The oil in the Menorah was supposed to last for one day, but it lasted for eight.  Our registration goal was to be 20% full by Chanukah and we are closing in 45% of capacity!  Is it a miracle? I prefer to think about it as testament to the incredible job that our staff and campers did in helping us initiate the camp in 2010.

Kislev was an excellent month to work in the Ramah Outdoor Adventure office.  Each day we registered chalutzim for 2011 and we continued hiring our 2011 staff.  At this point, almost half of our 2010 staff has committed to return for another summer.   Our registered 2011 chalutzim include a mix of both new and returning campers.  This means that while there will be some wonderful reunions on the first day of each session, all the chalutzim who come to camp in 2011, will make new friends as we renew our community at our rustic Ramah in the Rockies ranch.

While summer is still seven months away, we are starting to count down the days.  We expect some of our tents to begin fillings by the end of December when the early bird discount ends. We will try to add capacity in the more popular edot, but will wait until the end of January to make these decisions.

The most exciting event that happened this past week (besides the beginning of Chanukah) was concluding the “Name the Edot” competition.   This happened only after weeks of fierce campaigning, rallies and debates, but in the end names were needed and only one for each age group would win.  Hundreds of Ramah enthusiasts cast their votes, and it was a close race all the way to the end.

And the winners are:

  • Our 3rd/4rth grade edah will hereby be called “Elanot” (Young Trees)
  • Our 5th/6th grade edah will hereby be call “Sayarim” (Rangers)
  • Our 11th grade edah will hereby be called “Nivonim” (Wise ones).

Honorable mention must be given to the “Alonim” write-in campaign, and Gesher which lost by only 4 votes!

So here is the final lineup for the edot (based on last year’s voting and this year’s as well):

  • Entering 3rd and 4th grade: Elanot
  • Entering 5th and 6th grade: Sayarim
  • Entering 7th/8th grade: Sollelim
  • Entering 9th/10th grade: Bogrim
  • Entering 11th grade: Nivonim

As we head into the final month of early registration, please do not hesitate to be in touch with any of us in the Ramah office with questions and suggestions for 2011. By the end of the month, we will have held reunions and information sessions in CO, CA, MA, CT and TX.  While we are not able to meet each chalutz in person, we love to hear feedback and suggestions from everyone involved in the camp or who are  interested in learning more.

Happy Chanukah!!