Inclusion (Special Needs)

To inquire about the Inclusion Program for Summer 2018, please email tikvah@ramahoutdoors.org.

At Ramah in the Rockies, we believe that all Jewish children should be able to experience the transformative experience of Jewish summer camp.  We know that each child has their own special needs, and whenever possible work closely with parents and guardians to develop a customized plan to enable their child to succeed in our community.  At the same time, we know that there are some children we are not able to serve for a variety of reasons, and whenever possible, will work with parents to find a Jewish summer camp that is suitable for their child.

The Ramah Camping Movement has pioneered the effort of serving campers with developmental disabilities. The first Ramah Tikvah Program started in 1970 and has been activated at Ramah in the Rockies since 2011. What began as a stand-alone unit where campers with disabilities lived in their own tents has since evolved. As of 2017 we have transitioned to an inclusion model, and have refocused our efforts on providing a high level of integration and support for young people with autism spectrum disorders.

Potential campers must:

  1. Possess ADLs (activities of daily living/self-care skills)
  2. Participate in daily activities at the base camp and on extended masa’ot (backcountry excursions) with their neuro-typical peers

Campers who exhibit self-injurious or violent behavior will not be considered for the program.

Ramah in the Rockies is committed to providing a number of special services and supports before, during, and following the summer.  We believe these will help participants integrate more successfully into the broader community.

Prior to the summer:

Parents of our inclusion campers will meet – virtually or in person – with our Director of Inclusion to design an appropriate program for their child. Our goal is to work with parents, teachers, and therapists to learn what kind of support each child needs to succeed at camp.

During the summer:

-All bunk staff at Ramah in the Rockies will receive additional training to help campers integrate.

-Campers in the inclusion program will work with inclusion specialists who help campers integrate into their bunks and activities, and better manage transitions and free time.

-There is a space at camp for campers in our inclusion program to go when they are in need of sensory breaks/respite from the broader camp community.

-Staff will work with each camper to develop skills to better integrate into communities at camp and at home.

After the summer:

– A member of our dedicated inclusion staff will provide a written report on each camper’s progress while at camp.

Note: 

Ramah in the Rockies is committed to offering the highest level of care for our inclusion campers and will limit the number of campers in any given session.

For more information or to be considered for the inclusion program, please contact our Director of Inclusion at tikvah@ramahoutdoors.org, or call (303) 261-8214 ext.0

All staff will receive training in how to work with adolescents with special needs. Parents will complete an application form about their child. To best accommodate each child, the Director of Inclusion will work with every family before camp on an individual learning plan to enable your child to make a successful transition into the inclusion program.

This program is not a good fit for chalutzim (campers) who require one-on-one supervision, have mobility difficulties, heart problems, major medical needs, or are not able to use the bathroom independently. Our Director of Inclusion will be available to speak by phone to answer your questions directly to see whether the inclusion program is appropriate for your child.

To register your child for the Ramah in the Rockies inclusion program, please contact our Director of Inclusion at tikvah@ramahoutdoors.org, or call (303) 261-8214 ext.0. After an initial phone conversation, our Director of Inclusion will schedule a date to interview your child. If the program is appropriate for your child, you will be asked to complete the online registration process through Ramah in the Rockies’ CampMinder website by creating a CampMinder account, completing the online forms, and sending in your deposit.

Yes. There are both need-based and incentive-based financial aid options. Please visit the “Grants and Scholarships” section of our website to find out more about applying for a scholarship. Specific questions about scholarships should be addressed to our director, Rabbi Eliav Bock at eliavb@ramahoutdoors.org, or our business manager, Douglas Wolf at douglasw@ramahoutdoors.org.

All chalutzim (campers) will have one Jewish “class” each day. This class is an experiential learning opportunity rather than a typical class. Chalutzim will learn about a Jewish topic through creative games, skits, texts, and activities. Chalutzim will also participate in daily prayer filled with singing and dancing. Chalutzim will be exposed to Hebrew on a regular basis around camp and will participate in Jewish programming such as Israeli dancing. As with all Ramah programs, Ramah in the Rockies weaves Jewish values, texts, and traditions into the fabric of every camp activity.

We value confidentiality at Ramah in the Rockies. Only those staff members who are working directly with your child will be given information about their needs, as is appropriate.

Throughout your camper’s time at Ramah in the Rockies, our dedicated inclusion staff will be in communication with you about your child. We do not have parents talk to their child on the phone since it generally makes chalutzim (campers) more homesick; however, we make special exceptions for specific circumstances. You are able to email your child and write letters daily. We will also post pictures from camp on our SmugMug regularly.

For other questions regarding the camp history, immunizations, accommodations, safety, food and gear, billing, and transportation please visit our Camp FAQs.