Tikvah (Special Needs)

Registration | Camp FAQ

Cost: $2,450, Session IA ONLY: June 22 to July 5

Please check our Dates and Rates for updated availability.


The Tikvah Program at Ramah in the Rockies serves adolescents ages 11-17 with mild to moderate intellectual and developmental disabilities including Asperger’s Syndrome, Autism Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, and Executive Functioning Disorder.


Mission Statement

The mission of this program is to provide the unique Ramah in the Rockies experience to children with a wide variety of special needs, with the goal of enhancing Jewish identity and teaching Jewish values in a supportive, inclusive, fun environment. Through the Tikvah program campers with special needs have numerous opportunities to connect with each other and to participate in slightly modified and carefully supervised activities throughout the camp.

Tikvah2Building Independence

At Ramah in the Rockies campers live by the motto: challenge by choice. Campers participate in all Ramah in the Rockies activities including horseback riding, wilderness survival, mountain biking, ropes course/ Rock climbing, camping skills, wilderness arts & crafts, orienteering, archery, mining, aerobics, sports, service projects & more. Our base camp and excursion program provides campers with opportunities to learn skills and increase self awareness.

Building Relationships

Campers in the Tikvah program live in cabents (cabin tents) with specially trained counselors similar to other Ramah in the Rockies  campers. There are numerous formal and informal opportunities to interact with all campers at Ramah, including daily activities, evening programs, as well as communal prayers and meals. Campers in the Tikvah program participate all camp-wide activities and perform their own talent show. Campers in the inclusion track fully participate in all aspects of camp, including a four or five day masa (excursion) and have some extra support while at base-camp. In the off-season, campers and staff stay in touch by email, writing letters, and our “Shabbos Is Calling” monthly video-conference.

Building a Jewish Identity

Campers find themselves surrounded by a rich Jewish community. From musical prayers to Hebrew singing and dancing in the dining room, campers are encouraged to find their own personal connection within our Jewish tradition

Tikvah3Building a Safe Community

Specially-trained counselors and senior staff monitor each camper’s special needs. Counselors work with our medical staff to ensure that all needs are met regarding personal hygiene and the monitoring of medication.  Staff also work with our campers to foster positive peer interactions.

Building Trust

The Tikvah Director works closely with each family individually. Through frequent e-mail updates and calls, parents feel part of their child’s camp experience. We recognize you as an important member of the team, and your knowledge contributes to the success of our campers.  The Tikvah director is available throughout the entire experience by phone or email.

Building Your Experience

If you are interested in exploring the possibility of the Tikvah Program for your child, please contact Moshe Samuels, Tikvah Director, at tikvah@ramahoutdoors.org or by phone at (303) 261-8214 x103.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

All staff will receive training in how to work with adolescents with special needs. Parents will complete an application form about their child. To best accommodate each child, the Tikvah director will work with every family before camp on an individual learning plan to enable your child to make a successful transition into the Tikvah program.

This program is not a good fit for chalutzim who require one to one supervision, have mobility difficulties, heart problems, major medical needs, or are not able to use the bathroom independently. Our Tikvah director, Moshe Samuels, is available to speak by phone to answer your questions directly to see whether the Tikvah program is appropriate for your child.

To register your child for the Ramah in the Rockies Tikvah program, please contact our Tikvah Director, Moshe Samuels at tikvah@ramahoutdoors.org or (303)261-8214. After an initial phone conversation, Moshe will schedule a date to interview your child. If the program is appropriate for your child, you will be asked to complete the Tikvah online registration process through Ramah in the Rockies’ CampMinder website by creating an CampMinder account, completing the online forms and sending in your deposit.

The cost of the two-week session is $2,450 for our two week option. A $500 deposit is required at registration but is fully refundable for any reason until March 1, 2016.

Yes. There are both need-based and incentive based financial aid options. Please visit the “Grants and Scholarships” section of our website to find out more about applying for scholarship. Specific questions about scholarships should be addressed to our director, Rabbi Eliav Bock or our business manager, Douglas Wolf.

A bunk will most likely have 6-8 chalutzim and 3 staff members. However, this might change based on the specific needs of chalutzim who attend.

Your child will be involved in safe and fun activities. Activities include rock climbing, horseback riding, arts and crafts, dance, wilderness survival, gardening and much more.

All chalutzim will have one Jewish “class” each day. This class is an experiential learning opportunity rather than a typical class. Chalutzim will learn about a Jewish topic through creative games, skits, texts and activities. Chalutzim will also participate in daily prayer filled with singing and dancing. Chalutzim will be exposed to Hebrew on a regular basis around camp and will participate in Jewish programming such as Israeli dance and Yom Israel. As with all Ramah programs, Jewish values, texts and traditions are woven into the fabric of every camp activity.

We value confidentiality at Ramah in the Rockies. Only those staff members who are working directly with your child will be given information about their needs, as appropriate.

7:00 am Kimah (Wake Up)
7:30 – 8:30 Shmirat HaGuf (caring for our bodies, morning exercise) and T’ffilot (caring for our souls, morning prayers)
8:40 – 9:50 Breakfast & Bunk Clean-Up
9:50 – 11:00 Activity A (Activities may include: horseback riding, wilderness survival, mountain biking, ropes course/rock climbing, camping skills, wilderness arts & crafts, frisbee golf, orienteering, archery, mining, aerobics, duathlon training, sports service projects & more)
11:10 – 12:20 pm Activity B (Activities may include: horseback riding, wilderness survival, mountain biking, ropes course/rock climbing, camping skills, wilderness arts & crafts, frisbee golf, orienteering, archery, mining, aerobics, duathlon training, sports service projects & more)
12:30 – 1:25 Lunch & Shira (Song Session)
1:30 – 2:30 Sha’at Minucha (Rest Hour)
2:40 – 3:50 Edah learning/ projects
4:00 – 5:10 Activity C (Activities may include: horseback riding, frisbee golf, wilderness survival, mountain biking, ropes course/rock climbing, camping skills, wilderness arts & crafts, orienteering, archery, mining, aerobics, duathlon training, sports service projects & more)
5:10 – 5:35 Michtav u’ Miklachat (Letter writing and shower time)
5:45 – 5:55 Mifgash- A camp-wide gathering to reflect on the day, share announcements, sing our camp song, and have a fun dance
6:00 – 7:00 Dinner
7:15 – 8:00 Peulat Erev (Evening Program)
8:00 – 8:30 Laila Tov Preperation
8:30 pm Bunk time and Laila Tov  (Good Night)

*Schedule on excursions will vary.

Yes, Tikvah chalutzim will go on one day trip, as well as a two-night excursion during each two-week session. Chalutzim will either hike out to the edge of our property or horseback ride to our neighbor’s buffalo ranch, and will spend the night cooking, singing, and sleeping under the starts near a local lake.

During the two week session, the Tikvah Director will be in communication with you about your child. We do not have parents talk to their child on the phone since it generally makes chalutzim more homesick; however, we make special exceptions for specific circumstances. You are able to email your child and write letters daily. We will also post pictures from camp on our website.

For other questions regarding the camp history, immunizations, accommodations, safety, food and gear, billing, and transportation please visit the Camp FAQ.