Family Guide

The Family Guide is designed to provide details about the Campership Program, including a timeline, to help you through the process of applying for a Campership.

Our Family Guide is broken down into 3 sections:





The Campership Program is intended to bring the Camp experience to underserved youth who would not otherwise have access to a high-quality Camp experience. This is done through the award of a Campership to one of the JACF recognized Associate Camps, and it includes:

  • Partial tuition for one 2-4 week term per summer
  • Transportation support to and from Camp* (if requested)
  • Specialized equipment reimbursement*
  • Credit to the Camp store account*
  • Support from the Mentor to assist the Applicant and Family throughout the camp enrollment process, to help answer questions (including equipment, transportation, etc.), complete paperwork, and meet deadlines

*Available to applicants enrolled in the Full Support Program

The Campership Program is best suited to young people who can contribute in positive ways to the Camp community and would thrive from the opportunity to develop leadership skills, self-confidence, determination and respect for others and nature in a 3-4 week residential summer camp program.

What is the Scope of a JACF Campership Award?

Application Requirements:  Campership awards will be based upon eligibility criteria and camp enrollment decisions made through the Camp (NOT THE FOUNDATION) application.  Recommendations of award are made by the Campership Application Review Team to the Program Director. Final decisions are made by the Campership Program Director and the Executive Director.

Evaluation Requirements:  JACF strives to understand and track camp impact, therefore, JACF requires post camp camper and Family evaluations.  These forms must be submitted upon return from camp in order to be considered for re-application the following season.

Placement:  The Applicant gives preference of what camp is preferred but JACF and the Associate Camp have final word on placement in order to optimize the camp match.

Wait List:  Acceptable applications will be placed on a Wait List based on date of application completion.  The Applicant Family will be notified of Wait List status and can remain until placement or camp start date at the Family’s discretion.  Placement of  Wait List applicants will take place as spots become available.

Applicants on the Wait List who are unsuccessful will be notified by camp start date.  They will be eligible to reapply the following season by completing the new season application.

Term of Funding:  JACF will fund for the full “life-span” of the camp years as camper and leadership program participant (ie, CILT, JC, etc) contingent upon successful yearly re-application for JACF funding.

Re-application:  Campers are required to reapply each camp season in order to obtain new season funding.   It is at the discretion of JACF to determine if an applicant  who has previously cancelled, withdrawn or been dismissed from camp is eligible to reapply.  All applicants must be  in good standing with JACF and the Associate Camp.   JACF reserves the right to reevaluate applications of campers who have been dismissed.

Camp Tuition:  The Camper Family is asked to contribute recommended camp tuition amount as outlined in the JACF Income Eligibility Guidelines.  JACF will fund all tuition NOT covered by the family contribution. Camp Tuition fees to be paid by the Camper Family must be paid directly to the Associate Camp by May 1st.  Any unpaid balance after May 1st  could result in forfeiture of Campership.

Camper Contribution:  The Camper is asked to contribute to camp expenses.  Camper Contribution will be paid to JACF by May 1st.  Mentors will support Camper in determining amount to pledge and raising pledged amount.

Camp Bank:  JACF will make a deposit (to the value of the amount recommended by the Camp) to the Camp Bank. These funds may be used by the Camper to purchase items from the Camp Store while they are at Camp. Any camper charges incurred in excess of the amount deposited become the responsibility of the Camper Family.  JACF is not responsible for any unresolved Camp Bank or any other accrued expenses due to Associate Camp.  Family must settle all Associate Camp balances prior to reapplication for JACF funds. NOTE: medical expenses cannot be settled through the Camp Bank and are the responsibility of the Camper Family.

Equipment:  JACF will reimburse for pre-approved items, up to $250 with preapproval by the JACF Campership office. For reimbursement, the JACF Request for Reimbursement form must be completed and approved by the Program Director.  Equipment that is available on loan or to rent by the Associate Camps may be used and funded by JACF instead of purchasing new at the discretion of JACF.

Camper Behavior:  The Camper is expected to abide by Associate Camp behavior policies and will be subject to Associate Camp discipline procedures.

Health Insurance:  It is the responsibility of the Family to understand and provide camper medical insurance as required by the Associate Camp.   JACF does not pay for camper health insurance or any medical expenses incurred while at Camp.


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  • Campership Application is available online 
  • Paper applications available upon request from the JACF Campership office.



  • Mentors meet with Applicant and Family to:
    • interview Applicant using the Mentor Statement as a guide
    • review Campership Application and deadlines for submission
    • assist with Applicant or Family forms as needed
    • view the JACF website and Associate Camp websites to identify camp and term preferences
    • review Capstone Requirements with Capstone applicants


OCTOBER 15th  

  • Capstone Campership Applications due



  • Renewal Campership Applications due



  • First Summer Campership Applications due.  
  • A rolling deadline for First Summer and Renewal applications will continue until all camperships have been awarded.



  • Campership Applications reviewed
  • Award decision letters mailed to the Campership Applicant / Family and Mentor.  
  • Mentor follows up with the Camper and Family to ensure that any Campership Agreements are signed and returned to the JACF Office in a timely manner.


Campership Agreement includes:

      • camp assignment, term assignment and camp dates
      • outline of transportation plans/arrangements to and from camp
      • outline of financial responsibility of all parties
      • instructions to review, sign and return Campership Agreement to JACF office within two weeks



  • Camp enrollment instructions provided by Camp to the Campership Applicant / Family.   
  • Mentor assists the Campership Applicant / Family to complete and submit Camp enrollment forms to the Camp by May 1st.
  • Mentor advises Camper through Capstone Service Project requirements or Campership Contribution fundraising as applicable.
  • Airline transportation (if requested) is arranged by JACF and made available to Campership Applicant / Family.  Mentor receives duplicates of this information upon request.



  • Mentor follows up with Campership Applicant / Family to verify all Camp enrollment forms, including a health physical (required by all camps), and all payments are returned to the Camp.  All forms and payments are due to the Camp by May 1st.
  • Capstone Service Projects completed by March 15th.  



  • Mentor assists Campership Applicant / Family with acquiring and packing all necessary equipment listed on the camp Packing List.
  • Capstone Presentations due by April 1st.
  • Mentor confirms transportation arrangements with Campership Applicant / Family and provides support to ensure that all travel arrangements have been clearly understood.


MAY 1st

  • All enrollment forms and payments are due to the Camp.
  • Camper Contribution due to JACF office.



  • Mentor contacts Camper / Family the week before camp start to review last minute details.
  • Mentor may send letter to the Camper while they are at camp.
  • Mentor will be notified by the JACF Office on a “need to know” basis if the Camper leaves Camp early for any reason, or if there is any family emergency which may impact the Camper’s participation at Camp.  



  • Upon the Camper’s return from Camp, Mentor meets with Camper and Family to:
    • interview Camper to complete the Mentor Reflection Form.
    • assist Camper and Family with Post Camp Forms – available online 


The following Post Camp Requirements are due to the JACF office within two weeks of Camper returning from Camp (even if the Camper does not intend to reapply for a future Campership):

  • Camper Survey
  • Camper Thank You Letter
  • Parent/Legal Guardian Survey
  • Counselor Letters/Reports (provided by camp via mail or online)
  • Action picture(s) of Camper while at camp.  Email directly to our Photos Account  with camper’s name in subject line of email.



  • Reapply for next season funding.


Who is Eligible to Apply for a JACF Campership?

Age Range:  Minimum of 10 years old by June 1 of the season of application. Camperships can be awarded throughout the entire time of eligible enrollment at the chosen Summer Camp (typically 16 or 17 years of age).

Income Eligibility:  Camper Applicant will be from a family whose financial circumstances create a barrier to accessing a high-quality summer camp experience (income generally not exceeding 500% of Federal Poverty Guidelines) – see our Income Eligibility Guidelines.

Residency:  Camper Applicant must reside in the contiguous United States of America.

Siblings:  JACF will consider Campership Applications from multiple siblings within the same family.

Which Campership Application Should the Applicant Complete and When Is It Due?

The Capstone Campership Program is for a returning applicant who will be 15 years of age during the camp session. A Capstone Service Project is required.  Capstone Campership Applications are due October 15th.

The Renewal Campership Program is for a returning applicant of any other age than 15.  Renewal Campership applications are due November 1st.

The First Summer Campership Program is for an applicant who is applying for JACF funding for the first time. First Summer Campership Applications are due December 1st.

What Does JACF Contribute Toward Financially?

Camp Tuition: JACF funds camp tuition after the Camper and Family contribution has been made as outlined in the Campership Income Eligibility Guidelines.

Camp Bank Deposit: JACF provides funding according to the recommendations of each Camp.

Transportation: Upon request, JACF will fund travel related expenses including airline ticket, baggage fees, unaccompanied minor fees and shuttle fees for the Camper from their local airport to Camp and from Camp back to their local airport.

Equipment: With demonstrated need and pre-approval from the JACF Office, limited reimbursement for select equipment can be provided.

What Does JACF NOT Contribute to Financially?

Health and/or Medical Insurance Coverage or Medical Expenses: JACF will not fund or reimburse for health and/or medical insurance, medical expenses or medications.

Transportation: JACF will not fund or reimburse for transportation to and from the Camper’s home to their home airport or car travel to and from camp. JACF will not fund or reimburse for a family member or Mentor transportation fees. If a Camper is sent home or chooses to come home before the end of the camp term, JACF will not fund or reimburse the cost for any transportation from camp to home, including ticket change fees.

Clothing and Personal Items: JACF will not fund or reimburse for camper clothing or personal items as listed on camp Packing List.

What Does the Camper Family Contribute Toward Financially?

Camp Tuition: Campership Applicant pledges a contribution amount.  Camper Family contribution is determined according to our Campership Income Eligibility Guidelines.

Medical Expenses: Any medical expenses charged by the Camp will be the responsibility of the Campership Applicant / Family.

Additional Camp Bank Expenses: Any charges made above the amount JACF funds will be the responsibility of the Campership Applicant / Family.

Transportation: Campership Applicant / Family may request JACF fund air travel to and from camp. Any other travel expenses are the responsibility of the Camper Family. If a Camper is sent home or chooses to come home before the end of the camp term, Campership Applicant / Family is responsible for the cost of any transportation from camp to home, including ticket change fees.

Camp Clothing and Equipment: Campership Applicant / Family is responsible for providing needed clothing for the Camp experience as listed on Camp’s Packing List. With demonstrated need and pre-approval from the JACF Office, limited reimbursement for select equipment can be provided.

Health and/or medical insurance coverage: Campership Applicant is required to carry health/medical insurance for the time the Camper is at Camp (as required by the Camp).

Can JACF Help Fund Travel To/From Camp?

Yes – if air travel is required the Applicant has the option to request funding to/from Camp. If the Applicant is located within reasonable driving distance to Camp then air travel will not be provided. In this case JACF will not fund the road travel.

Air Transportation:  Upon Camper/Camper Family request noted in JACF application, JACF will arrange and fund travel costs to include airfare, baggage fees, UM fees, shuttle fees to and from destination airport for camper only.  Transportation fees for family members and/or Mentor will not be covered.

Unaccompanied Minor (UM) Fees:  JACF will pay UM fees for campers who are required to fly UM status per airline regulations.   JACF will pay to fly a camper UM if the Transportation Coordinator deems it necessary for reasons of late arrival time, distance, etc, subject to airline UM rules.

Baggage Fees: JACF will reimburse for up to two checked bags provided they comply with airline guidelines. Any additional baggage fees (oversize, overweight, etc.) will be the responsibility of the Camper Family.   JACF Reimbursement form and airline baggage receipts must be submitted to the JACF Campership office in order to obtain reimbursement.

Campership Cancellation or Early Camp Withdrawal:  Any travel expenses incurred by JACF and/or travel expenses  incurred as a result of cancellation or early withdrawal will become the responsibility of the Camper Family.  Camper may reapply in subsequent years provided they are in good standing with JACF and Associate Camp.

Dismissal from Camp:  Any travel expenses incurred by JACF and/or travel expenses  incurred as a result of dismissal will become the responsibility of the Camper Family.  Camper may reapply in subsequent years provided they are in good standing with JACF and Associate Camp.

Travel Day Responsibilities:  JACF arranges travel as a courtesy, and is not responsible for campers during transportation to and from camp.  The responsibility of travel day support lies with the parent/legal guardian and the Camp.  Therefore, any travel day questions or emergencies  should be directed to parent/legal guardian or the Camp directly.

General Travel Procedures

  1. JACF provides written instructions to camper and family regarding travel day procedures (including airline check-in, luggage, chaperone details, camp pick-up / drop-off details, and emergency procedures)
  2. JACF provides a luggage tag which lists all camp’s contact details in case of travel day emergency
  3. JACF pays camper one-way or round-trip air travel (as requested) to the airport(s) designated by the Associate Camp
  4. JACF pays UM fees in accordance with airline policy
  5. JACF reimburses the camper’s parent/guardian for the cost of up to 2 checked bags on each flight (provided that they meet airline restrictions). Any charges relating to oversize luggage fees are the responsibility of the camper’s parent/guardian
  6. Whenever possible JACF will book direct flights from the camper’s local airport to the arrival airport designated by the Camp
  7. JACF notifies the associate camp of its travel policy and outlines the camp’s travel day responsibility to the JACF camper

Travel Day Procedures

JACF provides travel day support (staffed and managed through a 24 hour emergency phone line) to assist in resolving issues such as delayed or cancelled flights and missed connections. On-call staff will support campers with changing itineraries, or booking new flights required as a result of missed connections or cancelled flights

Where airport connections are required JACF will attempt to provide assistance to the camper in the form of a screened and trained staff/adult volunteer, provided that the airline grants permission for the JACF chaperone to access the gate area.  JACF will provide the camper and their family with contact details of the chaperone.

What is the Camp Bank?

The Camp Bank is a fund from which a Camper may draw during their time at Camp. Camps suggest an amount between $50 and $100 for the four-week session to cover items like daily snacks, shampoo, stamps, or a camp logo sweatshirt. The Camp Bank eliminates the need for the Camper to keep track of, or carry money while they are at Camp. Any charges that exceed the agreed upon contribution by JACF are the responsibility of the Camper Family. Renewal Campers with outstanding balances at the Associate Camps from the prior year will not be considered by JACF for renewal until the balance is paid in full.

Why Does an Applicant/Camper Need a Mentor?

The Mentor plays an essential role in the ‘check and balance’ system JACF has developed to ensure we are serving those children for which the campership was designed.  They provide local support for the Camper and Family that could otherwise not be provided. The Mentor is the key support to the Camper Family in the Campership process.

Who Can Become a Mentor for my Child?

Someone who is a non-familial adult professional in the youth development field (teacher, principal, youth leader, coach, Scout leader, etc.) who knows the applicant well and has observed applicant interactions with others.

Someone who lives in the applicant’s geographic hometown area to assist with logistics.

Someone who will support the Applicant/Camper and Family through the application process, Capstone Service Project or Camper Contribution collect, and camp preparation over multiple years.

Someone who is NOT related to the applicant or is NOT an immediate family friend.

Someone who had completed the JACF Volunteer application and been approved as a JACF Volunteer.

How Does the Applicant Select a Camp and Term?

The Mentor should familiarize themselves with the Camps that are available for selection. The Mentor then meets with the Campership Applicant / Family to review the program descriptions and websites in order to guide the select preferences.

If the Mentor attended one of the Associate Camps, it is important NOT to show preference or bias for this particular camp. Talk about the attributes of attending a summer residential camp in general terms and consider the best fit for the Applicant.

JACF makes every effort to place Campership Applicant at their preferred choice of Camp. However, placement depends upon space availability. With this in mind, Mentors should emphasize that NO child is guaranteed a Campership, and he or she may not receive their preferred Camp selection.

What If a Campership is Not Awarded?

Occasionally an application is submitted that is not a good fit or the Campership Applicant / Family income exceeds the Financial Eligibility Guidelines. When this occurs, the Campership Applicant / Family are notified by email that he or she did not receive a Campership. The Mentor will also be notified of the decision.

What If an Applicant is Placed on the Wait List?

If an Applicant is approved but all Camperships have been awarded, he or she has the option to be placed on a Wait List. As Camperships become available, the Wait List Applicant and Family, as well as the Mentor will be notified.

Applicants on the Wait List who are not accepted may reapply for future funding.

How Does a Mentor Help a Camper Identify Adequate Equipment for Camp?

The following equipment is generally required for a summer at Camp. However, for a more detailed list, the Campership Applicant / Family should refer to the Camp’s recommendations.

  • Sleeping bag: Discuss the importance of a warm sleeping bag for residential camping. A cotton bag is not appropriate for cold overnights.
  • Hiking Boots: Quality hiking boots with good ankle support should be acquired several months ahead of time so they can be ‘broken in’ before having to be worn at camp to prevent blisters.
  • Riding Boots: English or Western riding boots are required for participation in horseback riding.
  • Backpacks: Campers will need a quality daypack or large outcamping pack, depending on the Camper’s level of interest.

What are the Responsibilities of the Mentor and JACF in Helping the Camper Acquire Equipment and Clothing for Camp?

The Mentor should review the camp Packing List with the Campership Applicant / Family. If a Camper is in need of required gear as listed on the camp Packing List (riding boots, sleeping bag, backpack, etc.), the Mentor should help the Campership Applicant / Family acquire these items.

With demonstrated need and pre-approval from the JACF Office, a portion of select items may be reimbursed. Items such as underwear, daily clothing, medication, toiletries, sunscreen, etc, will not be reimbursed.

How Do Applicants Access the Campership Application?

The Campership Applicant / Family can access the JACF Campership Application by following the steps below:

  1. Click HERE (
  2. Click on the ‘Campership Program’ tab
  3. Select ‘Campership Application’
  4. Select ‘New Applicant’, ‘Capstone Applicant’, or ‘Returning Applicant’ as appropriate

Once the initial application is complete, continue to the Forms and Documents section. The Campership Application is not complete until all required forms are completed.

If a Campership Applicant / Family does not have access to the internet, please contact the JACF Campership Program Director to obtain an offline Campership Application Form.

Does the Mentor Have Access to the Online Campership Application?

In an effort to maintain a high standard of confidentiality, the Campership Applicant / Family are the only people to have access to their online application. A Mentor can view the How To Navigate a JACF Campership Application document on the Campership/Apply page of the JACF website for insight into the structure and expectations of a Campership Application.