Behavioral Standards and Policies
Acceptance to Achva is based on written recommendations, suitable references, and in some cases, an interview . We reserve the right to accept or reject any candidate as we deem appropriate. Anyone who has had behaviorial problems participating on similar programs or in summer camp should not expect to be accepted to Achva.
Achva has specific rules and policies which all participants must agree to adhere to before being accepted into the program. Achva reserves the right to remove any participant from the program for their own safety or the safety of others. Drinking, smoking, or drugs not prescribed to you by a physician have no place on any Achva program; neither does improper conduct between boys and girls. We have very strict policies in this regard and will not hesitate to send anyone home who is involved in any such activity. While we rarely need to do this, we absolutely will when necessary.
Achva's top priority is the safety and health of every participant. This is not just a mantra but reflects in how we run our tour. Participants will never be left alone anywhere at any time. Participants will be expected to always stay with the program at all times unless he/she has specific and explicit permission from a counselor. During all free time, participants will be expected to stay in groups and never walk around by themselves.
Participants will have a curfew at the end of the night, usually pretty late, when they are required to be in their rooms. Up until curfew there will be time to socialize and hang out. Leaving one's room during the middle of the night will subject that person to strong disciplinary measures.
Travel during the day is often in the hot sun. Everyone must have water and head covering with them when walking in the sun. One of the many jobs of a counselor is make sure everyone is drinking sufficiently to avoid dehydration. Anyone not properly prepared will not be allowed to participate in outdoor activities.
All participants must act appropriately in the hotels when other guests are sleeping. Anyone who cannot avoid disturbing other guests late at night in the hotel should think twice about coming on the program as the repercussions could be substantial depending on the circumstances.
Each person on the trip is responsible for his or her own suitcases and all belongings. No one should leave their bags unattended. Achva cannot take responsibility for lost or damaged items during the tour.
Achva maintains a dress code on the program to ensure an atmosphere where all participants are comfortable and reflects the Orthodox nature of the program. Anyone not dressing in accordance with the dress code may be asked to change clothes. If you have a question regarding a particular item of clothing, just ask us about it.
All shorts must be long. Shorts should approach your knees.
All shirts must have sleeves. No tank tops or sleeveless shirts. No cap sleeves or half-sleeves. Shirts must not have a low V-neck and must also be long enough to reach your bottoms.
Any words or statements appearing on clothing must be of an appropriate nature.
All skirts should reach to your knees.
Leggings, Jeggings or similar tight form-fitting pants may be worn together with a long shirt.
Bathing suits must be one piece or equivalent.
Boys must wear a head covering at all times.
Tzitzit should also be worn during the day unless conditions suggest their removal (for example, while hiking, playing sports, exercising, or where they could become torn or ruined.)
For Shacharit, boys must wear long pants and girls must wear skirts. For Mincha, depending on our location, this rule is usually waived.
For Shabbat, no jeans or jean skirts, t-shirts or sneakers. More specifically, boys must wear either slacks or nice Khakis (not cargos, all pockets should be on the inside.) Boys’ shirts must be button-down dress shirts, long sleeve or short and preferably be light colored (no polo shirts). Girls’ attire should reflect the dressier Shabbat atmosphere as well.
Shabbat on Achva is one of the highlights and the proper clothing helps create the beautiful Shabbat atmosphere that everyone enjoys. The Shabbat dress code applies for the entire 25 hours of Shabbat while outside your hotel room. If you don’t bring appropriate attire for Shabbat with you, you will either need to buy new or have your parents ship you the proper clothes. Please be sure to pack accordingly.
Swimming in bathing suits is separate for boys and girls. However, privacy cannot be guaranteed and hence our policy requiring one-piece bathing suits. In rivers and waterfalls usually found at the end of hikes, participants must stay dressed if swimming together, with bathing suits underneath shorts and dark t-shirts.
Proper behavior between boys and girls is dictated by halachic practice and common sense. Boys are not allowed in girls’ sleeping areas and vice versa. Anyone violating this policy will be subject to discipline up to and including dismissal from the program. This is an issue we take very seriously. Sexual misconduct of any sort will be grounds for immediate dismissal from the program. Any inappropriate, unwanted or unnecessary touching between boys and girls will be dealt with immediately and in the appropriate fashion.
Participants will be encouraged to wash for bread and bench after meals. We will endeavor to make sure benchers are available if participants do not have their own.
Withdrawal or Expulsion
Withdrawal or expulsion, for any reason, after the start of the program, will result in the forfeiture of all funds paid. No refunds will be given for such withdrawal or expulsion. Furthermore, the cost of air travel or other method home is solely at the expense of the participant's parents.
While we do not expect anyone to be expelled from the program, there have been times when an individual decides to test the Achva staff to see if we are serious about the rules. To their dismay and displeasure, he or she will end up on a plane ride home at their parents' expense.
We understand that the vast majority of you would never get involved with such matters. But, for the sake of clarity, we have listed them here so you should be fully aware that violation of any of these rules (among others) would be cause for immediate expulsion from the program at your own expense with no refund.
Grounds for Dismissal
Any of the following will get you immediately expelled from the tour:
• Usage of, possession, or any involvement with tobacco products, alcohol, drugs (if not prescribed to you by a physician) or narcotics, firearms or other contraband.
• Vandalism or intentional destruction of public or private property
• Leaving the program without permission from the staff.
• Violation of the integrity of separate male/female sleeping areas, and/or disregard of the religious practices and standards.
Should the Achva staff deem it necessary, an individual may be sent home for his/her own safety or the safety of other tour members or his/her inability or unwillingness to follow instructions from the staff.
The determination to dismiss a participant from Achva is at the sole discretion of the Achva administration. There are no refunds in the case of dismissal. Furthermore, you must be prepared to retake responsibility of your child upon dismissal. If you are away on vacation and your child is expelled from the program, you MUST make arrangements to have him/her stay with relatives or friends. Staying on with the program will not be an option upon dismissal.
Participants are expected to be careful with hotel property and to avoid disturbing other hotel guests. Parents will receive a bill and must pay for any damage intentionally or unintentionally caused by a participant to the hotel or any other private or public property. Participants are responsible for any damage to their hotel room during their stay.