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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
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 …

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

Mexican Campers at Ramah Outdoor Adventure
Posted On January 12, 2014

This summer, Alan P. and David and Michelle F. represented a first for a young camp named Ramah Outdoor Adventure – campers from Mexico. David and Michelle live in Mexico City, where Alan, their cousin, was also born and lived …

A Ringing Endorsement
Posted On December 11, 2013

I wanted to share with all our readers an email sent by one of our camper parents, Barbara Gottesman.  Barbara sent this message to the parent list at her kid’s school.  I think she captures what we are about 100%. …

Getting To Know The Greenbergs
Posted On November 8, 2013

Richard and Eileen Greenberg cherish a strong commitment to creating Jewish community and preserving the environment. This commitment has led them to support the work of Ramah in the Rockies with their time and resources.

Richard devoted his professional career …

An ongoing conversation part 1
Posted On November 5, 2013

 

Throughout the off-season, we engage a number of parents in interesting “conversations” online about various aspects of our camp program.  This year, we thought it would be a good idea to publicize some of these email exchanges for our …

Rockin’ around Ramah Outdoor Adventure
Posted On October 31, 2013

Check out our video, Mining at Ramah!

A group of chalutzim (campers) walk along a ditch, eyes glued to the ground. They call out eerily profound advice to each other. “You can’t be looking for it if you want to …

Shabbat Shalom! Baking Challah at Ramah Outdoor Adventure
Posted On October 25, 2013

Ramah Outdoor Adventure has challah that has campers and counselors coming back for more every Shabbat! Recreate the ooey-gooey goodness for your own Shabbos table.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_2ceKteb3E

challah pic

Robyn’s Challah Recipe (makes 3)
Ingredients
5c flour (½ whole wheat ½ white or …

The results are in. . .
Posted On October 15, 2013

The Results Are In!

Over the past six weeks, our year round team has contacted almost all of our 2013 parents to solicit feedback on our season that ended just two months ago.  In addition many families filled out the …

A Jewish Outdoor Leadership Institute Experience
Posted On October 7, 2013

This Pesach, as we read the story of yetziat mitzrayim in synagogue and at Seders, conversation may turn, as it often does, to leadership. We may discuss Moses’ fear about taking on the mantle of leadership, Pharaoh’s pride that keeps …

Learning about Sukkot in the wilderness
Posted On September 18, 2013

Sacred Environments: Teens Learn About Sukkot in the Wilderness.  By Nathaniel Eisen

You shall dwell in booths seven days; all citizens of Israel shall dwell in booths; so that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel

Rosh Hashana reflections from Rabbi Marc
Posted On September 3, 2013

Rabbi Marc Soloway, Rabbi of Bonei Shalom in Boulder, CO, wrote the following post for his synagogue bulletin.  We hope you enjoy reading.

Are you Ready for Jewish Holiday Summer Camp ?

By Rabbi Marc 

This summer I got

Final Update from Camp
Posted On August 15, 2013

It has happened!

Another successful summer at Ramah Outdoor Adventure has come to an end.  All is quiet on the ranch.   The goats, chickens and duck have gone home; the alpacas and horses will be picked up shortly.  A few …

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 …

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 …

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 …

The Israel Trail at ROA
Posted On August 7, 2012

One of the core values of Ramah Outdoor Adventure is that Chalutzim (campers) will feel connected to the land and people of Israel, articulate how their lives are impacted by Israel and its citizens’ choices, and be able to engage …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Launching a new program for children with special needs
Posted On November 17, 2011

Dear Blog readers:  While many of you might have seen this press release through another avenue, we wanted to distribute it as widely as possible.  Please feel free to forward this to any families whom you think would be interested in learning …

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 …

Sukkah City comes to the Ramah Ranch
Posted On October 18, 2011

This past week, I have had the pleasure of sitting in my Sukkah that I built using wood and hardware from Home Depot, topped with a bamboo mat that arrived via Fedex from a warehouse in Brooklyn.  A Sukkah is …

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 …

Rosh Hashana Message
Posted On September 22, 2011

As our days begin to shorten and the cool fall breezes begin to fill night, the afternoons, our thoughts turn from celebrating the success of summer 2011 to the planning for 2012.

Over the past few weeks, I have had …

Teaching Shechita to Middle Schoolers?
Posted On September 8, 2011

One of our stated goals at Ramah Outdoor Adventure is to “lift the veil” on the food we eat at camp. After our second summer, I see this goal as a work in progress, something that will take a few …

Final Thoughts on the 2011 Season
Posted On August 19, 2011

It is official.  The summer 2011 season has come to an end.  The gear bins have been sealed, the tents closed down and all the kitchen equipment stored for the off season.  All that is left are lots of memories …

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 …

2 more reflections on JOLI
Posted On July 28, 2011

Written by two of our JOLI participants:

Jamie:
To begin, I want you to think through an average day in your life. And
now I would like to exemplify the following: in an average day, most
of your time is …

update from camp #7–JOLI update
Posted On July 25, 2011

Written by Elyssa Brown

JOLI — the Jewish Outdoor Leadership Institute — returned from our
12-day backpacking masa to the Indian Peaks Wilderness area: happy and
healthy, with countless bug bites and new leadership skills to show
from our adventure.…

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 …

Update from camp #1
Posted On June 21, 2011

The hour is late so this will be a very brief note.  As our first day of kayitz 2011 comes to an end, I am sitting here in the office with a large smile on my face.  Over 50 campers …

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 …

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

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, …

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 …

With the Chagim behind us, it is time to plan camp!
Posted On October 6, 2010

It is hard to believe that two months have passed since we closed our first season at our gorgeous ranch!  With the chagim behind us, we are now working fulltime on planning our second season.  As most chalutzim (pioneers/campers) from …

Post written by Nathaniel Eisen
Posted On September 13, 2010

Amazing Stories from Camp

This summer at Etgar B’Ramah (Ramah Outdoor Adventure at Ramah in the Rockies) we didn’t have campers, we had chalutzim(pioneers). This spirit of building a new community and taking on challenges together has infused everything we …

Final thoughts on session I
Posted On July 14, 2010

On Monday night we sat around our camp fire on our closing night of first session.  Our chalutzim hamiyasdim (founding campers) and tzevet (staff) had an opportunity to stand up and place two rocks around the base of the fire …

Introducing the Ramah Horses
Posted On April 26, 2010

When I was studying to be a rabbi, I never thought that part of the official duties in my rabbinate would be to drive 450 miles to Pavillion, Wyoming (a town of 126 people, two hours west of Casper) to …

A window into our staff training
Posted On January 18, 2010

I write this update having just returned from an afternoon at the Ramah in the Rockies Ranch.  We needed a 4 wheel drive vehicle to access the camp today, but once we reached the grounds it was amazing to drive …

Our first winners of the Free Weeks of Camp Raffle
Posted On December 10, 2009

This weeks post is a VERY short one.  I just wanted to say congratulations to Noah from Boulder and Savannah from California for being the winners of the Ram Outdoor Adventure December raffle.  Both are entering 6th grade!  We …