 health and safety restrictions, we are not doing home visits. However while we can’t make it in person, we can always be there virtually—we love video conferencing using Zoom! Please contact our camp office today to schedule your visit!
Health + Safety
My camper takes medications and/or over-the-counter medications/vitamins/supplements. How do I get those to camp? To ensure the best possible quality of care in our Health Center, we require all campers who take prescriptions, supplements, vitamins, and/or over-the-counter medications (OTC’s) to enroll in our pre-packaged pharmacy service. We will not accept any medication, vitamins, supplements, or over-the-counter medications on Opening Day. For Summer 2022, we will use a pharmacy service provided by Lenox Village Integrative Pharmacy (Village Pharmacy). We are excited to continue working with Village Pharmacy, a company lauded by other overnight camps that have contracted with them. We are confident with the use of this pre-packaged pharmacy we will see high efficiency, low risk of error, and exemplary customer service.
Enrolled families will receive a Camp Pharmacy FAQs packet in their CampInTouch accounts in the Spring closer to the beginning of camp.
What if my child has allergies? We strive to accommodate all allergies at camp so that all campers can participate in our program. Our professional dining services team has experience dealing with many allergies, like gluten/wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, sesame, and fish allergies. We are able to accommodate most dietary needs – if your camper’s allergies are not on the list, please do not hesitate to inquire. Campers who need medication to manage environmental allergies will receive their medication from our nurses at mealtimes or before bed. We have Epipens on hand in the dining hall and health center and are sent with our staff on any out-of-camp trips. Our entire staff is trained in the use of Epipens.
How do you select, train, and supervise your staff? What is the staff-to-camper ratio? Our counselors are more than just supervisors – they are mentors, friends, and role models! Counselors are selected based on their past experience working with children, their dedication to our Jewish values, and their passion for science and technology. All staff go through a rigorous staff orientation prior to the first day of camp, which features training in child care and development, informal Jewish and scientific education, and camper safety. Our staff who run STEM programming begin prepping months ahead of time, in partnership with our STEM advisors and education consultants! We maintain at least a 5-to-1 camper-to-staff ratio.
Will my child be safe while at camp? URJ 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy complies with regulations of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and is licensed by the local board of health in addition to being certified by the American Camp Association.
There is nothing more important to us than the safety and well-being of your child, both physically and emotionally. The following mechanisms are in place to ensure that your child remains safe while at camp:
- The Governor’s Academy has a 24/7 professional security presence on campus. They regularly patrol the facility and work closely with us to ensure our safety.
- All our staff members go through mandatory safety training, which includes procedures for a variety of safety situations, such as medical and weather emergencies.
- All of our leadership staff members are trained in First Aid and CPR, and all carry cell phones or walkie-talkies to ensure a fast response time in the event of a medical problem.
We have camp nurses on campus and on-call 24/7 to respond to any medical problems. We work with a local doctor as well as a local hospital and urgent care center to provide additional care when needed.
What kind of clothing should my child bring to camp? Campers at URJ 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy will be outside and moving around for much of the day, so we recommend comfortable clothes such as shorts and t-shirts. Closed-toed shoes are required (no sandals or flip-flops). For Shabbat, many choose to dress a little nicer (such as khakis, polo shirts, skirts) and we request that all campers wear a white top to bring our community together as one kehilah kedoshah (holy community). A full packing list is provided closer to the beginning of camp. If you’d like to see the packing list from previous years prior to registering, please reach out to the camp office.
What happens if my child gets sick while at camp? Our professional medical team, which includes nurses and local doctors, are here to help ensure your camper’s wellness! In most cases, sick campers stay in our Health Center until they are able to re-join camp activities. In the event of an overnight stay, a hospital visit, or if our medical staff prescribes or changes any medication, the parents will be notified as soon as possible.
Where is the closest hospital? Anna Jacques Hospital, a full-service community hospital (including emergency medicine) in Newburyport is less than 6 miles away.
Where can I find your Child Protection Policy? At the heart of our Reform Movement is our enduring commitment to shaping a more whole, just, and compassionate world. That holy work includes ensuring that each and every member of our camp community – especially our children – are protected and that their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health and safety is our highest priority. You can read more about the URJ’s official Child Protection Policy here.
**For Summer 2022, we are requiring all age eligible participants, staff, volunteers, and guests on our camp properties to be fully vaccinated, as defined by the CDC, against COVID-19.** The URJ has a long history of requiring vaccinations for our community, and we believe strongly that preserving life and maintaining the health of our entire community is a core Jewish value.
Knowing that our entire age-eligible community will be vaccinated against COVID-19 allows us to also adjust our other mitigation strategies from this past summer. We will have additional information about these adjustments in the coming months and look forward to returning to a more typical summer experience in many ways. **As part of that, for Summer 2022, we plan to return to a more typical time off policy for our staff that includes time off of our camp properties, where staff will have autonomy over their own time.** Our staff truly went above and beyond in Summer 2021, living onsite at camp for 8 weeks without time off of our campus. In consultation with our medical advisors, we believe that we can safely return to more traditional time off in Summer 2022.
As always, the health and well-being of our entire community is our highest priority and we expect staff and campers to behave in ways that hold this value dear, in balance with local COVID-19 conditions, and guidance from local and state health authorities, American Camp Association, Foundation for Jewish Camp, and our host site Governor’s Academy.
As we approach the 2022 summer season we will update this page and our families regarding our health and safety policies and procedures. We expect summer 2022 to be very different from summer 2021, and will continue to monitor the changing information and recommendations surrounding public health and COVID-19.
Will my child be inside all day? We design our programs specifically for the camp environment, which means they include active, outdoor learning experiences. Campers participate in recreation time each day, where they can choose from a wide variety of activities. Campers can play games like gaga (Israeli dodgeball), explore our 450 wooded acres with their counselors, and engage with each other in a variety of outdoor sports and games. We believe that active minds and bodies are necessary for a complete camp experience.
How are activities scheduled? We have three types of activities at camp:
- Workshops: Campers attend their workshops every day of the session for a total of about 2½ hours a day. You register for their workshop when you register for camp (although we’re happy to switch prior to camp starting if they change their minds if space allows!). Topics are the same for each session during the summer, but the projects change from summer to summer so returning campers can return to explore their passion year after year. Most campers choose a workshop that they already have a strong interest in or want to learn more about. Due to the curriculum staying the same each session during a summer, campers who stay for multiple sessions must choose a different workshop per session enrolled per year.
- Electives (chugim): Campers have two elective periods a day, and the electives change halfway through the session. Unlike workshops, campers select their chugim AT camp and not before. Campers select their electives throughout the session, and most campers use electives as a way to explore new interests and subject areas. Chugim are STEM-based, movement/sports-based, or connection/community-based.
What do you do on rainy days? We are fortunate to have many functional indoor spaces, including:
- All science classrooms and laboratories on campus in our Technion Building
- The Kaiser Visual Arts Center, including its video lab and photo lab
- The hockey rink, which serves as a massive indoor area for sports or programs during the summer
- The gymnasium complex, which includes four basketball/volleyball courts and other all-purpose space
- An all-purpose activity room in the Frost Building
- The Performing Arts Center, with rooms for digital music production and dance
- Dorms and common rooms
Our program coordinators and activity specialists plan ahead to ensure that all programs can be moved indoors if need be and that campers never miss an activity!
Who teaches the various activities? Workshops are taught by our lead instructors – professionals in the field and/or educators with a deep passion for the field of study and in teaching children of camp age. Chugim (electives) are taught by counselors, typically young adults studying science or technology at universities with experience teaching and working with children.
What does 6 Points mean? Our name reflects the 6 Points of the Jewish star (Magen David). As our program is built upon a foundation of Jewish values, so too does our name signify the important role that Jewish tradition, culture, history, and scholarship plays in our daily lives. It’s also the number of Core Values we have!
How will I stay in touch with my child? We strongly encourage parents and campers to be in touch throughout the session, and we know how much campers love getting mail (and parents, too)! Email can be sent to campers via our CampInTouch service (and campers may respond through their electronic letter-writing service). Regular and electronic mail is delivered daily to campers during rest hours.
Can parents call the camp to check on their children? We love hearing from parents, and love telling you about your child’s camp experience! Please feel free to contact us if you have any concerns, or just to check in. We’ll check with your child’s counselors and tell you all about their camp experience! Parents can also expect a letter from your camper’s instructors at the end of the session—we want you to know all the great stuff your camper is up to!
Can I visit my child while they are at camp? Parents are encouraged to drop off and pick up their campers at the beginning and end of each session and see our wonderful camp facility. In between, however, camp is closed to parents. This helps us to ensure a safe environment and a smooth program.
Are care packages allowed? We do not allow packages at camp. We do this to avoid creating a culture of haves and have nots. When some campers get packages and others do not, it creates feelings of jealousy and puts undue pressure on parents to feel the need to send packages. If during the summer your camper(s) has forgotten or lost an item of necessity that needs to be mailed to camp, please call our office to let us know, so that we can expect this item. We will only accept #10 size envelopes or smaller. Please do not send items in padded envelopes or anything larger than a #10 size envelope.
How is Judaism infused into daily life at camp? The values of Reform Judaism are at the core of everything we do. They drive our work in science and technology, from the way we respect each other’s ideas, to the way we choose projects that will benefit our communities. See our Jewish values in action in our Jewish Life at Sci-Tech video created in Summer 2019! We also create an environment where it’s cool to be Jewish, highlighting famous Jewish scientists and innovators through our dorm names, singing in lively song sessions, and developing a connection to the State of Israel through programs and personal relationships with Israeli staff. You can learn more about Jewish Life at camp on our Jewish Life page.
My child will require b’nai mitzvah practice this summer. Is it available? Our visiting faculty (rabbis, cantors, and educators) are happy to meet with your child once a week to assist with Bar/Bat Mitzvah preparation. Campers preparing for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah are expected to come with their materials (including recordings) so that we can help keep them on track.
Does 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy have a religious affiliation? Yes, we are a Jewish camp that is part of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ). In addition to representing 900 Reform congregations and their over 1 million members, the URJ operates 15 summer camps and a number of youth Israel programs. Last summer, over 10,000 campers attended our camps! We believe in a progressive, inclusive, egalitarian approach to Judaism, and a vibrant, living Jewish community. It is the URJ’s mission to create a more whole, just, and compassionate work. At Sci-Tech, we accomplish that by supporting the next generation of scientists, inventors, and innovators!
Tuition, Refunds, & Cancellations
Do you offer financial assistance? Yes! Need-based scholarships are available on a limited basis. Additionally, all children who have never before attended an overnight Jewish summer camp are eligible to receive up to $1,000 off tuition via the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s One Happy Camper incentive grants program. For the most up-to-date information on current discounts, please visit our Discounts and Financial Aid page.
What is the payment schedule for 2022 tuition? You can find our dates and rates on our website.
Upon registering and paying the deposit, families will have several options for payment:
- Pay in Full at Time of Enrollment via eCheck – The Union for Reform Judaism will automatically charge your eCheck account for the full amount owed at the time of enrollment.
- Pay in Full at Time of Enrollment via Credit/Debit Card –The Union for Reform Judaism will automatically charge your debit/credit card for the full amount owed at the time of enrollment. There is a non-refundable 2.75% processing fee that will be added to all credit card transactions.
- Standard Payment Plan via eCheck – The Union for Reform Judaism will automatically charge your eCheck account for three checkpoints: 1/3 of the tuition on or about January 15th, 1/3 on or about March 15th (2/3 of total tuition paid), and the final remaining balance on or about April 15th.
- Standard Payment Plan via Credit/Debit Card – The Union for Reform Judaism will automatically charge your debit/credit card for three checkpoints: 1/3 of the tuition on or about January 15th, 1/3 on or about March 15th (2/3 of total tuition paid), and final remaining balance on or about April 15th. There is a non-refundable 2.75% processing fee that will be added to all credit card transactions.
- Monthly Payment Plan via eCheck – The Union for Reform Judaism will automatically charge your eCheck account on or about the 15th of each month, beginning December, or the month following enrollment thereafter and continuing through April.
- Monthly Payment Plan via Credit/Debit Card – The Union for Reform Judaism will automatically charge your debit/credit card on or about the 15th of each month, beginning December, or the month following enrollment thereafter and continuing through April. There is a non-refundable 2.75% processing fee that will be added to all credit card transactions.
What forms of payment do you accept? Deposits and electronic payments may be made by E-check (ACH), debit card, or credit card (we accept Visa, Mastercard, and Discover). A non-refundable 2.75% credit card processing fee will be added to all credit card transactions. To avoid credit card processing fees, families can choose to pay by E-check or debit card. E-Check will allow tuition to be deducted directly from either your checking or savings account.
To avoid the credit card processing fee, families can choose E-check at the time of check-out or pay with a debit card, neither of which incur credit card surcharges. E-Check will allow tuition to be deducted directly from either your checking or savings account. Both E-checks and debit cards can be used with our payment plan options.
What are the 2022 refund policies? We will remain nimble and responsive to ever-evolving local standards and protocols. If Camp is unable or elects not to open camp due to government regulations or if camp chooses not to open at its own discretion, you will receive a full refund, including the deposit, without penalty.
If camp is required to make a change to a camper session prior to summer, families will be notified in writing. Camp will provide an opportunity at that time for families to cancel their registration without penalty (including the return of any deposit).
Full refunds will be given without penalty (including deposit):
- If Camp is unable or elects not to open because of government regulations, orders, or guidelines.
- If Camp is required to cancel the session of a child with a pre-existing health condition.
- If Camp is unable or chooses not to open at their own discretion.
- If camp is unable to secure a rental facility.
- For campers on a “Waiting List” (those not able to be placed in their desired session at camp) if at any time they choose to be removed from the list or are ultimately unable to be placed.
Refunds will not be made if Camper has attended any portion of the session at Camp. This covers all circumstances, including, but not limited to:
- Camper’s homesickness
- Camper’s refusal or inability to participate in the normal activities at Camp
- Camper’s violation of any rules, regulations, or policies at Camp for which Camper has been provided notice, and as described in “Camper’s Participation and Camp Program Expectations” section of the terms and conditions.
Additional details on the refund policy can be found in our Terms and Conditions upon registering.
What are the 2022 cancellation policies? Should a family decide to cancel on their own, all normal cancellation policies will apply.
- Cancellation by January 31, 2022 – 100% of tuition including the deposit is refundable
- Cancellation between February 1 and March 31, 2022 – 100% of tuition is refundable except for the deposit.
- Cancellation between April 1, 2022, and May 15, 2022 – 75% of tuition is refundable.
- Cancellation after May 15, 2022 – no refunds will be given unless stated above.
Is there Travel Insurance available? Yes! We partner with a third-party insurance provider to help our families protect their investment and plan for the unexpected. Our group travel insurance policy can be selected and paid for as part of your 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy East camp registration via CampInTouch.