Are You Ready for an Emergency at Camp?

Photo by Robert Navarro

Camp is a magical place. Hours and hours of preparation ensure that campers have an incredible experience every summer.

But what happens when there is an emergency at camp? Whether something as simple as a storm taking out all internet and phone communications or as complex as a fire destroying the main lodge, camps need to be prepared for the unexpected.

Ari Polsky, currently the Marketing & Communications Associate at Camp Ramah in California, worked at two camps that experienced nearby fires recently: Camp Ramah in California and Ramah in the Rockies. From those experiences, as well as reaching out to the staff at URJ Camp Newman, Ari pulled together six lessons learned for preparing for and responding to emergencies at camp.

Have any other tips or plans that could help your fellow camps deal with the unexpected at camp? Please send them to us so we can share them with the field.


Written by Kevin Martone. Kevin is the Technology Program Manager with JCamp 180. His focus area is in applying technology (database management, communications) to support fundraising and outreach efforts. Kevin leads JTEC (JCamp 180 Training in Effective Communications) and co-leads Data2Donors, a program to help camps prioritize their database for improved Alumni outreach and fundraising.

Who we are: JCamp 180 is a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF). Our goal is to significantly enhance the long-term effectiveness of nonprofit Jewish camps in North America. To meet this goal, we provide affiliated Jewish camps with consulting services, annual conferences, shared resources, professional development, and matching grant opportunities. Find more at