Foundation for Jewish Camp MESSH Question Bank
Asking questions is a core aspect of Jewish tradition and inquiring about those in our community helps us to better serve them. Camps use many systems and processes for gathering information about campers and staff prior to arrival at camp so programming can be tailored to better to support them in having an excellent experience.
This question bank lists some common and not-so-common questions for camps to consider asking in an effort to better support the mental, emotional, social, and spiritual health of campers and staff. In some cases, questions listed here may already be incorporated into your camp’s intake process elsewhere – and we encourage efficiency where possible (for the sake of camp staff as well as registering families). Some questions may be explicitly related to mental health, and others may not be so obvious or may fall under multiple categories (including but not limited to behavior, physical health, etc.).
This list is by no means exhaustive, and there are some duplicative options to allow camps to pick and choose as they see fit for their community and needs. It is not intended to be copy-and-pasted without consideration, and we highly encourage adaptation.
While this resource focuses on campers, we understand the importance of supporting staff as well. We hope these questions may spark ideas for how to frame conversations with staff to build self-awareness and encourage open communication with their supervisor based on strengths and growth opportunities.
For questions, or to share additions as this is a living resource, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We wish you a wonderful summer of supporting MESSH and all those in your camp community,
This project is possible through the generosity of The Marcus Foundation as part of the Yedid Nefesh initiative. We are grateful to the 30+ day and overnight camps who shared their intake questionnaires and survey forms with us through the Yedid Nefesh initiative and other avenues. The questions included here were reviewed by a licensed clinical social worker with a history of leading community care at Jewish camp, as well as reviewed by members of the Yedid Nefesh Advisory Group, including camp professionals and mental health experts