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Ramah and the Field of Jewish Outdoor Education
Posted On March 20, 2014

Last week a study on the field of Jewish Outdoor and Environmental Education (JOFEE) was published by Hazon.  Ramah Outdoor Adventure at Ramah in the Rockies is one of the few groups engaged in this field that is based …

Looking Back Fondly on a Ramah Outdoor Adventure Experience — Part II
Posted On March 10, 2014

For the past few years, we have had  a number of former chalutzim who have written about their time at Ramah Outdoor Adventure as part of their college admissions essays.  Over the next few weeks we will feature a few …

Ramah in Colorado announces an incredible gift
Posted On February 27, 2014

2014 Grants for Day School Students Now Available for Ramah Outdoor Adventure’s Upcoming Camp Season

A grant of $100,000 by an anonymous donor will now make it possible for students in Jewish day schools to apply for generous scholarship support for …

Looking back fondly on a Ramah Outdoor Adventure experience
Posted On February 17, 2014

For the past few years, we have had  a number of former chalutzim who have written about their time at Ramah Outdoor Adventure as part of their college admissions essays.  Over the next few weeks we will feature a few …

A Jewish Journey Through the Country’s Agriculture Capital
Posted On February 11, 2014

Risa Isard, one of our founding tzevet member (2010-2013) recently wrote a piece about her experience of living in California during this drought and reflecting upon the dryness through the Jewish lens she learned at Ramah.

I’ve spent the last …

Thoughts from Ramah in Argentina
Posted On February 4, 2014

Written by 5th years counselor: Jordan Anderson

Every other week during the summer at ROA, we go out on masaot (excursions). We leave camp for backpacking, kayaking, rafting, horseback riding, climbing, and mountain biking. And each of those weeks, on …

February is Jewish Disability Awareness Month
Posted On January 31, 2014

Written by: Elyssa Hammerman, Tikvah Director

elyssah@ramahoutdoors.org or 303-261-8214 x103

The Tikvah Program at Ramah Outdoor Adventure continued to thrive in summer 2013.  While we continued our incredible programming from the previous summer, one of our highlights was the extended

Staff Training at Ramah
Posted On January 22, 2013

In a few short months, we will open our fourth summer at Ramah Outdoor Adventure.  And if this summer is anything like the first three, the key to our success will once again be the incredible group of passionate, dedicated …

Update on recruitment
Posted On December 20, 2012

With the end of the calendar year upon us, I wanted to send a recruitment update. We had a fantastic finish to our early bird registration earlier in the week. At the moment we have over 200 children enrolled in …

What Chanukah and Camp Have In Common
Posted On December 11, 2012

At its core, the story of Chanukah is a story about the continuation of the Jewish people in a time when there was great pressure to assimilate into the secular society.  There were those who advocated complete assimilation into the …

Words From the Ramah Dinner
Posted On December 6, 2012

Last Sunday night, 220 people gathered in Denver to honor Don Skupsky and to celebrate our Camp Ramah.

Here are the brief thoughts I shared with everyone that evening.  Also, if you have not yet seen it, check out our …

BEING GREEN PAGE
Posted On November 28, 2012

We just added a new page to our website called BEING GREEN.  We were inspired to create this page after a conversation with Sybil Sanchez, Director of  COEJL.  She was musing  about the need for every Jewish organization to have …

Can online information sessions change the world?
Posted On November 12, 2012

One of the stated goals of Ramah Outdoor Adventure is to be a “green camp”.  Over the years, I have blogged about some of our greening initiatives, from reducing paper use in our year-round office to serving organic milk in …

Four years in. . .
Posted On October 28, 2012

In November of 2008, the Jim Joseph Foundation (JJF) and the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) made a big bet.  They awarded the National Ramah Commission (NRC) $1.1 million to create the first outdoor specialty camp in the country with …

2012 Survey results
Posted On October 15, 2012

This was sent out as an email to our parent body.  I am re-posting it on our blog, as many readers are not on our parent list.

At Ramah Outdoor Adventure, we are constantly striving to improve our camp program.  …

Feedback on new JOLI program
Posted On September 27, 2012

This summer, we doubled the size of our JOLI (Jewish Outdoor Leadership Institute) program for rising 11th and 12th graders.  From the feedback we have received thus far from the JOLI participants, it was a terrific success.  In the coming …

Our first camp wide mural
Posted On September 3, 2012

As we prepare for Rosh Hashanah and reflect on the year that has passed, those of us who had the fortune to spend time at the Ramah in the Rockies ranch will inevitably recall highlights we experienced at 8000 feet.  …

Final Thoughts on the 2012 Season
Posted On August 14, 2012

It had to happen!

Another successful summer at Ramah Outdoor Adventure has come to an end.  All is quiet on the ranch.  Eight of our twenty horses have left.  The Alpacas, goats, chickens and ducks have gone home.  A few …

Thoughts on camp
Posted On August 13, 2012

Last night, at Havdallah, a member of each edah spoke about his/her experience at camp.  Each offered moving words.  Below is a piece written by Shanna, who is an inaugural chalutza (camper) in our Tikvah program.  Shanna arrived at camp …

Pre Shabbat Aug 10
Posted On August 10, 2012

And just like that, our 2012 masa (excursion) season has come to an end.  A few minutes ago, our last masa rolled back into camp.  This past week we had groups hiking, biking, spelunking, and climbing in the back country.  …

Connecting with Jewish roots through the Ramah Animals
Posted On July 26, 2012

At the beginning of each camp season, a herd of horses and a number of farm animals are delivered to our ranch for us to use in our camp program.  For nine weeks, our tzevet (staff) and chalutzim (campers) care …

Thoughts on Orienteering
Posted On July 25, 2012

The following Blog Post was written by our Staff Trainer, Toby Joy Zelt.  Toby describes her experience teaching the Metayalot girls (grade 5/6) during their “orienteering” activity this afternoon.

Around my knuckles I drew concentric circles, representing the mountain tops, which appeared

Aerobics at camp
Posted On July 19, 2012

Our first full day of camp has drawn to a close.   Chalutzim (pioneers/campers) were rock climbing, painting, playing Frisbee and so much more.  While our oldest chalutzim chose their activities according to their interests, our younger ones went around as …

Final Thoughts on Session I
Posted On July 18, 2012

Note: We were waiting to post this until our session slide show was ready with a hyperlink.  Due to copyright issues, we are not able to post the session slide show on Youtube at the moment.

Tuesday Morning:

Our session …

Community at camp
Posted On June 24, 2012

Sunday morning:

If I had to choose one word to describe Shabbat at Ramah Outdoor Adventure, it would be “Kehillah”  “[community]”  One feels this sense of Kehillah, when we gather, all recently showered and wearing white clothing, in the Kfar

The difference a name makes
Posted On June 20, 2012

Our first full day of programming has come to a close.  As I write this, all of our chalutzim (campers/pioneers) are fast asleep in their ohalim (tents).  I, like so many of our chalutzim, have spent most of the …

Update from the end of WFR/WFA
Posted On June 7, 2012

It is hard to believe that we have been at the Ramah Ranch for over a week.  Last Thursday a large group of counselors from across the URJ (Reform) & Ramah camping movements arrived for Wilderness First Aid (WFA) and …

A note from our Tikvah Director
Posted On May 16, 2012

Elyssa Hammerman is returning for her fourth summer at Ramah Outdoor Adventure as the director of our inaugural Tikvah program, for children with developmental special needs.  Elyssa wrote the post below:

“Everyone should be able to go to sleep away …

Exemplifying Challenge by Choice
Posted On May 9, 2012

As I have written many times on our camp blog, the secret behind the success of Ramah Outdoor Adventure is the unbelievable group of passionate & talented staff members who come to our ranch each summer to create a magical …

2012 Volunteer Days
Posted On April 30, 2012

About a year ago, our then program director, Daniel Buoniauto wrote a blog post entitled “A Camp Built on Good Will.” Dan described his experience spending a day on the ranch preparing for the upcoming camp season, working with a …

Core Values Revisited
Posted On April 10, 2012

Core Values revisited

In the winter of 2008‑2009, a full eighteen months before we were scheduled to welcome our first chalutzim (campers/pioneers) to Ramah Outdoor Adventure, a group of us spent many weeks articulating a set of Jewish core values …

Incubator II
Posted On April 1, 2012

Four years ago, I was sitting in my living room in Israel, where I was spending my fourth year of Rabbinical school studying at Machon Schechter, when I received the email.  It was from Rabbi Mitch Cohen, the National Ramah …

75 Days ’till camp opens: A look at our numbers
Posted On March 26, 2012

Today marks our 75 day countdown until we welcome our first Chalutzim (pioneers/campers) to the Ramah Ranch.  In this time of Pesach, when we think about 4 cups of wine, 3 matzot and the numbers in “Who Knows One”, I …

Hyper aware of disposable cups
Posted On March 18, 2012

[Written on erev Shabbat, posted on Sunday)

My work week began this week, at 6:00am on Sunday morning in Denver, on my way to catch a flight to Laguardia Airport for a week of meetings and conferences in the tri-state …

Lessons learned on JOLI
Posted On February 19, 2012

For this week’s blog post, I wanted to post an essay written by Adin K, who  was a JOLI participant during our our inaugural JOLI program in the 2011 season.

Based on the success of last years four week program, we

Beshalach and Camp
Posted On February 6, 2012

The following is a Dvar Torah I gave this past Shabbat at the Hebrew Educational Alliance (HEA) in Denver Colorado.  HEA is the largest Conservative Shul in Colorado.  Their clergy, staff and lay leaders have been some of the most …

Hannah’s thoughts on national staff training
Posted On January 30, 2012

Over the next few weeks, we will be highlighting the writings of some of our former chalutzim and some of our own staff members.  This week, I will share a write-up from one of our counselors, Hannah Samet who, along …

The videos tell the story
Posted On January 3, 2012

January 1st marks the beginning of the secular new year, and even though I am a Jewish camp director who feels much more connected to the Jewish new year, I could not help but take a few moments this …

Two Week Camping Now Available for 5/6th Graders in Session I.
Posted On December 29, 2011

Dear Blog readers:

I want to share a letter with you that is being sent to all our camper families.  Filling our sessions too early is a terrific “problem” to have, and we look forward to many more similar problems …

Thoughts on camp– a pioneer’s perspective
Posted On December 13, 2011

On Sunday night we had our annual gathering in Denver to celebrate the Ramah camp we are creating here in Colorado.  Thank you to the 250+ people who participated in the event.  Below, I will paste the words spoken by …

Experiencing Spontaneous Prayer
Posted On December 6, 2011

On most mornings, I begin my day with a few minutes of davening (prayers) while looking out of the picture window.  Usually, I am joined in the living room by my twenty month old son Matan, who dons his own …

Now looking for two base camp interns
Posted On November 14, 2011

At Ramah Outdoor Adventure, we pride ourselves on creating a counseling team made up of some of the finest counselors in the camping industry.  For the past three summers (we began staff training in 2009) we have assembled a group …

Our survey results are in…
Posted On October 11, 2011

This was a letter sent to all parents today.  Our email crashed while sending the letter, so many people might not have received it.

As we enter the Sukkoth holiday later this week, when we move outdoors to eat our …

Update from camp #9
Posted On August 7, 2011

A week ago, the idea of running a camper program geared towards younger campers was but a dream.  I am happy to report that five days into session III the dream has become a reality and I now know that …

Update #8 from camp Final thoughts on session II
Posted On August 1, 2011

Please note: throughout this blog post there are many hyper links.  Each one refers to a Youtube video

Our session II chalutzim have left the chava(ranch).  Our Madrichim are in the midst of preparing for our session III chalutzim who …

Update from Camp #5
Posted On July 20, 2011

It is hard to believe that we are half way through our second session!  Our days have been jammed packed, and so I must apologize for not writing more frequent updates over the past two weeks.  If you are not …

Update from camp #4
Posted On July 8, 2011

After another wet evening, the sun is again shining brightly.  We began our morning with rocking musical teffilah with the entire camp gathered in our new Pardes Teffilah.  Although it was relatively warm this morning, we had 45 minutes of …

Update from camp #3–Closing thoughts on session I
Posted On July 4, 2011

Our Session I chalutzim have been gone for only a few hours, and our incredible staff have begun their first well-deserved day off of the season.  Sitting here in Starbucks down in Woodland Park, I have only the warmest memories …

Update from camp #2
Posted On June 27, 2011

Please read to the end for housekeeping matters.

This morning was our warmest morning thus far this summer.  While most of us woke up after sunrise and put on our fleeces and long pants, we did so out of habit …

The summer of organic milk
Posted On June 2, 2011

Shavuot is typically called the “Dairy Holiday” as there is a custom not to eat meat on the chag.  And as we prepare for Shavuot we have also been preparing for a major dairy influx at camp.

Throughout the off …

By the Numbers
Posted On April 28, 2011

This was posted on our monthly Constant Contact before Passover:  I wanted to share it with the readers of our blog, should people have missed it in the pre-pesach mailing.


On Pesach, as we drink 4 cups of wine, raise

How do we maintain a “cliqueless” camp?
Posted On March 31, 2011

Part I: Maintaining a positive community

How do we maintain a close‑knit camp community where we all know each other but where there are no cliques, even as we grow enrollment by 75% in one year?  This is an issue …

Building a sustainable site
Posted On March 7, 2011
BUILDING A SUSTAINABLE SUMMER CAMP
TAMRA L. DOLLIN
PROJECT DIRECTOR, RAMAH IN THE ROCKIES
MARCH, 2011

Ever wonder what it takes to build a ‘green’ camp from the ground up?  What does it mean to build in an environmentally sustainable

Year Round Work at a Summer Camp Office
Posted On February 13, 2011

“So what do you do the rest of the year?”  This is the question I am most often asked when I tell people that I am a Rabbi/educator who works as a camp director.  In most people’s eyes, camp is …

Jews do Camp
Posted On January 27, 2011

This was printed last week in the ejewishphilanthropy.com newsletter.  In case you missed it, I am reprinting it here:

by Rabbi Eliav Bock

Last year, while recruiting our first cohort of campers to the county’s only Kosher outdoor adventure camp, …

Dan’s Reflections on the Food Conference: Making a Home on the Mountain
Posted On January 19, 2011

What do a Kosher, free- range chicken distributor, a pulpit rabbi from LA who composts and the program director of Ramah Outdoor Adventure have in common? Well for one thing, they all recently had the opportunity to attend the 2010 …

A mission for fair trade produce
Posted On December 29, 2010

One of the goals of our program at  Ramah Outdoor Adventure is to serve sustainable food.  This means we take into account how our food affects: our health, our environment and our financial bottom line.  One of the areas on which  we …

Last month for earlybird discounts and edot winners
Posted On December 5, 2010

The oil in the Menorah was supposed to last for one day, but it lasted for eight.  Our registration goal was to be 20% full by Chanukah and we are closing in 45% of capacity!  Is it a miracle? I …

Two more terrific camp stories
Posted On November 28, 2010

Thanks for Eytan Deener-Agus (2010 session I) and Mikaela Kaiser (2010 Session II) for their submissions to our story contest.  While neither won the grand prize, both wrote terrific stories that are reprinted below.…

Our winning stories
Posted On November 17, 2010

We asked our chalutzim to write a short story about a moment they had at camp this summer.  Over the next few weeks we will be posting all these stories on this blog.  In the meantime, here are the two …

It’s cold outside, so camp must be just around the corner!
Posted On November 4, 2010

Recruiting season & camp planning has shifted into high gear.  All of our 2010 chalutzim (lit. pioneers, campers) should have received their thank you gift for being part of our opening summer.  We’ve heard that many chalutzim wear their new …

Greening camp
Posted On August 24, 2010

This is a post I wrote a few weeks ago about greening our camp for the FJC called the Campfire:

How do you start a green camp, from the ground up?  This is one of the questions we have …