Getting Ready

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Dear Families,

You did it!  

You’ve done the most important thing to get your camper ready for camp this summer, which is submitting your application.  Now, the fun begins and you and your camper can start thinking about what to pack, who to write letters to, and which chugim (electives) to sign up for!  

Below, you will find important information you will need to get you and your camper ready for an incredible summer!  We have also compiled tips from camper parents with advice on packing, sending mail, and other topics.  You can also find some tips for including your camper in the camp preparation process. 

You are always welcome to reach out to me or anyone on our team with questions.   

See you in Oconomowoc!

Beth Rodin



Our summer staff members are carefully selected from among applicants from all over the United States, Canada and Israel. More than two thirds of our counselors have grown up as OSRUI campers and can’t wait to be back in Oconomowoc with you this summer! This provides us with the opportunity to know them well and continue past traditions. Before campers arrive, all staff members participate in an intensive training program. This on-site training includes workshops led by our camp directors, outside professionals, and industry experts in order to ensure we are ready to have a fun, safe, and healthy summer. 

Bunk staff are Jewish college-aged young adults who bring abundant warmth and energy to our camp community. Many of them are former OSRUI campers, comfortable at camp, familiar with camp routines and traditions, and eager to share their love for OSRUI and Reform Judaism with this next generation of campers. 

Click here to get to know our Director Team. And check back in early spring as summer staff is hired and we will post their information. 


Throughout the summer, more than 50 rabbis, cantors, and educators from Reform congregations volunteer to spend two weeks at camp. Our faculty workin partnership with our staff throughout all of the areas of camp, shaping the learning activities, guiding worship experiences, lending a knowledgeable helping hand in bar/bat mitzvah preparation, and having fun with our campers. It is always great to see familiar faces from your congregation at camp! 

Getting Ready for the Summer


In order for us to be prepared to welcome you to camp, we need to collect some important information from each camper. It ensures we are prepared to properly welcome you and set up for an amazing summer together. We made a list below to help you track the forms and tasks that need to be submitted by April 15! All of these forms can be found online in your CampInTouch forms dashboard. Most forms will be available starting in February.

Required Forms
  • Camper Information Form
  • Code of Conduct Form
  • Health History Form
  • Camper’s Medical Examination Form
  • Immunization History
  • Insurance Cards
  • Medical Authorization Form
  • Family Handbook Acknowledgement Form
  • Medical Action Plan Questionnaire
  • Medication Information and Order Form
  • Current photo uploaded
Optional Forms
  • Bunk Request Form
  • Parent Letter to Camper’s Counselor
  • All About Me for My Counselor
  • Bar/Bat Mitzvah Tutoring Form (if you requested tutoring for campers who will celebrate a bar/bat mitzvah in August, September, or October 2024)


One of the questions we are asked the most is: What should I pack for camp? We suggest packing two weeks’ worth of clothing. For sessions longer than two weeks, we offer laundry services! If you are attending Atid, you can plan to bring 1-2 less of each item below. 

Click here to read tips from camp parents about packing 


Laundry service is available for campers staying for 3 or more weeks. Laundry is included in your camp registration and is sent out to a service approximately once a week. 

We recommend limiting packing for camp into two suitcases or duffel bags. You will receive luggage tags with your camper’s information either at the bus stop or as you arrive to camp. If your camper is flying to Milwaukee Airport, the staff who greet them at the airport will ensure they receive camp’s luggage identification tags. If you find it advantageous to ship all or part of your camper’s luggage, you may register to ship bags with ShipCamps. 


In keeping with our code of conduct, we do request that your camper refrains from bringing the following items to camp. 

  • cell phones of any kind 
  • iPod/MP3 player with screen  
  • laptops, iPads, tablets, portable DVD players, Apple Watch & other smart watches, hand-held video game devices 
  • any device with the ability to connect to the internet (even if you disable WiFi) 
  • clothing with inappropriate language or that advertise beer/liquor 
  • expensive clothing requiring special washing 
  • chewing gum, candy, food of any kind 
  • bottled water 
  • walkie-talkies 
  • shoes or sandals with heels higher than two inches 
  • valuable jewelry 
  • super soakers/water guns 
  • expensive digital cameras 
  • hoverboards, skateboards, scooters, “Heelies”
  • e-cigaretters, vapes, Juuls, portable essential oil diffusers



Campers have three options for traveling to and from camp: drop off/pick up at OSRUI, riding the bus from the Chicago or Twin Cities areas, or air travel. General travel information is below – we will share more specific details in the spring.

Auto Drop Off at Camp: Families who drive their campers to camp will be able to sign up for a time slot for drop off between 10am and 12pm.  Campers will join their unit groups right away and eat lunch at camp on Opening Day. Specific instructions for drop off will be shared in the spring.

Busing: We offer coach bus transportation from the Chicagoland area and the Twin Cities.  We will confirm bus times and exact locations closer to the start of camp, but for planning purposes, you can assume roughly 6:30am from the Twin Cities, and 9am from the Chicago area on Opening Day.

By Plane: We know many of our campers arrive from out of state. For campers who fly to Wisconsin for the summer, OSRUI staff will meet campers at Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee (MKE). Our staff will meet campers at the gate when they arrive and will walk campers to the gate on departure day. If you are flying to camp, please do your best to have flights arrive and depart in the following parameters:

  • Opening Day:  Flights arrive at MKE between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
  • Closing Day:  Flights depart MKE between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.   

Please contact us to discuss flight times if your options are outside the times outlined above.   

Mail and Communication

Summer Address:
600 Lac La Belle Drive
Oconomowoc, WI 53066

Summer Office Hours:
Sunday – Thursday 8:30am – 7:00pm
Friday – 8:30am – 4:30pm


We know how eager campers and families are to hear from each other throughout the summer. Wwork to ensure timely delivery of incoming mail to campers – and outgoing mail to the post officeCampers generally are required to write home once or twice a week, though many choose to write more frequently. 

What Should I Send to My Camper?
Write your child regularly! Some parents send a letter a few days before camp starts so there is mail the first couple of days of the session. OSRUI is a package-free community so we ask that parents limit mail to post cards, letters, and other standard letter-sized envelopes. We encourage you to use creative ways of interacting with your camper through letters, which can include word puzzles, pictures, stickers, or a comic strip. We also offer e-letters through CampMinder. Your letter or postcard is more than enough to encourage, uplift, and connect your child to home while leaving them free to “get away from it all,” — including from toys, gifts, and other “stuff.”

Mail that arrives outside of the allowed parameters (i.e. larger than a letter- or card-size envelope or requiring additional postage), will be held in the camp office until the end of the session and given to your camper on their Closing Day.

You may send and receive email from your campers via CampInTouch. If you have questions, feel free to contact CampMinder (the third party that owns CampinTouch) before your camper arrives to OSRUI to make sure your account is set up correctly. Parent emails are printed daily (except on Shabbat) to be delivered and read during the rest hour. Camper responses are scanned once daily.  


Throughout the summer we will be communicating in several different ways: 

  • We post pictures daily on CampInTouch – you can see first hand all of the fun happening around camp and even download pictures of your child as you see them. 
  • Emails written by our staff will be sent with great stories happening around the units! 
  • You will also find ongoing content across our social media channels. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. 
  • Parents can join the OSRUI Parents Facebook Group for more information and to connect with other parents 

Phone Calls
If you would like to speak with someone at camp about your camper, please call the office and our Camp Care Team or a member of our director team will be happy to answer your questions. We are not able to bring campers to the office to speak to parents on the phone.Do not send your child to camp with a cell phone. Cellular phones or devices with internet access enabled will be confiscated and held in the camp office until your child leaves camp.

health and wellness


We have a dedicated staff in place to make sure campers are getting the care they need. The OSRUI Health Center is staffed 24 hours a day by a team of nurses and a physician 

Medical Staff Campers who feel ill during camp will be seen at the Health Center. Our staff will respond based on the symptoms and will be in touch with you if the camper needs to stay overnight in the health center, go off camp for treatment, or receive a new prescription medication.   

Please ensure your contact information is up to date as well as emergency contacts and please note on your camper’s forms if you will be unreachable at any time during camp.   


Campers who take prescriptions, supplements, and over-the-counter medications on a regular or as needed basis will store their medications in the Health Center to be supervised and dispensed by our nursing staff. In order to ensure the safety and integrity of the medication dispensing, all medications need to be ordered from the camp pharmacy, JDrug. Parents will be emailed with more information about ordering medication after March 1st.  


We are committed to providing a safe camp community where our campers can develop self-esteem, a sense of independence, and comfort in expressing their inner-most selves.  

Our Camp Care Team is staffed by social workers, special educators, and mental health professionals who focus on the mental and social emotional health of our campers and staff. The Camp Care Team’s main goal is to support our counselors in ensuring that each camper has the tools and support they need to be successful at camp. 


Due to the nature of communal living at camp, we place a high value on ensuring that all who enter our community are healthy.  Also, upon arrival to OSRUI, each camper will undergo a short health screening to ensure our sessions begin successfully.   

  • Temperature: We will ensure every camper arrives with no sign of fever and will answer questions about their health. 
  • Lice:  Each camper will be checked for lice by an agency that specializes in this. Should a camper be found to have lice or nits (lice eggs), we will contact parents to offer a treatment onsite or for the camper to return home for treatment. 

osrui unplugged

OSRUI is a break from technology! 

As we prepare to welcome your children to OSRUI, we want to provide some guidance regarding our policy on electronics at camp.   

In these days of instant communication and constant technology, we see camp as a great opportunity to power down and take what we’re certain is a well-needed break from the world of electronics.  The only electronics allowed at OSRUI are:    

  • Screen-less music players. Our goal is to have devices that only have music on them, without games, videos, or internet access. This way, campers aren’t missing out on programming and time with the OSRUI community while playing on their devices. If there is a small screen on the music player to see the song information without any additional functionality, that is ok. There is no need to purchase expensive music players. If you do want to get a cheap option, we recommend the Sandisk Clip Jam Player (on Amazon). Please make sure the music your child has downloaded is appropriate for a camp setting: e.g., no references to drugs, alcohol or sex, and no swear words. Campers must bring headphones as to not disturb others while listening to music.    
  • Digital or disposable cameras Campers who would like to take photos at camp may bring an inexpensive digital camera, instant camera, or disposable cameras. Make sure to pack enough memory cards and batteries or chargers (for campers in cabins). If there is a small screen on the camera to view photos that is ok. Please discuss proper handling of the camera and how pictures should be taken of other campers and staff only with their permission. 
  • E-readers Campers are allowed to bring e-readers to camp as long as their only functionality is to read books and they do not have any cellular data access.   

Other music players, tablets, portable game devices, and video players should remain at home. We hope your camper will bring a deck of cards, a favorite board game, a baseball glove, coloring book or mad libs, and other non-electronic games to be enjoyed with friends!  

Cell Phones
We believe being at camp is an opportunity for your child to experience a world beyond home without being constantly connected through a cell phone. Camp is a place for children to make new friends, take responsibility for themselves and their bunkmates, problem solve and mature a bit. This is harder to achieve when parents are only a phone call or text away.

Camp is one of the few places throughout the year where kids can truly unplug, and we have made this decision to both honor and recognize this space as a result of direct parent feedback. We request parents fully support our mission to keep these electronics out of camp to ensure OSRUI remains a wholesome, outdoorsy and safe place for all kids.  


Our campers’ safety and security is a top priority at OSRUI. We have security staff on duty 24 hours a day to ensure the safety of the entire OSRUI community. Our grounds are constantly patrolled – and the access gates at Lac La Belle Drive and Ski Slide Road always remain closed. 



Birthdays at Camp
Birthdays at OSRUI are very special! If your child has a birthday at camp this summer, our Camp Care Team will reach out to you before your child’s session begins to share the celebration options. You are welcome to send letters, cards, and one care package. Packages are only accepted for camper birthdays – and, in order to respect dietary restrictions and general bunk hygiene, we ask that they do not include food. All birthdays at OSRUI are celebrated the same, special way. Our counselors and staff are committed to making a camp birthday celebration special and unique! You should reach out to if you have questions about birthday packages. 

Meals are an important part of camp life at OSRUI. We sayHamotzi(blessing over the meal) before we eat and join together inBirkat Hamazon(grace after meals) after we eat. We strive to have options at meals so that everyone can find something they are excited about and our staff help ensure that all campers are well-fed and dietary needs are met. In addition to meals, we generally have snacks twice a day to help keep us going in the midst of a busy day at camp! 

We gather together by unit in theChadar Ochel (dining hall), or in our outdoor picnic eating areas (for Tzofim and Moshavah)for meals. Most meals are served buffet-style. Our youngest campers eat by bunk and older campers have the chance to eat with peers in their unit. 

For more information on our Nutrition and Menu, visit this page.

Nuts and Peanuts
We do not serve peanut butter or nuts at camp. SunButter and Wowbutter are available at meals. Although we do not have peanuts or nuts in our kitchen or in the products we use in the kitchen, we do still have items in our kitchen that may have been packaged in a facility with peanuts or nuts present