The bunk is at the very heart of the overnight camp experience. This structure takes a handful of campers and staff and transforms them into a family. Kids sleep, eat, live, and breathe as a bunk, creating an unbreakable team and an everlasting bond. It’s the setting for countless childhood memories, and the birthplace of lifelong friendships.
As a microcosm of the camp, we make sure the bunk experience reflects our most important principles. Counselors are trained to nurture a caring environment, to resolve conflicts with fairness, and to set an example with patience and good character. Decisions and responsibilities that affect the bunk are often handled communally, teaching our campers the value of compromise and cooperation. There are labels around the bunk space in Hebrew, bringing the language of Israel into the living area.
Not to mention—it’s really fun! Playing games, telling jokes, sharing secrets… bunk life is like having a massive slumber party for three weeks!
Every cabin has bunk beds for 12 to 16 campers and 2 to 4 staff members. Before campers arrive, their beds and cubbies are chosen for them—this way, campers have a space waiting for them when they walk in and there’s no “advantage” for those who drive in earlier. Bunk assignments are made on the basis of school grade, gender, social and emotional maturity, and mutual requests.
The bunks are roomy and air-conditioned. They have their own sinks, personal showers, and modern toilets. We have laundry days where the campers learn to fold their clothes with the help of a counselor.
To prevent quarrels over top or bottom bunks, bunk assignments will be pre-assigned by the staff.
Suggestion for bunkmates: since campers are only guaranteed one request, if your child MUST or MUST NOT be with one specific person, we recommend putting that camper’s name only, and no others.
When you live in a communal space, cleanliness isn’t just about health—it’s about cooperation and teamwork. We emphasize this every day before lunch, when a bunk will get together to clean their cabin during nikayon (cleaning time).
The cleaning duties are listed on a wheel, which will rotate to indicate which job goes to which camper each day. Over the course of a session, every kid will manage every cabin responsibility, including sweeping the floors, making the beds, and wiping down the sinks. Nikayon brings bunkmates together by nurturing mutual respect and appreciation.
Menucha, or “rest hour” is a time after lunch each day when the campers and counselors go back to the cabin to have some quiet time. This is when campers receive letters and write home. They have a chance to read a book, listen to music, or play quietly with their friends. Some even choose to take a nap.
We have bunk time allotted in our schedule several times a week. This is a chance for kids to pick their own activities, choosing programs with their counselors that they can enjoy just as a bunk. They could spend more time at the zip lines, doing craft projects, having a water fight, whatever—as long as the bunk is bonding, bunk time can be anything they dream of.
The beauty of sleepaway camp is making new friends; however, we understand that campers want to be with their old ones as well. You will be able to request bunkmates for your child in the “Bunk Requests” form available in your CampInTouch account. We will do our best to honor one request. All requests are at the discretion of the Camp Director. Nothing is ever guaranteed. If we feel behavioral issues will arise if two campers are in the same bunk, the request may not be honored.
Please keep in mind that we try to limit the number of campers from the same hometown or same school, if possible. Part of camp is making new friends, and having too many campers who know each other from home can result in excluding other campers. We ask that you consider this when making bunk requests.
Note: Campers’ ‘do not bunk with’ requests take precedence over ‘bunk with’ requests.
If there are any other special requests or circumstances that you would like us to know about regarding the bunk, please let us know by calling our office 713-723-8354 or emailing us to speak to our staff about your child’s needs.