Our most frequently asked questions about this program are answered below. Additional program-wide FAQs are also available. Still need something? We’re here to help! Contact us.
COSTA RICA FAQS
How will my teen travel to the program?
Families are responsible for making their own flight arrangements to our arrival city, and from our departure city, based on guidance that we provide in the spring. Flight costs are not included in the program’s land cost. Learn more about flying to the program.
What if my teen is considered an unaccompanied minor?
Each airline has its own rules for mandatory unaccompanied minors and additional fees do apply. If your teen is 15 years or younger, then please refer to your chosen airline for information and contact us at least 2–3 weeks in advance if special arrangements need to be made with our staff.
Where will my teen be sleeping?
The group stays in several different types of accommodations, including 3-star hotels and more rustic eco-lodges in the rainforest. When booking our accommodations, we request for each teen to have their own sleeping accommodations in a shared living space. Our accommodations are typically outside of cities and provide space for teens to relax and explore in a safe environment.
How is the program staffed?
Each group is accompanied by a team of madrichim (counselors), a local tour leader, and a bus driver. Staff names are sent out approximately 2–3 weeks prior to your departure as part of the pre-trip preparation emails. Staff are asked to make welcome calls to teens before departure. Feel free to ask them any remaining questions you may have. Learn more about our staff team.
What's the summer weather like?
Costa Rica is a tropical country, but the weather varies greatly region to region. In the highland areas, you can expect cooler weather with evenings dipping into the 50s–70s. Along the lowland areas, the weather is in the 80s or even 90s during the day. Finally, June and July fall within the rainy season for Costa Rica. This means that rain is common, although it is often brief, in the late afternoon or evening. No matter where we travel in Costa Rica, you can be sure t hat it will be humid!
How do you approach security?
The safety of the teens under our care is our guiding consideration. Learn more about our organization’s approach to safety & security.
What’s the typical group size?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size for trips is 35–42 teens. Some teens choose to sign up together with a friend or two and most teens choose to come on their own. Either way, our participants will have the opportunity to meet a diverse group of peers from various locations across North America which makes exploring a new place together even more exciting. On some programs, we might have multiple parties from the same area register together. In this case, we are unable to inform families when this occurs and though we are always willing to share the group dynamics of the current registrations, we typically have a good idea of the general group make up after our cancellation deadline.
What's the food like?
You’ll try delicacies like Gallo Pinto, Casado, tamal, and fresh fruit in Costa Rica. When traveling, your teen may encounter new foods that will not be to their liking, so we ask teens to be flexible and have snacks and other alternatives on hand just in case.
As a travel-based program, our meals take a variety of forms and may include hotel buffets, restaurants, catered meals, and allowance funds for participants to purchase a meal on their own. When a meal is served in a public buffet format (e.g. hotel breakfast), we will always ensure that there are vegetarian, pescatarian, or dairy options available and we will not restrict teens from eating the food of their choice.
Some meals may be provided via a cash allowance where teens will be given money to purchase the food of their choice, called a pizur meal. Such meals are typically arranged in an area where there are multiple restaurant options and teens can choose the food of their liking. When time is limited for meal choice, staff may choose to facilitate meal orders on behalf of teens using their allowance funds.
Participants with special dietary needs (i.e. lactose intolerance, gluten-free, kosher, etc.) should review our dietary restrictions commitment document and contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program.
Will I need a visa?
If you travel with an American, Canadian, or EU passport, good news! You don’t need a visa to enter Costa Rica. If you travel with a passport from another country, you may need a visa.
What are the payment and cancellation terms?
All of these details are available here: Registration Terms.
For more information, check out our general FAQs or the pre-trip preparation manual.
Is CLTC for you?
CLTC is a great program for Alephs and BBGs currently in 9th or 10th grade who are current or aspiring chapter leaders, have attended or are interested in attending regional leadership conventions, or who haven't yet been to a BBYO international program!
How many teens attend CLTC?
Each session welcomes around 100 participants. The smaller group size offers members the chance to create a community in which each member has the chance to grow and shine.
Who staffs CLTC?
BBYO programming professionals and advisors serve as the site director, leadership director, and leadership staff at CLTC. We’re also joined by a Jewish educator, song leader, an office manager, and college-age counselors (or madrichim).
Where is CLTC located?
CLTC 2023 will take place at the Commonpoint Retreat Center, which is owned by the Commonpoint JCC, a partner of UJA Federation of NY. Situated in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains, the sprawling grounds and lush scenery will be the perfect place for our CLTC community to learn, have fun, and thrive together this summer.
What is the CLTC curriculum about?
The emphasis at CLTC is on building leadership skills applicable across participants’ AZA, BBG, or BBYO chapters, high school classrooms, and home communities. Jewish values and community service also are central to the CLTC experience. Members plan and lead daily morning (Shacharit) services as well as Shabbat services.
Is the food at CLTC kosher?
All food served at the Commonpoint Retreat Center is kosher-style and all meat is certified kosher.
What do I do about medication?
Participants must register in advance with CampMeds, a service that provides pre-packaged, pre-dosaged medication to participants who require it. There is a $250 fee for those who do not register and arrive at camp with their medications. The exceptions to this are inhalers, birth control, epi-pens, nasal sprays, injectable medications, prescription ointments, and refrigerated medication.
Do you offer travel insurance?
BBYO is glad to offer a travel insurance option for all our Summer Experiences through Travel Insured International. Families are highly encouraged to purchase travel insurance to protect their investment and plan for the unexpected. Please visit this page to see all the details on the policy and its terms.