February is Jewish Disability Awareness Month
Written by: Elyssa Hammerman, Tikvah Director
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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 masa (overnight camping excursion), which we extended to two nights. Before the overnight Tikvah campers and staff carefully packed their hiking packs and prepared for our adventure. Every camper saddled up his/her horse and rode off to our first campsite.
We played games, told stories, and feel asleep under the stars as we had done the year before; however, when we woke up, we rolled our sleeping bags, packed our packs, and hiked out of camp to our next spot. We camped next to a beautiful stream in which we played. That afternoon some of us relaxed around the campsite, while others set out to climb a nearby mountain! We all picked berries and then carefully followed an incredible orienteering course set up by one of our counselors. We cooked a delicious dinner on the fire and sang silly songs! In the morning we hiked back into camp singing our made up songs; every other group was also coming back from different directions. We were warmly received with pictures and hugs and couldn’t wait for lunch and showers! This was a truly special component of our 2013 summer.
Besides the masa we incorporated a buddy program which was also a huge success. Every morning during Shmirat Hagoof (exercise) we played games with our buddies. Everyone really enjoyed getting to know each other on a new level. There were many other highlights from 2013 including: spending time with our baby goats, the talent show, archery, and Shabbat Shira. We also hired a professional videographer and have a new Tikvah recruitment video.
As we count the days to summer 2014 we have a lot to look forward to. This summer we will be offering our traditional Tikvah program; however, campers will be participating in program prakims (periods) with their peers rather than their ohel (tent). We are also excited to launch a new inclusion track for campers who are capable of being integrated into BOTH our typical base camp program and a typical masa WITHOUT a one-on-one counselor. We will have an inclusion specialist who will be working with the counselors of those campers and who will be providing extra support to those campers while at base camp. We can’t wait until we’re all together again, back on the ranch riding the trails and gazing at the beautiful starry sky.