Somewhere in the Rocky Mountains, next to a gorgeous river and inside a magical forest, lies a holy community. You may be wondering to yourself, “Holy community? It’s probably a bunch of crazy people who decided to build community in the middle of nowhere.”
Maybe you should think again.
Ramah in the Rockies is a summer camp that takes place each year for children from all over North America and around the world. They come to participate in a community which emphasizes Judaism, friendship, tolerance, recycling, helping others, and in general, how to become a better person.
At Ramah in the Rockies, you can see children from ages 8-18 take responsibility for arranging tables for different meals, helping one another, and challenging each other in a variety of activities such as horseback riding and mountain biking. You can also see the success and joy on the faces of campers when they hit the target in archery.
To see and hear the cheers of support and the help to each other on the climbing wall, and to know that the campers just met each other a a few days ago, gives us the inspiration to do more.
Hearing their stories and experiences when they return from exhausting and challenging masa’ot (backcountry excursions), and seeing their connection to Israel and their desire to learn more about Judaism and the Hebrew language also makes us want to be better.
On Fridays, when the entire camp wears white and gathers in a big circle in the warm summer sun, singing and praying, you can see the endless love and care they have for each other. The smile spreads on the faces of the campers when they are holding one anther and welcoming the Sabbath. This sight gives us the strength to become better people ourselves.
At Ramah in the Rockies, you can see the effort and attention of the staff who invest everything of themselves – going through the sleepless nights and long meetings – you see the love and effort they put into each of their activities and life lessons. And even if it is a bit difficult, or we feel homesick, we will do anything so that the campers will get the perfect summer.
So if you ask me why Ramah in the Rockies, and not any other camp, the answer is simple!
Where else will you find a camp that combines unconditional love, respect, honor, helping others, leadership, Judaism, and love of Israel with horseback riding, biking, archery and many other activities? Where else will you find a variety of children of different ages who are working together for one common goal?
Just at Ramah in the Rockies – an experience that changed our lives!
Yuval Sharabi and Mishalachat 2015