GUCIPalooza!

GUCIPalooza: NFTY-MV, NFTY-OV, and NFTY-MI 

March 25-27th, 2022 

URJ GUCI 

Zionsville, IN 

We have moved to space available for GUCIPalooza. If you register today, you will be put onto a waitlist, and we will be in touch if space becomes available. Please reach out to Stacy at SBernstein@urj.org with any questions.

Thank you in advance for understanding that we are navigating this in-person weekend with the health and safety of everyone as our highest priority. We are moving forward with the weekend planning as is, and we appreciate your flexibility and patience as we get closer to the event.  

What is GUCIPalooza?  GUCIPalooza is our music festival themed weekend at camp!  We are excited to be bringing together 9th-12th grade teens from across the Midwest for a weekend together in person in Zionsville.  From wake up at 8:30am through lights out at 11:00pm, teens will be engaged in a variety of programs.  From celebrating Shabbat, playing sports, arts and crafts, learning about social justice, singing our favorite camp songs, and more – the weekend will be filled with options for all!

Meals: GUCI’s kitchen is kosher style. All meals meet dietary needs as much as possible including gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, and vegan options. For the safety of those with allergies, no outside food will be permitted. 

Transportation: Your city/congregation will determine your transportation to and from camp.  The event begins on Friday, March 25 at 5:30pm and concludes Sunday, March 27 at 10:00am.  Please be in touch with your home congregation about transportation plans.  Transportation is NOT included in the registration fee. If you are flying, please arrive at IND by 3:30pm on Friday, March 25th, and depart on Sunday, March 27th after 12:00pm.

Cost: The $225 regular price is available through February 28th. On March 1st, the price will increase to $260 and will be space available. The cost includes food, lodging, activity supplies, and accommodations.  No one will be charged until March 1st for the event.  If you need to cancel your registration, please do so by February 28th, 2022 by emailing Ilana at inadel@urj.org .  After March 1st, no refunds will be given.

Scholarship assistance:  The deadline to apply for scholarship was February 13th. If you’d still like to receive scholarship for GUCIPalooza, please email Stacy Bernstein at SBernstein@urj.org.

What to bring? Check the local weatherto determine proper attire. 

  • Masks KN95 or high filtration required
  • Comfortable Clothes - we suggest packing layers! 
  • Shabbat Clothing  
  • Some participants wear nice pants/slacks and a nice shirt, skirt and blouse, or dress. Dressing up for Shabbat is optional – we’ll have a little time to change, but we’ll be jumping quickly from our Shabbat celebration to exciting programming, so wear something you’ll be comfortable in. Please wear something that allows you to comfortably walk around, stand up, sit down, dance, etc. while remaining appropriately covered.  
  • Jacket for time spent outside (It’s March in the Midwest – the weather is unpredictable)  
  • Pajamas  
  • Medications (inhalers, allergy meds, etc.)  
  • We do not typically collect and dispense medications at NFTY events. Most participants take their daily medication on their own and keep it in the residences with them, but if you need a reminder to take your medication, or if it needs to be refrigerated or taken under adult supervision, we’re happy to help. Email me and we can determine a plan for you. 
  • Toiletries (soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, comb or brush, etc.) 
  • Bedding (linens, a sleeping bag, and a pillow).  
  • Towel for showering 
  • Water bottle 
  • Money for the Shuk (Sunday morning there will be an opportunity to purchase some NFTY Merchandise.) 
  • A wacky festival themed outfit for Saturday night’s concert! (Onesies, miss-matched, etc.!) 

Please do NOT bring anything valuable, as NFTY and GUCI are not responsible for any damaged or missing personal belongings. 

Safety: Above all else, the safety and well-being of all the participants is foremost. We will have an overnight security guard making sure we’re safe.  Most teens will stay on camp, but we are looking into some staying at a nearby hotel if we hit capacity of on-camp housing. We will have appropriate staff in all sleeping areas where teens will be, ensuring the health and safety of all participants. 

Ready to register?  Here are some helpful tips:

  1. Registration must be completed through the parent/guardian account 
  2. Go to: https://urjguci.campintouch.com/ui/forms/application/camper/App
  3. Click Register/login 
  4. Fill out to begin your application 
  5. Complete camper application 
  6. Indicate Season 2022, fill out all information 
  7. Begin application 
  8. Select Year-Round Programming 
  9. Under retreats, select GUCIPalooza 
  10. On the payment page, choose ‘NFTY & Year Round Programs – Pay in Full Credit, or NFTY & Year Round Programs – Pay in Full eCheck’
    • If your child is enrolled for summer 2022, and you have chosen a monthly payment plan, Your camp billing plan has been saved in the back end of our system. Once we process your NFTY enrollment, we will return your billing plan for camp to the monthly payment plan using eCHeck.
    • You are registering today to reserve your spot.  Your tuition will be collected on March 1st, 2022. 

COVID-19:

After completing registration, there will be TWO additional steps.  Participants and parents will digitally sign a copy of the COVID Brit and then upload proof of participant’s vaccination.  You can find these documents in your CampMinder Account under FORMS AND DOCUMENTS.

We are excited to be planning for in-person URJ camp-based overnight programs for 2022! The health and wellbeing of our participants has always been and will remain our top priority as we work to open these events. Together, we can take the necessary actions to balance our needs for connection and community with the ongoing reality of the pandemic.

As we consider every aspect of our program and operation, we have created the following FAQs to answer some of the questions you may have.  We will continue to update this information as needed. This information is based on what we know today. We are deeply committed to open, ongoing, and honest communication with our congregations and event attendees.

Based on your current planning, what COVID-19 mitigation protocols will be in place?

Prior to the event:

  • Vaccines REQUIRED: We will require ALL participants, staff, and adults to have completed the full COVID vaccination schedule that they are age-eligible for (CDC defines this as being “up to date”). Everyone on-site for the event will be required to upload their vaccination information as part of registration. You can read our full vaccination policy.
  • For 5 days prior to the event, please exercise caution by limiting your exposures to the bare minimum (no indoor, unmasked gatherings or dining outside of your immediate family home, and at school/work). A signed Short-Term Overnight Programs COVID Brit will be required to be uploaded prior to the event. Consider this an expression of our Jewish value of Pikuach Nefesh, the protection and preservation of human life.

Travel / Arrival: a negative rapid Antigen test is required immediately prior to the program, and negative results must be uploaded as part of registration. It is strongly recommended that you do an at-home rapid test prior to traveling to the programs, as well.

  • For those traveling by car: on-site rapid testing will be done upon arrival.
  • For those traveling by bus: rapid testing will be done immediately prior to boarding the bus.
  • For those traveling by airplane: a negative rapid Antigen test is required immediately prior to air travel (within 24 hours, or as directed by the airline).
    • Guidelines for air travel: Please use caution when travelling through airports – always wear a high filtration mask (N95/KN95/KN94-level) and maintain diligent hand hygiene.

On-Site Requirements:

  • Mask-wearing indoors throughout the event except for during dining, bathing, and sleeping, and outdoors when physical distancing of 6 feet is not possible. All participants must wear a high filtration mask (N95/KN95/KN94-level). Participants must bring 3 high filtration masks/day and extras.
  • Sleeping and eating groups will be kept consistent as much as possible to limit exposures within the participant group.
  • Hygiene: Encouraging and making time for frequent hand washing/sanitizing
  • Informing participants of and encouraging best practices to mitigate the spread of COVID-19
  • Participants MUST communicate to program staff if they develop any COVID symptoms during the event (as described in the COVID Brit).

We know that the best practices surrounding COVID-19 are continually changing.  We will evaluate our policies and practices as the COVID-19 landscape evolves. Our protocols and guidelines will always be subject to change based on the latest guidelines from health experts, state and local protocols, and other health authorities.

Will vaccines be required to attend?

Yes. We will require ALL participants, staff, and adults to have completed the full COVID vaccination schedule that they are age-eligible for (CDC defines this as being “up to date”). Everyone on-site for the event will be required to upload their vaccination information as part of registration. You can read our full vaccination policy. Please note, this is the policy for the Spring 2022 weekend programs but does not define future URJ policies.

Yes, there are exceptions to the URJ vaccination policy, and they are rare. There are exceedingly rare circumstances where vaccination is contraindicated for bona fide medical reasons. Individuals who have had a documented allergy or severe adverse reaction to the usual childhood vaccination series might not be able to complete the specific immunization schedule outlined above. Additionally, individuals who are relatively immunodeficient (for example, people living with cancer or who are receiving chemotherapy, transplant recipients, and people receiving immunosuppressive drugs) may not be able to receive certain vaccines.  In these extremely rare circumstances, current documentation from a licensed Physician (MD or DO), or a Pediatric/Family Practice Advanced Practice Nurse (ARNP or PNP) not related to the individual, describing the condition that prevented immunization, must be furnished to URJ Camps or Israel Programs medical advisory team.  We will review these very rare situations on a case-by-case basis to determine if that individual can safely participate.

Will masking be required?

Masks will be required indoors except when dining, bathing, and in sleeping rooms, and outdoors when physical distancing of 6 feet is not possible. All participants must wear a high filtration mask (N95/KN95/KN94-level). Participants must bring 3 high filtration masks/day and extras.

Will COVID-19 testing be required?

A negative on-site rapid test upon arrival at the program OR upon boarding the bus taken directly to the program OR prior to air travel to the program is required. These negative test results must be uploaded as part of registration.

We strongly encourage you to self-administer an at-home rapid Antigen Test (available without a prescription at most pharmacies) prior to traveling to the event.

What happens if the URJ cancels events due to COVID-19?

We will remain nimble and responsive to the ever-evolving standards and protocols and will adapt accordingly.  If, however, the URJ is unable or elects not to run the program due to government regulations or if the URJ chooses not to open at its own discretion, you will receive a full program fee refund, including the deposit, without penalty.

What happens if a family/student registers and then decides to cancel because they are no longer comfortable attending?

We offer families the opportunity to purchase trip insurance to protect their investment. If a program is running but a family chooses to cancel, our normal cancellation policies will apply.

What happens if a teen has a positive rapid COVID test onsite?

We have several mitigation tools in place to prevent this situation from occurring (rapid antigen testing upon on-site arrival/bus boarding/pre-air travel, staying home if symptomatic, recommended rapid antigen test at home prior to travel, pre-program “quarantine” and COVID Brit). However, if this situation arises, arrangements will be made in collaboration with the specific family involved to best facilitate the health and wellbeing of all program participants, in accordance with local, state, and URJ COVID policies. The Program Staff will be in communication with the participant and their parent/guardian to make logistical arrangements for the swift retrieval of the COVID+ participant. While waiting to be picked up, the COVID+ participant will be isolated and provided as much support as possible. All participants should prepare a plan in case of this scenario. If needed, the plan can include a local adult who is not a parent/guardian, with parent permission. This person’s name must be recorded on the Brit.

How do you decide what guidelines are needed for these events?

An experienced team of URJ staff is overseeing the development of COVID guidance for URJ programs. They work with our URJ Medical Advisory Team who have expertise and specialization in public health and infectious diseases. These teams are working closely with the program staff to develop guidelines and protocols appropriate for these events.