Mini Camp TOV FAQ

What do the campers do?

Each day starts with an icebreaker, a service-learning activity and explanation of that day's volunteer project. Daily hands-on projects range from visiting the elderly to making up food packages to working with the disabled and the environment. Later, campers get to talk about what they are doing, its significance, and how they reacted to it. And all day, every day, they interact with one another, making new friends and building new relationships.

Where is the camp located?

Mini Camp TOV is a day program on wheels. Some programming is held at JUF's headquarters at 30 South Wells Street, in downtown Chicago, but most of the time is spent at volunteer project sites throughout the greater Chicago area.

How old do teens have to be to participate?

The programming and projects are geared towards teens entering 7th through 12th grade for the upcoming school year.

How do you decide where the teens will volunteer?

Projects are picked because they are fun, meaningful and age-appropriate for teens. We also consider each agency's ability to accommodate a large group of teens, along with its location and age requirements.

What is the timing like for each day?

Depending upon which pick-up location is used, each day will start between 8am and 8:30am. Campers will be dropped back off at the same location around 3:30pm.

How many campers will there be?

We expect about 35 teen campers for Mini Camp TOV.

Who is the staff of Mini Camp TOV? Is there adult supervision?

Camp TOV is staffed full-time by a core group of veteran JUF professionals who are joined by other JUF staff and Jewish youth professionals.

How do I register?

All registration is online. Fill out the online form for each camper you wish to register. Space is limited, and registration is first come, first served. Spots will not be held until online registration and full payment have been received. Registration is not complete, however, until the medical, code of conduct, and photo release forms have been submitted through

When are the final payment, medical forms, code of conduct, and photo release forms due?

Payment is due during online registration. The forms are due within two weeks of registration.

Does the health form have to be signed by a doctor?

No. But please provide up-to-date and complete medical information.

Can my teen participate with their friends?

Absolutely. While spots can't be held for friends, all they have to do is sign up online. Everyone participates in the same large-group activities. But since we encourage branching out and meeting other teens, friends may not be together during some short, small-group activities.

Can campers with special needs attend Mini Camp TOV?

Mini Camp TOV accepts all teens who can handle hands-on volunteer projects and interact with other teens and specialized populations. If your child has special needs, please complete the registration form, medical form and camper information sheet so we can best serve him or her. Camp TOV has welcomed children with learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD and partial hearing loss.

What if I don't live near any transportation drop-off points?

Depending upon where campers live, pick-up points will include Union Station and/or the Ogilvie Transportation Center, which are served by most Metra lines. For those living in the city, pick-ups from CTA L train stops can also be arranged.

Can my child participate in just one day of Mini Camp TOV?

No. Mini Camp TOV is not just volunteering projects, but an educational program so to cut out half of the time would not allow the camper to get the most out of the opportunity.

What if my teen needs to come late/leave early one of the days?

We encourage full participation but understand there can be unavoidable conflicts. If this is the case, we can make special accommodations. Please call 312-444-2867 or email TOVTeen@juf.org to discuss arrangements. We ask that you please coordinate these special circumstances with Mini Camp TOV staff before camp begins.

If your camper isn't traveling to or from the volunteer project with the group, parents must provide transportation to or from the volunteer site. This may require written approval. No refunds will be given for time missed.

How are meals handled?

Kosher (CRC certified) snacks are provided every day. Campers should bring their own kosher style bagged lunch both days. If your child has food allergies or restrictions, please include that information within your teen's medical forms and/or call 312-444-2867 or email TOVTeen@juf.org.

What should my child wear?

All campers will be given one Mini Camp TOV t-shirt. Campers will be required to wear this T-shirt and closed-toe shoes every day. Campers can wear jeans, pants, shorts or skirts. Our community upholds respect and honor for each individual. To maintain this standard, please do not wear any clothing that is strapless, or reveals your midriff or undergarments. No clothing should display graphics of drugs, alcohol, profanity or violent acts. If a camper chooses to wear a skirt, it must come at least to the knees. Any special circumstances regarding the dress code will be discussed during the parent orientation.

Are scholarships available?

Limited, partial scholarships are available. Call 312-444-2867 or email TOVTeen@juf.org for details and an application.

What is the cancellation policy?

Prior to Monday, May 30th, your registration fee will be returned, minus a $25 processing fee. After May 30th, there will be no reimbursements for cancellation.