We at Ramah Outdoors are gearing up for our first staff training session which begins on Sunday. I am heading o the Ranch this Friday with 3 other leaders for Shabbat before heading to the airport on Sunday to pick up all the participants. I thought I would post the letter I just wrote to the participants which gives a little insight into our last minute preparations.

Remember if you are in the area on August 9th, please join us on the Ranch for an open camp day!!

Hello 2009 Staff training participants, staff and guests:

One week from now we will have probably watched our second camp fire burn to embers and will be heading to sleep in our tents. The night will be silent and the stars brilliant. I am super excited to welcome all of to Colorado next Sunday.

I wanted to send one final update with some last minute information. As always, if you have specific questions, please email me or call me on my new office number 303 353 1771. I am around until Friday in the early morning and then heading up to the Ranch with our leaders for Shabbat. This letter is very long, but I promise that it is worth it.

#1 I have gotten a bunch of emails about Shabbat dress code. For Friday night, everyone should be wearing clean cloths. Nice shorts or Khakis are fine for boys and a simple dress or pants are fine for girls. (remember at night it is cold, so you will want to wear pants or a longer skirt). Everyone should have on a clean top as well. Shabbat morning for services, people should again be dressed in nicer cloths, but I realize that as the day goes on, the level of attire might become even more casual. No need for fancy suits or even fancy shoes. IT’S A RUSTIC CAMP!!

#2 We will not have access to laundry machines at the ranch, BUT you are welcome to wash cloths by hand in the sinks. I would bring enough cloths so that you do not have to wash more than once at most. As a rule, when camping, we all have a “special smell to us”, so there is no need to overdo it with bringing a new outfit for everyday of the week. If you wear the same cloths for two or three days in a row, then we will still welcome you into the community. I, for example, plan to bring one pair of zip off pants and one pair of shorts (plus my Shabbat cloths). I will bring 7 T-Shirts and one or two long sleeve shirts. Of course I will also have a fleece, hat and excellent rain gear. I will not talk about my underwear but I will mention something about socks: When it comes to hiking YOU MUST HAVE EXCELLENT AND CLEAN SOCKS. BAD SOCKS SUCH AS COTTON SPORT SOCKS WILL LEAVE YOU WITH BLISTERS. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A PAIR OF GOOD HIKING SOCKS, GO BUY A PAIR(s) IT WILL BE THE BEST $8 YOU EVER SPENT!!!! If you are debating whether you should bring an extra shirt or an extra set of socks, always go with the socks. Clean dry socks are your friend.

#3 As for the rest of what you need, again, please remember to bring all your own personal camping gear that you might wear/ lay on/put on. This includes:

n Tallit and Teffilin (a must for men)

n Flashlight

n Hiking boots

n Rain gear

n Sleeping bag (rated for at least 20degrees and that is packable)

n Sleeping pad

n Camping backpack (that can hold 25-30 of your body weight)

n Bring cloths that are cool enough for 85 degree days and warm enough for 45 degree nights (ie bring warm cloths to wear at night and cool cloths to wear during the day)

n Shampoo/ feminine hygiene products/ sun screen etc.

#4 While everyone must have at least 2 one liter bottles (such as a nalgene or even an empty soda bottle) please do not bring cook wear. We will provide everything you need to eat except water bottles.

#5 If you have fun equipment that you like to use in the outdoors (such as a small pocket knife, a bow drill, a compass, hiking poles etc) please feel free to bring them along

#6 Some people have asked about how we are storing our cloths/personal gear while at base camp: We will be living in tents at base camp with enough room for sleeping bags & some basic gear. When you arrive on Sunday, you will be given a box. Each person will be able to store their box in the log cabin near the camp site. Each day you can get stuff from the box as needed. When we go on our three day hike, we will be able to leave the boxes safely stored in the log cabin.