It is with great sadness we have decided that we cannot run our traditional overnight Tiyul Adventure Overnight Camp program this summer. There are just too many risks, known and unknown, for us to move forward with our overnight program. Our top priority has always and will always be the safety and wellbeing of our campers and staff, and we feel clear that this is the right decision for our Tiyul camp community.

Below are resources, details, and opportunities for our camp community to come together and support one another during this time.


Camp Letters Regarding COVID

Overnight Camp Cancellation Letter - May

Dear beloved Tiyul Adventure Campers and Families,

We miss you! We send you our love and blessings for your continued health, safety, and peace.

With great sadness we have decided that we cannot run our overnight Tiyul Adventure Camp program this summer. We arrived at this decision after intensive communication with local public health experts and other overnight camps both locally and around the country. There are just too many risks, known and unknown, for us to move forward with our overnight program. Our top priority has always and will always be the safety and wellbeing of our campers and staff, and we feel clear that this is the right decision for our Tiyul camp community.

Please watch the video and read the message below with your Tiyul camper:

The past few months have been a challenge for us all. With summer plans not working out how we had all hoped, it’s ok to be sad, angry, and upset—and it’s important to find a way to share your feelings with family and friends. We will send a follow-up email soon with financial options, and we have updated a FAQ section on our website with information about this summer’s overnight camp cancellation. We are here to answer your questions and concerns.

But don’t lose hope yet for the chance to come learn and play outside at Pearlstone this summer! We are hard at work developing a new outdoor Tiyul summer day-program on the Pearlstone Campus that will be 100% aligned with public health protocols while enabling small socially-distanced groups the opportunity to connect with our goats and chickens, play in our creek, learn to build a campfire, and more. We will only run this new program, Zombie Apocalypse Camp, if the Baltimore County Department of Health approves our plans AND if our staff and board feel confident that we can move forward safely. We look forward to sharing more with you about this possibility in the weeks ahead. Please let us know if you are interested—CLICK HERE to sign up for updates on this new program.

No matter what happens this summer, our Tiyul Adventure Camp community will reunite on our land in the future. Our creek will still be here, as will the farm, and we can’t wait to welcome back the ruach – energetic spirit of campers running, singing and playing on this beautiful land. Until then you all will be greatly missed!

Please take time to process as a family and to feel whatever you are feeling.
We miss you. And we are here for you. Please reach out if you would like to talk more.

Sending all our love and big Tiyul hugs,

Miki Levran, Tiyul Adventure Camp Director
Sonja Sugerman, Program Director
Psachyah Lichtenstein, Education Director
Jakir Manela, CEO

Letter from Camp - April

April 28, 2020

To our beloved Tiyul Adventure Camp community,

We miss you! We send you our love, and we hope you and your families are healthy.

We are all navigating unprecedented times, creating great uncertainty about our plans for camp this summer. Along with camps across the country, we are closely following the recommendations of government authorities and public health experts. As we learn more in the weeks ahead, it is likely that our plans for camp this summer will change in some way, including significant new health precautions throughout our program. It is our fervent hope that conditions allow for us to be together safely so that we can have lots of fun on the land!

We expect to finalize our summer camp plans by mid-May. Until then, our standard cancellation policy is in effect. If we are unable to run camp, we will offer you these financial options:

1. Get a full refund, including deposit,
2. Roll over registration and camp fees to summer 2021,
3. Donate some of your 2020 camp fees to support Pearlstone during this crisis.

In the meantime, spring is here and we can still have fun together! Connect with all your favorite Tiyul Adventure Camp staff and learn awesome skills through our new virtual programming hub, Pearlstone Online!

Grow Your Own in the garden
Wilderness Adventures with Joey
Let’s Get Cooking with Pearlstone’s amazing culinary team
Getting Craftyand Cool Projects to do at home
Torah of the Earth with Rabbi Psachyah
Wisdom of the Body with David
Awesome Song Sessionsevery week—don’t miss out on the Great Broccoli Challenge!

We may be separated physically but we are still a community. So let’s connect! We are here for you.

Sending blessings and light to you and your families!

B’shalom—In Peace

Miki Levran, Camp Director

Sonja Sugerman, Program Director

Jakir Manela, CEO

Letter from Camp - March

March 27, 2020

Dear Tiyul Adventure Camp Families,

We hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy at this time. These are unprecedented times we are living through—for all of us, and for our country and our world. While we share your feelings of uncertainty and challenge, we also embrace the coming of spring and the month of Nissan, with Pesach just around the corner. Trees are budding, birds are singing, and life is blooming beautifully all around us. Our prayer for all of us is that we find inner peace, gratitude, and joy as we navigate this difficult time.

As we look forward to this summer, our top priority is the safety and health of our campers and staff. We are closely monitoring COVID-19 pandemic updates from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Maryland’s Governor, and the American Camp Association and Foundation for Jewish Camp.

It is highly likely that these authorities will issue guidance in the weeks and months ahead that largely determine whether or not summer camps operate as planned this summer; we at Pearlstone will be following that guidance, as will the vast majority of camps nationwide. In the meantime, our team is reviewing our health and safety practices and will continue to update them accordingly as we learn more.

We promise to keep you informed as things unfold. As of now, together with the broader network of Jewish summer camps, we plan to run Tiyul Adventure Camp as planned and to make it our best summer yet!

While we’re all looking ahead to summer, let’s stay connected! Check out our brand new online learning platform at http://www.pearlstonecenter.org/online - there’s great stuff here for your whole family to enjoy, almost all of which are focused on empowering you with hands-on skills and activities to do OUTSIDE! (away from the screens). More programming will be posted each week as we move forward—so stay tuned and choose your own adventure!

As a guiding value at camp, gratitude leads us during this strange moment in time. We thank you for your dedication to the growth of your kids and for being a part of our camp community, we hope to be of support to you and your family.

We send our deepest prayers for a refuah shleimah—complete healing—and humble gratitude for your trust and partnership.


Jakir Manela, Chief Executive Officer
Mikole Levran, Tiyul Adventure Camp Director
Sonja Sugerman, Program Director
Rabbi Psachyah Lichtenstein, Education Director

COVID Financial FAQs

What are the options for the money I have paid Camp in 2020?

1. Get a full refund, including deposit,
2. Roll over registration and camp fees to summer 2021,
3. Donate some of your 2020 camp fees to support Pearlstone during this crisis.

We are heartbroken by this cancellation, amongst many others over the past months and the weeks and months to come. In aggregate, Pearlstone is absorbing catastrophic financial harm at this time. Please consider donating as much as you can in support of the full-time staff, our facilities, and the virtual programming we continue to offer during this time.

We will be reaching out to all families to discuss how they would like to process this summer's fees.

What if I applied for a one happy grant or pj goes to camp grant? Will I be able to apply for it next year?

One Happy Camper is a program supporting first time campers attending Jewish overnight summer camp. As a result of camp not happening for this summer, the grants will be canceled in order to maintain your eligibility for the future. You will not be penalized for applying this year, and you will be eligible to receive the grant next year. While we are still awaiting details from Foundation for Jewish Camp and One Happy Camper, you will likely need to reapply next year after your camper is enrolled.

Will my scholarship roll over for next summer? Will I still be eligible to apply for scholarship next year?

We continue to strive to make camp accessible to all. We understand that as financial situations may change each year, we ask that you re-apply next year should you and your family need financial assistance. This summer’s scholarships will not be rolled over to any future years. Any scholarship amount that came from your synagogue or other sources, will be refunded directly back to those organizations.

Can I donate a portion of my fees and get refunded the rest?

Yes, of course. We appreciate any additional donations to help us through this crisis.

We will be reaching out to all families to discuss how they would like to process this summer's fees.

When can I expect to get a refund?

We expect it will take about a month for you to receive your refund. It will come in the form of a check.

We will be reaching out to all families to discuss how they would like to process this summer's fees.

If I roll over my fees for next summer, am I eligible to get a refund? Will I be able to choose any session once the dates are out?

If you roll over your fees for next summer then, yes you will be able to get a refund but our standard refund policy will go back into effect for next summer. Yes, as soon as we know our dates for Summer 2021, you will be able to choose the session dates that work best for your family.

If I choose to do your alternative summer program, can some of fees go towards that? And if that is cancelled will I get the full refund?

Yes, if you are interested in our alternative summer programs, you can apply some of your fees towards that. If we are unable to run in-person programs due to state or county regulations, you can receive a refund or choose to make a donation.

Other FAQs

What is happening at Pearlstone on the land right now?

Even though we are not able to run camp, Pearlstone is not quiet. We are still taking care of the animals and the land. Our stewardship team is growing and harvesting produce, some is going to a local CSA, some is being donated, and the rest is going to our kitchen to be turned into meals that can be purchased for delivery in Baltimore. Check out https://www.pearlstonecenter.org/pearlstone-kitchen/ and https://www.pearlstonecenter.org/online to learn more.

How can I support Pearlstone at this time?

The financial impact of not opening this summer will be significant, and we are working hard to raise funds to keep Pearlstone here in the future. We are grateful to those families and foundations who have already pledged to support us.

While we won’t be having camp this summer, we’re still investing in being an active member of our community. Our farm team is hard at work growing food. Much of the food that is grown is being turned into meals that can be donated to Healthcare Heroes here in Baltimore and other partner organizations that help with food insecurity. To learn more, go to: https://www.pearlstonecenter.org/pearlstone-kitchen/donate/

We are deeply committed to keeping Pearlstone here for you to come back to when we are able to reopen. Your support at this time will be instrumental.

You can email us at tiyul@pearlstonecenter.org, we’d love to connect with you.
You can make a donation now by clicking here: https://www.pearlstonecenter.org/donate/

What is the alternative summer program plan?

Our Program team is hard at work trying to figure out what we can do in a safe way in accordance with county and state legislation. We hope to have a program to announce very soon.

In the meantime, check out the virtual programs we have created at http://www.pearlstonecenter.org/online

What ages of kids will be able to come to this alternate program?

Our program would be open to children who are rising 2nd - 8th grade. If you have older children who may be interested, please contact us. If there is enough interest to run a group, we will do our best to accommodate.

When can we come together as a camp community?

We will have an online gathering on Zoom on Wednesday, May 27th at 7pm. Please see the announcement email for the Zoom link.

What safety precautions are you putting in place this summer to minimize the risk of spreading COVID?

While the recommendations from the State and the CDC may evolve, at the moment we are planning to implement the following:
– All staff and adults onsite will have a face covering accessible at all times to wear.
– Children will undergo a daily health screening at drop off. Parents will be asked to confirm each child does not have a temperature over 100 and is not exhibiting any COVID-related symptoms. Staff will go through a similar screening process each morning.
– Groups are limited to 10 campers and 2 staff. Camp groups will be kept separate from each other all day. Drop off, morning circle, end of day circles, and pick up will happen in small groups.
– Parents will be asked to pack lunches with ice packs to keep in the camper’s backpack all morning. Campers will be responsible for their own belongings.
– Any high touch surfaces or communal spaces will be disinfected consistently between uses.
– We will have a designated area for any camper exhibiting COVID-related symptoms to wait until they can be picked up.
– We will be more likely to cancel a day of camp if the weather could force us to go inside for extended period of time.

What will you do if you find out a camper or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19?

We will report the case to the MD Department of Public Health and will follow DPH recommendations on when and how to notify families of children that may have been in contact with that person.

Resources for your family:

How are you ever going to talk to your kids about this?

We’ve pulled together some resources to support you but, the truth is, you’ve got this. Sit down together, cry with them over how unfair the world seems right now, ask about what they’ll miss most about camp … and remind them that they are safe and loved (by you and by us!).

Supporting Kids During the Coronavirus Crisis (Child Mind Institute)

Resources for Supporting Children’s Emotional Well-being during the COVID-19 Pandemic (Child Trends)

Parenting in a Pandemic: Tips to Keep the Calm at Home (American Academy of Pediatrics)

Parenting a Spirited/Difficult Child in the Time of COVID-19 (Psychology Today)

Dealing with Disruption: Strategies for Thriving in the New Normal (The Jewish Board)

That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief (Harvard Business Review)

Questions? Please reach out to Miki Levran, Tiyul Camp Director at mlevran@pearlstonecenter.org