Tikvah (Special Needs)

To inquire about the Tikvah Program for Summer 2018, please email tikvah@ramahoutdoors.org.

TikvahAt Ramah in the Rockies, we believe that all Jewish children should be able to experience the transformative experience of Jewish summer camp.  We know that each child has his/her own special needs, and whenever possible work closely with parents and guardians to develop a customized plan to enable their child to succeed in our community.  At the same time, we know that there are some children we are not able to serve for a variety of reasons, and whenever possible, will work with parents to find a Jewish summer camp that is suitable for their child.

Tikvah3The Ramah Camping Movement has pioneered the effort of serving campers with developmental disabilities. The first Ramah Tikvah Program started in 1970 and has been activated at Ramah in the Rockies since 2011. What began as a stand-alone program, where campers with disabilities lived in their own tents, has evolved into a combined integrated program and stand-alone program. Since 2011, we have served over twenty campers in this program.

Since 2017, Ramah in the Rockies has run an integrated program for children with special needs.Tikvah2 We focus our efforts on providing a high level of integration and support for young people with autism spectrum disorders.

Potential campers must:

  1. Possess ADLs (activities of daily living/self-care skills)
  2. Participate in daily activities at the base camp and on extended masa’ot (excursions) with their neuro-typical peers.

Campers who exhibit self-injurious or violent behavior will not be considered for the program

Ramah in the Rockies is committed to providing a number of special services and supports before, during, and following the summer.  We believe these will help participants integrate more successfully into the broader community.

Prior to the summer:

Parents of our Tikvah campers will meet, virtually or in person, with our Head Inclusion Specialist/Head of Tikvah (or Rosh Tikvah) to design an appropriate program for their child. Our goal is to work with parents, teachers, and therapists, to learn what kind of support each child needs to succeed at camp.

During the summer:

-All bunk staff at Ramah in the Rockies with Tikvah campers will receive additional training to help campers integrate.

-Campers in the Tikvah program will work with inclusion specialists who help Tikvah campers integrate into their bunks and activities and better manage transitions and free time.

-There will be a space at camp for campers in our inclusion program to go when they are in need of sensory breaks/respite from the broader camp community.

-Staff will work with each camper to develop skills to better integrate into communities at camp and at home.

After the summer:

– The Tikvah program director or one of the inclusion specialists will provide a written report on each camper’s progress at camp.


Ramah in the Rockies is committed to offering the highest level of care for our Tikvah campers and will limit the number of campers in any given session.

For more information or to be considered for the Tikvah program, please contact the Camp Director, Rabbi Eliav Bock eliavb@ramahoutdoors.org or our Rosh Tikvah at Tikvah@ramahoutdoors.org

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-on-one supervision, have mobility difficulties, heart problems, major medical needs, or are not able to use the bathroom independently. Our Tikvah director will be 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 Eliav Bock at eliavb@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 a CampMinder account, completing the online forms, and sending in your deposit.

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 a scholarship. Specific questions about scholarships should be addressed to our director, Rabbi Eliav Bock, or our business manager, Douglas Wolf.

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, Ramah in the Rockies weaves Jewish values, texts, and traditions 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 is appropriate.

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.