Camper and Parent Testimonials
To read essays from our chalutzim on their experiences written for high school classes or college admissions, please visit: Essays on Camp
It’s been really incredible to have the opportunity to spend four amazing years here and personally it’s been really important for self- growth, for learning about Judaism, for learning and experiencing nature, for being around all of you incredible people and I just want to thank everyone for giving me this incredible opportunity and I hope that as our kehilah kedoshah returns back to our homes, that we can all bring a little bit of the magic of camp back to our own communities.
Why are camp friendships so special? They’re so real. Spending five days in wilderness with just you and them, everything comes out about yourself there. Nothing you can do to hide about yourself while youre there. My camp friends know so much more about me than school friends. Even in base camp, every friendship is real because youre relying on others. At camp, a week being with these people is like more than a month or two months at home. You’re with them all the time. Camp gives me this community.
At camp, I always feel like I can be myself […]Last year at camp, I went on advanced backpacking masa. It was very hard and at times I was scared, but I was able to communicate that to my friends and the staff so that I never felt alone. The past six years at camp have been amazing and I want to have as many years of camp magic as I can.”
Dahlia, New York
“The friendships I made are unbelievable, each one of us from the group made friends for life. This was my 5th summer at Ramah in the Rockies and every year I come back and say that I had the best summer. But this year definitely has been the most challenging, emotionally, radically, spiritually, meaningful, magical, fun, intense, loving and unforgettable summer I’ve ever had.
My friends at home keep on telling me that I talk too much about camp, but the experiences I’ve made can’t be reflected in words. I feel I left camp as a different person. Camp gave me an opportunity to discover who I really am, my Jewish life, my identity, the responsibilities that I have and the way I view things in life.”
Our daughter, Deedee, just arrived home from two weeks at camp. “Wow,”
is all I can say! She had an amazing, amazing experience. It is obvious, to both my husband and me, that she was challenged both physically and mentally. Thank you to all of you for creating such an excellent, memorable, and meaningful experience for her. […] it is clear that her time spent in the Rockies with you all was exceptional. ank you for taking such great emotional, physical, and spiritual care of our daughter!
Dina and Douglas, New Mexico
“Shaya still gets ad ream look in his eye when he talks about camp…It obviously made a powerful impression!”
“Last night at Ramah, enjoy! I look forward to seeing my little man Aidan when he returns, and hear all about his summer at Ramah. They say nothing reinforces Jewish identity like the Jewish camp experience. A big thank you to the entire Ramah Outdoors sta for turning my young man into a Jewish outdoor adventurer!”
Brant, Parent, California
“Dear Eliav- Just a quick note to thank you and all the counselors for creating such a meaningful camp experience. Theo had a fantastic summer at Ramah. He came home inspired, stronger, taller, eager to share stories about masa adventures, challenges conquered, new songs and valued friendships. We loved learning about the new tradition of the camp bracelets: commitment, trustworthiness, etc. Theo wears them with all with pride. He is already looking forward to next summer. Thanks again,”
Tajlei, New York
“A huge thank you to Philip, Leah and Yonathan from Daniel’s parents. We’re simply in awe of how you all create such an amazing feeling of community among the kids. Daniel loved his experience and said he feels close to the entire JOLI group. We feel he’s grown up a lot over the summer and greatly appreciate all that you gave to him and all the kids.”
Madi and Larry, Indiana
“I want to tell you Rockies camp was the best thing that could have happened to Mikhael. The professionalism, dedication, quality of the people and the planning were exceptional. And I am not one to withhold criticism!”
“My only regret is that I didnt get a chance to tell you how much camp has meant to our family. Ramah in the Rockies has been a wonderful place for our sons. I truly credit camp with contributing to my son’s confidence, maturity, Jewish neshamah and being able to find the best in others and appreciate that. Camp taught many valuable lessons during an impressionable time of his adolescence. As parents we all work very hard to provide opportunities to teach our children the skills and life lessons that we feel are critical to their success. Sometimes we can orchestrate those opportunities and sometimes they just happen. But as a child grows into adolescence it becomes harder to control those opportunities and we hope and pray that as they “leave the nest” others will continue to help them to grow in a positive manner. You are such a wonderful role model for our children, and have helped them to grow in so many ways. And you have surrounded them (and all of the campers) with other positive role models who also help them to grow.”
“Hi Rabbi Eliav, I just wanted to thank you for the beautiful experience that Ben had at camp this summer. It is every Jewish parent’s hope that summer camp will allow their child to spread their Jewish wings. Ben is overflowing with stories from the past 6 weeks and I get the sense that he has absorbed every teachable moment. He is beginning the countdown until next June… Wishing you a shana tova (and some much needed rest!)”
“Thank you for this, and for a wonderful summer. Maya had such a special time and I’m sure I will continue seeing and hearing about its effects for a while.”
Barbara, New York
“Hi Rabbi Eliav, The girls arrived safe and with beautiful smiles that won’t wear off. Thank you and all the staff for taking such good care of them and for creating unforgettable experiences.”
“Hi Eliav, Thank you for your wonderful message about Aaron. We’ve watched (and coached) Aaron go from a very difficult young child to a pleasant, happy, kind and outgoing young adult. We credit ROA for significantly aiding in that transformation. Thank you for your camp! It’s been a very rewarding and life altering 5 years. I know Aaron will stayed connected and hope that someday he’ll have the opportunity to return in a different capacity.”
“THANK you all for such a wonderful Madrichim!! I don’t have enough words to thank you all for taking care of Ronit during the last 2 weeks. We know in the beginning it wasn’t easy for her… But it seams she forgot about it so fast!! She came back so happy!! And she is waiting for next year to go to camp but one month!! She had a wonderful and significant time with you. She grew up, learned a lot, and she is so excited with her new friends… Everything was great!!! Thank you very much!! We hope to see you soon! You have a home in Mexico with us.”
Noemi and David, Mexico
“This was a wonderful experience for our son Ezra! He learned so many useful skills and made new friends. Thank You so much!”
Mark, New York
“Thanks again for an amazing first Ramah experience for Koby. He is already making plans for his return next summer- and getting his little brother and sister excited for when they are old enough. Rock climbing and mountain biking were his favorites– and I still catch him singing the camp songs to himself when he thinks I’m not listening. Thanks for the incredible work you do, and the soul, passion, and love you put into making ROA a reality.
Teacher and Staff Testimonials
Not only is this community one of the most inclusive communities I have ever come across and/or been a part, but the mission of the camp (connecting Judaism to nature) an the way it is carried out in everything we do, is truly incredible.
Melannie, Program Assistant, Everywhere
If you ask me why Ramah in the Rockies, and not any other camp—the answer is simple! Where else will you find a camp that combines unconditional love, respect, honor, helping others, leadership, Judaism, and love of Israel with horseback riding, biking, archery and many other activities? Where else will you nd a variety of children of different ages who are working together for one common goal? Just at Ramah in the Rockies—an experience that changed our lives!
Yuval, Horse Staff, Israel
Thank you for the most exhausting, rewarding, and spiritual summer I have ever had. I have never been amongst a group of such loving and accepting people and I was still reeling from the experience when I came back home/to school. It was a jarring adjustment and the open- mindedness and love that I learned in campis still with me. […] I left a little bit of my heart in Colorado.
Amalya, Counselor, New Jersey
“I could not let another day go by without sharing with you my gratitude and appreciation for the work you do. I am teaching 8th grade Jewish Studies this year, something new for me, and was quite worried about it, to say the least. However, I am so lucky to have two students […] who attended Ramah this summer. This will not be the first time I am teaching them but it is this year that I am lucky enough to experience their love of learning and maturity in a really authentic way. Whatever you are “feeding” them at camp, it is the best Jewish nutrition they can get. They have both matured into such mensches and it is quite clear to Noam and I that camp had so much to do with it. So, Kol Hakavod and keep up the amazing work.”
“Hi Eliav, I’ve been following most of the camp Facebook posts over the past couple of months, and I just wanted to say congratulations on another successful year. […] I can’t believe 5 summers have gone by with campers. I still remember taking study breaks in Butler Library back when I was a freshman to participate on our pre-camp group phone calls. Camp still manages to find me when I least expect it – just a couple of weeks ago, Risa happened to be in the city, and it was like it hadn’t been 3 years.Even though I’m almost a year out of college, I find myself reminiscing about my 2 years at ROA more than probably any other stage of my life – high school, Camp Solomon Schechter, USY, Nativ and List included. Some of my most memorable backcountry outings are as a staff person at camp, and I still draw on those experiences whenever I’m in the woods. I know I’ve said this every year since I’ve stopped going, but this year it actually looks like I might be able to squeeze in a camp visit/guest star between finishing year 1 of my PhD (I guess that means all of my 2010 bogrim campers are now going to college…..) and starting full time thesis research. […] Enjoy some well earned rest, and hope the chagim are lovely. Mazal Tov again on a great summer!”
Ben, Counselor, New York