Summer 2021 Plans

The information surrounding COVID-19 is constantly changing and evolving, and we will update our plans to mitigate the risk of Covid-19 and minimize the spread of Covid-19 monthly throughout the summer.  This plan is written to reflect what Camp would look like if it were to open today.  We are regularly updating this document to reflect any changes made to policies and best practice recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Camp Interlaken may not look like it does in a typical summer, but we are doing everything to make sure that it feels the same!  We believe that the value of bringing our campers and staff together on the shores of Lake Finley, among friends old and new, and participating in a traditional, albeit slightly modified, Jewish overnight camp experience is needed more than ever during this challenging period of time.  In order to be successful, there are hundreds of campers and staff relying on each one of us to be committed to Camp’s success.  Ensuring the healthiest start to Summer 2021 will require a partnership between Camp Interlaken and our families, campers, and staff.  

Frequently Asked Questions

To view our most current version of our Covid-19 playbook, click here.

All FAQs were updated 6/2/2021 unless otherwise noted.

We are lucky to meet regularly with an incredible medical committee that has helped us create protocols for the summer 0f 2021:

  • Dr. Sharyl Paley
  • Dr. Dipesh Navsaria
  • Dr. Amy Lakritz
  • Dr. Andy Wagner
  • Dr. Larry Golopol
  • Dr. CJ Wagner
  • Tera Shapiro, R.N.

We have partnerships with experts in the field:

  • American Camp Association (ACA)
  • Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC)
  • JCC Association (JCCA)
  • Vilas County Health Department
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

We rely on our internal partnerships with other programs of the Harry & Rose Samson Family JCC who operated successfully in summer 2020 and continue to operate successfully.

All campers and staff must participate in low-risk behaviors for 10 days prior to their arrival at Camp, even if they are vaccinated.

    • Stay away from any large group events, such as weddings, graduations, proms, parties, etc.
    • Stay away from crowded stores and businesses
    • Avoid eating out at restaurants
    • Stay home as much as possible (this does not include attending school or day camp/child care for second session campers, but does include extracurricular activities).
    • Be masked and stay 6 feet apart whenever around people other than your immediate family, even if you are vaccinated.

Remember that the goal is to have everyone be able to participate in camp. These low-risk behaviors will help ensure that your camper will likely have a negative PCR test before arriving at Camp AND will also have a negative PCR test when we test at Camp. 

All campers and staff (regardless of vaccination status) should expect to take at least one (1) negative molecular PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours before arrival and submit the results to Camp.  All campers must have a negative PCR test in order to attend camp. It is imperative that a few days prior to the test and once taken that campers and families are overly cautious and practice social distancing until arrival at camp. YOU are our partners in risk mitigation.

    • Campers and staff members who receive a positive test several days prior to arrival should contact us immediately and NOT plan to travel to camp.

For local testing options in Chicago and Milwaukee, please refer to our recent emails to sign up.

  • All campers and staff, regardless of vaccine status, will receive a PCR COVID-19 test a few times during the first two weeks of Camp.  We have partnered with Northshore Clinical Labs out of Chicago, and they will be conducting our Covid-19 testing at Camp.
  • Our testing protocol is subject to change.

The only Interlaken provided option is to depart out of Milwaukee.  Departure times will be scheduled and staggered to allow for flights to arrive into Milwaukee as well as for families to travel from Chicago or Madison to Milwaukee.  We will not be offering busing from Northbrook, IL, Madison, WI, or Minneapolis, MN.  Campers can arrive to Camp via bus, parent drop off, or via flight into Rhinelander (RHI) airport.

The Milwaukee bus will leave from Nicolet High School. For the first two weeks of Camp, each cabin will be a “pod” as they essentially quarantine as a group and travel to activities and meals together while limiting their interactions with other cabins. In order to ensure we can mitigate the risk of cross-exposure with other cabins, all campers will be traveling to camp BY CABIN on a bus. We do not anticipate that cabins will be required to wear face masks when the campers are on the bus.

If interested, parents/guardians can elect to drop their camper(s) off at camp. We will provide exact drop-off times at a later date. Campers should not travel to Camp with individuals who are not members of their household. Exceptions can be made in the case of campers carpooling to camp with other campers who will be in their camp cabin/pod. A staff member will be at Camp’s gate welcoming each camper and family into Camp and directing them towards our maintenance area where we will have a check-in station staffed by members of our health team. There may be a short wait as others check-in, so we ask that everyone remains inside their vehicle. Staff will take the camper’s temperature to ensure it is below 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Campers who have a temperature over 100.4 degrees, show COVID-19 symptoms, or have been exposed to COVID-19 in the previous 14 days will not be permitted to enter Camp. Campers will be asked a list of screening questions. Upon passing the screening, the camper can exit the vehicle, and staff will help gather their luggage and walk to their cabin to begin their Interlaken experience.

The Rhinelander (RHI) airport is 45 minutes from Camp and has direct flights on Delta from Minneapolis (MSP). Campers can travel to RHI with a layover in MSP, and a camp staff will pick them up from the airport. Once they arrive at Camp, their temperatures will be taken, and they will answer the same screening questions as the campers who arrive by bus or by private vehicle. Upon passing the screening, the camper can exit the vehicle, and staff will help gather their luggage and walk to their cabin to begin their Interlaken experience.

Our expectation is that we will be able to combine our cohort groups onto busses based on their location.  At the end of the 4-week session, we plan to provide bussing to Madison (first session), Milwaukee, Northbrook, Milwaukee Airport & Rhinelander Airport. Parent pickup is also an option.  Please see the Family Handbook for more information; you can find this in your Hoda’ot emails.

The idea behind a POD is to allow small groups of campers to interact with each other in a traditional camp setting including being inside their cabin, going to chugim (activities), and eating meals together.


A pod is like an immediate family; they do not need to wear a mask when around one another. To limit exposure, each cabin will become a pod. During the first two weeks of camp, while there will be some choice to activities, all activities will be pod-based. All of K’far Noar (10th grade) will be a pod, and the entire Ozrim group will be a pod. Non-cabin staff will also be in their own pods based on where and with whom they live.


Pods will be able to interact with other pods as long as 2 of the following 3 mitigation strategies are met (the 2/3 rule):

  1. Outdoors
  2. Physically Distant
  3. Wearing Masks

We are planning programming to make sure that campers are safe and healthy, as well as experience camp in the most “Interlaken” way possible.

When we require masks at Camp, they need to cover both the nose and mouth.  Camp will operate with the rule of 2/3, and they should be doing two of the three when they’re mixing with anyone outside of their pod: outdoors, physically distant, and masked.  Every program and activity has been reimagined at Camp Interlaken so that the campers and staff will wear masks as little as possible.


Campers should come to Camp with 10 two-layer cloth masks and a mask-lanyard holder for the camper to wear around their neck when/if they remove their mask.  Gaiters will not be accepted.  All masks must be labeled with first and last name.  Each camper should bring a zippered lingerie bag to Camp that is legibly labeled for their masks to be washed.  We will wash masks weekly by pod.










Best practices include creating a closed campus, or bubble.  Visitors will not be permitted. We will follow protocols for any in-and-out moments – such as offsite medical visits.


Other than healthcare and maintenance staff, the only other outside people who will be allowed into camp are vendors who provide essential services or items.  They will be subject to a health screening and temperature check before entering, and they will remain masked and distanced from our Camp community.


Staff will arrive 14 days prior to campers, be tested, and will remain in our camp community during their time off.

Meals are a special aspect of the Interlaken experience:

  • Meals will be served with recommended community mitigation strategies including staggered times and utilizing outdoor dining spaces.
  • During the first week of Camp, meals will be served in a pack-out style.  After the first week, meals will be served cafeteria-style.  We will have staff servers to optimize choice without sacrificing safety.
  • We will create choices and provide for special dietary needs as we have always done. Campers and staff will have access to salad bar and breakfast bar items at each meal as well as Sunbutter and jelly.

Campers love our variety of Chugim (activities) offerings: 

  • During the beginning of camp, when we are in cabin pods, the pods will be assigned to activities to attend together.  Each schedule will be 3-days long giving our campers the opportunity for some skill development and achievement.
  • Each activity may need to be modified to ensure the health and safety of our camp community.  Each activity area will have adjusted plans that follow all ACA, CDC, and our medical committee recommendations.

Evening programs are always a highlight: 

  • Evening programs are designed to be healthy and safe while following the rule of 2/3.
  • Some of our favorite all-camp programs such as Capture the Flag, Talent Show, Silent Disco, Maccabiah, Sha’arnival, and Final Banquet will continue to exist in modified form and done so in a safe and responsible way that keeps our pods intact.

Gathering together, dressed up, as we welcome in Shabbat is a highlight for us every summer.  This summer won’t be any different.  Shoresh and Tzomayach campers will enjoy a delicious Shabbat dinner while Sha’ar and K’far Noar campers celebrate Shabbat together with Kabbalat Shabbat services in our sacred Makom Ha Lev (amphitheater). After dinner, Shoresh and Tzomayach campers will go to Makom Ha Lev for their Kabbalat Shabbat services while Sha’ar and K’far Noar eat dinner. After, song session and Israeli dancing will commence on the athletic field where each cabin will sing and dance together distanced from all other cabins.

On Saturday morning, campers and staff may celebrate Shabbat with alternative services by cabin (ie, Shul in the Pool, Meditation and Yoga, etc.) or Camp may be split into two different services where one group enjoys our sacred Makom Ha Lev (amphitheater) and the other group enjoys the serenity and peace of celebrating Shabbat at the Girls Campfire Circle.


  • We believe that the value of bringing our campers and staff together on the shores of Lake Finley, among friends old and new, and participate in a traditional, Jewish overnight camp experience is needed more than ever during this challenging period of time. We are committed to providing our future leaders with a respite from the effects of a pandemic-impacted world by giving them a safe and healthy community.  We will help them bridge the gap between being socially disconnected and being connected together at Camp.
  • Camp Interlaken’s Camper Care team led by Michelle Lafferty, LCSW, will be at Camp all summer to provide support to campers and staff and to partner with parents to facilitate a successful and happy summer at Camp Interlaken.  Our team always works hard to acclimate campers to the experience of being away from home and comfortably immersing themselves in the camp environment.  We have added additional care for the summer of 2021 recognizing that after months of social distancing that the need for greater MESH support will exist.
  • Our children need camp.  They need to disconnect from their devices and reconnect with their people.  They need to inhale the fresh Northwoods air and exhale stresses from their last 12+ months.  They are ready, and we are ready for them!

Please click here to view our most current Covid-19 Playbook: Covid Playbook June 3

This plan is written to reflect what Camp would look like if it were to run today.  We are regularly updating this document to reflect any changes made to policies and best practice recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Check back frequently for our most current plans.

Thank you for joining our Town Hall last night.  In this email, you will find the following information and documents:
Zoom Town Hall Recording
Covid-19 Website FAQs and Playbook update
CDC Travel Guidelines
Pre-Camp Testing information for 1st session
Updated Family Handbook with new transportation information
CampMinder Pre-Arrival Screening Form
Covid Vaccine Survey

Zoom Recording from the Town Hall:
Passcode: qwt84fR=

The Covid-19 website has been updated with our newest Covid-19 Playbook as well as updated FAQs:,

Here is a link to CDC travel guidelines:

Testing Information for First Session

RECOMMENDED TESTING: PCR test 12 days before camp begins, so that if the test is positive, the camper will have 10 days to isolate before camp begins and will not have to be tested again during summer. If the camper is positive, they will be required to show proof of their positive test upon arrival to camp. I will explain the reasoning behind this test on the Town Hall.

PCR Test no earlier than 72 hours before camp begins. Must provide proof of negative test result upon arrival to camp. Details for providing documentation to us will come later.

Camp Interlaken will host a testing clinic in Milwaukee at the JCC two days before each session’s departure.  This clinic is free of charge and available for all of our registered campers and staff. 

MILWAUKEE TESTING CLINIC for first Session Campers, Ozrim, and anyone else who is arriving at Camp for the start of first session can register for our free testing clinic in Milwaukee at the JCC at (6255 N Santa Monica Blvd. Whitefish Bay, WI 53217) on June 20th from 11am – 2pm.  Register by clicking here:

CHICAGO-LAND TESTING CLINIC for first Session Campers, Ozrim and anyone else who is arriving at Camp for the start of first session can visit one of these two clinics for their test.  Please tell them you are a part of Camp Interlaken so your test results can come straight to Camp:

Northshore Clinical Labs – Albany Park Clinic
Address: 4751 N Kedzie Ave Chicago, IL 60625
Timing: M-F 9AM-4:30PM; SAT 9AM-1:30PM; SUN 9AM-1:30PM
No pre-registration necessary – please go on June 20th

Glenview Clinic
Address: 3600 Glenview Rd, Glenview, IL 60025
(FLICK PARK – refer to yard signs directing to the Field House for indoor testing)
Timing: M-F 11AM-7PM; Sat 9AM-2PM, Sunday 9AM – 2PM
You must pre-register.  Schedule a time for Glenview here:

If you need help acquiring testing because you live in a rural or difficult area to get PCR tests (for either session), please email me ASAP to help arrange at-home testing for you from North Shore Clinical Labs.

The Family Handbook has been updated with transportation information and times for first session.  It also has the packing list in it.  A change to the packing list is that we are only asking for campers to bring 10 fabric masks and aren’t requiring disposable masks; this change is not indicated in the Family Handbook.  Here is a link to view the handbook:

On CampMinder, you have a form called Pre-Arrival Screening.  This is a required form to fill out within the week before your camper arrives at Camp.  It is where you will report your covid test, covid info, covid vaccine, etc.

Additionally, please click here to fill this survey out when your camper has received their second vaccine:

Please let me know what questions you have.  My response may be delayed while we are out and about in Camp prepping for our staff to arrive.

My best, Toni

While it is bitter cold in Milwaukee, our hearts are warm knowing that Camp is just around the corner.  I would like to invite you to join Camp Interaken’s medical committee and me as we share our plans to operate a safe and meaningful summer.

Please register in advance to attend one of our Town Hall meetings by clicking on one of the links below.  They will be recorded if you’re unable to attend:

When: Wednesday, Feb 24, 2021 07:30 PM Central Time


When: Tuesday, Mar 2, 2021 07:30 PM Central Time

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing the Zoom link to join the webinar.

Looking forward to seeing you then!

My best, Toni

Early Registration will open on Tuesday, October 6th, and it will end on October 30th.

We are offering three different opportunities for you to join a Town Hall webinar to learn about Camp’s plans for 2021.  Please click the link corresponding to the date you’d like to join us.  You must preregister for the Town Hall webinars:

October 5th at 7pm CST:

October 13th at 7pm CST:

October 29th at 7pm CST:

I look forward to talking with you soon and sharing our plans!  Click here for our 2021 dates & rates.

Warmly, Toni