It is hard to believe that two months have passed since we closed our first season at our gorgeous ranch!  With the chagim behind us, we are now working fulltime on planning our second season.  As most chalutzim (pioneers/campers) from our 2010 season can attest, it truly was a magical experience at the Ramah in the Rockies ranch.  I think I speak for most of us when I say that the summer went off with far fewer glitches than we had expected!  Our staff and chalutzim truly seized the opportunity to make it one of the best summers they ever experienced.

Yet we know that our work has only just begun, and our camp is still in its infancy.  We will never again have a group of chalutzim hamiyasdim (founding pioneers), but all our campers will continue to be referred to as chalutzim for years to come.  Because, when one enters our ranch at 8,000 feet and walks around the historical property, it is hard not to feel like a pioneer in the majestic Rocky Mountains.  To our returning chalutzim, we promise that next summer will include even more excitement.  To our new chaluztim, we promise that next summer will provide you with an experience that will challenge you physically and mentally in ways that you had never expected.

So what is in store for 2011?  Well, here are a few of the highlights:

  • Additional programs at base camp, including duathlon training, frolf, archery, sport options in the Ramah valley and an expanded farm and nature program.
  • A new leadership program for entering 11th graders that will include an extended masa (excursion) for about twelve days.  They will also help lead an overnight for the youngest chalutzim.
  • Other older chalutzim will have expanded masa options including a five day community service project, a five day farm experience and a possible rustic wilderness survival experience.
  • Our younger chalutzim, will have more shorter duration excursions in the area as well as additional wilderness overnights to other parts of our ranch.
  • All of our chalutzim will take a more active role in planning and preparing for Masaot.
  • We will also be adding additional “special days” such as yom sport (color war), camp wide capture the flag (hopefully for an entire afternoon) and “rogaining” events, the sport of long-distance cross-country navigation.

There are more programmatic improvements we will be making, and we will announce these as the details become available.  In the meantime, rest assured that we are working diligently to ensure that every chalutz who arrives through our front gate in 2011 will have an experience that builds on the success of our inaugural program while also allowing for the individual growth that needs to happen.  To our chalutzim hamiyasdim, please watch the mail in the next week for a special present.  To our new families, we look forward to speaking with you in the upcoming weeks and months, either by phone, online, or at an informational session in your city to see whether Ramah Outdoor Adventure would be an appropriate home for your child.