Covid-19 Information & Updates

We Are All In This Together

Ramah in the Rockies will open its doors during summer 2021 for in-person programming. 

With your partnership, we remain steadfast in our commitment to create a safe operating environment for both campers and staff, while continuing to deliver on our mission to create a laboratory for joyful Jewish living and learning. Since early July 2020, a dedicated and well-qualified group of lay leaders and staff have been following the science, evaluating camps that did operate during summer 2020, and researching best practices to ensure we can deliver on this commitment.

Our Roadmap to Summer 2021 is the first step in our planning, and we are excited to share it with our community.

Please join us for a Zoom Town Hall meeting on Monday November 30th at 7pm MST to discuss this Roadmap.  Click HERE to register for the Zoom call.

No.  If you rolled over tuition from 2021, you do not need to make an additional deposit at this time.

All deposits and tuition will be 100% refundable for ANY REASON until March 1, 2021. Entrusting your child to us is an awesome responsibility that we do not take for granted. We are in relationship with each family who registers for camp, and want to ensure that money is not a driving factor.
In the event a family chooses to withdraw from camp, our refund policy is as follows:
  • Between March 2 and March 31: Full refund minus a $500 administrative fee
  • Between April 1 and April 30: 66% refund
  • Between May 1 and May 31: 33% refund
  • Cancellation after June 1st – No refund available

Yes! 

Flexible payment plans are available for all families (regardless of if you apply for financial aid).  Our usual payment plan breaks tuition into five payments, from November 1st – March 1st.  Please contact our registrar, Sandra Yaron at sandray@ramahoutdoors.org to discuss setting up a payment plan.  For 2021, if you need to extend payments over additional installments, let us know, we are happy to work with you.

We encourage you to register your child for the appropriate Edah based on their 2021 school grade.  We believe that keeping kids on the same Edah path they were on is the best fit for their overall camp experience.  However, we understand that some chalutzim may wish to repeat their 2020 Edah.  We will work with families on an individual basis to determine the best fit in these cases.

Our edot are divided as follows.  All grades listed are the grade your child will be in in Fall 2021.

3rd & 4th Grade – Ilanot

5th & 6th Grade – Metaylim

7th Grade – Solelim

8th Grade – Solelim (2 week) or Bogrim (4 week)

9th Grade – Bogrim

10th Grade – Sayarim

11th & 12th Grade – JOLI

We strongly encourage rising 12th grade Chalutzim to enroll in Ramah Israel Seminar.  Seminar is an incredible opportunity to explore Israel and meet Ramahniks from across the movement.

Our JOLI program has always welcomed both rising 11th & 12th grade Chalutzim, and we will continue to do so in 2021, for those chalutzim who feel that JOLI is a better fit for them.

We are happy to speak with your family to determine the best fit for your child.

Click below to read all of our COVID-19 Updates.

The Next Normal – August 25, 2020

Dear Families:

As most of our Colorado families return to school this week, it is hard to believe that Summer 2020 has come to a close. We are so grateful to everyone who has joined us virtually to bring our Kehillah Kedosha together – from the nearly 100 Chalutzim who joined us for virtual camp, to the faces we saw at Kabbalat Shabbat, and the families that shared how much simcha our Ramah music or challah recipe brought to their homes.

Today, we turn the page and focus our attention towards the “next normal,”– reopening our camp for the 2021 season and ensuring that we have the resources to make this happen!

We plan to operate our camp in person in kayitz 2021 with the same unique blend of outdoor education, open-air environmental living, and joyful Jewish expression that has been the hallmark of our community.

Registration for 2021 will open on September 1st. All campers who enroll before October 31 will receive a limited edition Ramah in the Rockies hoodie sweatshirt. If you rolled over your child’s tuition from 2020 to 2021, then of course they will receive a hoodie too!
You can see our 2021 Dates & Rates on our website. We are freezing tuition at our 2020 Rates!

None of us know what our world will look like in 2021. We have convened a planning group of experts in public health, medicine, education, and risk assessment to examine trends and data and to advise our board and staff on the safest way to reopen camp in-person next summer. This group will base its recommendations on the latest science, government regulations and best practices implemented across the Ramah movement, the broader summer camp community, and schools that are reopening for in-person activities.

As we plan for the summer over the next ten months, we make the following promises to you:

Full transparency and regular communications. While we plan for a full reopening next summer, we are also realistic and know that this pandemic is rapidly evolving. We know we will have to adapt aspects of our program based on new information. We will keep you informed of any decisions that will materially affect the camp experience. We are also happy to speak via phone, video or email. Just be in touch.

Full Refunds. All deposits and tuition will be 100% refundable for ANY REASON until March 1, 2021. Entrusting your child to us is an awesome responsibility that we do not take for granted. We are in relationship with each family who registers for camp, and want to ensure that money is not a driving factor.

Additional Assistance. In the eleven years our camp has been in operation, we have never turned away a child who applies before March 1 for financial reasons. We know that many of our families are struggling financially due to the economic instability of the past few months. We are committed to raising additional scholarship dollars to ensure that we can help support any Jewish child who would like to come to our camp.

The health and safety of our community is always our #1 concern. We will not make any decisions that would imperil the health of our campers, staff, or families.

A THANK YOU. . .
We have been blown away by the love we felt from our community this summer. Over 100 campers participated in our virtual programs, and were joined by over 25 tzevet members who took the leap with them. Over 175 families (or 57%) donated portions of their 2020 tuition to camp and 115 families (or 42%) rolled over their tuition to next summer. Many donors have already invested in our “Next Normal” campaign too. Thank you to all who have already come along on our journey.

Two Requests
Over the coming months, we hope that you will help us pivot to the Next Normal. Here’s how you can help:

For those who know families that would benefit from sending their children to Ramah in the Rockies, please tell them about our community and encourage them to be in touch. If you would like to host a virtual information session, we will help arrange logistics. We are continuing with our refer-a-friend program this year too. Word of mouth is our best recruitment strategy.

For those in the position to help us financially, we welcome any and all support. We have a long journey ahead. We continue to take on financial risk as we prepare our camp for next summer but are confident that with the help of our dedicated community, we will emerge stronger at the end of the trail.

Thank you for believing in our mission and we look forward to continuing this journey together.

The Ramah in the Rockies Team

Rabbi Eliav Bock, Executive Director
Julia Chatinover, Assistant Director
Gil Rosenthal,Board Chair

UPDATE #5 – May 20, 2020

Dear Families,

As you know, we have been closely monitoring developments related to COVID-19 since the onset of this global pandemic. We have examined countless possible scenarios and contingency plans. We have engaged multiple task forces and committees and have considered an array of perspectives and guidelines from the medical community, camping community, state officials, and our parent community. We sent you a letter a few weeks ago hoping for positive news to emerge in the intervening time. Alas, this has not happened.

Therefore, it is with deep sadness and profound disappointment that we are canceling all scheduled sessions for this summer.

Parents entrust us with that which is most precious to them in the entire world. This trust is a foundation of the partnership we have with all our families and a blessing to us. The current guidance from local government as well as our medical professionals indicate that we cannot expect to operate this summer without a risk of infection. Given the camp environment, we feel we cannot operate and take the risk that our camping experience might promote further spread of this virus.

OUR PLAN MOVING FORWARD 
While we cannot gather in person this summer in camp as we know it, we are not giving up on continuing to come together as a Kehillah Kedosha (holy community). We continue to plan for a virtual camp experience open to all 2020 chalutzim (campers) for three weeks from June 15-July 3. This program will be run by madrichim (counselors) who were planning to work in camp this summer as well as our year-round team. This virtual experience will be free of charge, although we will ask families to register in advance. Please stay tuned for more information.

We also are hoping that we can rent out parts of our ranch to families in an “Airbnb” style format, but will not know this for sure until June 10th. We will be in touch either way about this option.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS
Coronavirus has had, and will continue to have, a wide-reaching social, emotional, and economic toll on families, businesses, and nonprofits. The fiscal implications of closing camp are serious, as we have incurred, and will continue to incur, many costs. We hope that those families who are able to do so will help us weather this financial storm.The graph below explains the cost of running camp and how tuition dollars collected throughout the year are spent in a good faith effort to prepare for the best possible experience each summer.

We ask that you choose from any combination of these three options by July 1:

  1. Receive a full refund of your paid tuition. Regardless of previous payment method, refunds will be sent in 6-8 weeks via paper check.
  2. “Rollover” some or all of your paid tuition to summer 2021. We will honor all 2020 financial aid awards for 2021 to families who roll over their tuition.
  3. Convert some or all of your paid tuition into a donation to camp (directly or through a DAF). If we are unable to open, we will depend on your generosity since tuition makes up 80% of our operating revenue and we have already spent 60% of all tuition dollars preparing for the summer.

To help us face these challenging times, the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, an anonymous donor and the board of directors will match dollar for dollar any camp tuition that is donated back to camp.

We understand the situation is changing daily and many of our families are experiencing financial hardship at this time. If you need your funds back sooner than 6-8 weeks, please email eliavb@ramahoutdoors.org and we will begin the refund process.

CONNECTING WITH OUR COMMUNITY
Over the next two evenings, our team will be available via Zoom to answer questions and to hear your thoughts. Chalutzim are welcome to join. Please use your full name at login so we recognize you and are able to let you into the meeting.  We will be scheduling additional meetings for individual edot over the next couple of weeks. Please visit our Summer 2020 Cancellation Resources page for an up-to-date calendar and additional resources.

In the coming days our senior staff also plan to reach out personally to each member of our community, and we will look forward to speaking then too.

Thank you for being partners with us in creating the Ramah in the Rockies community. Your belief in our mission is why we will endure beyond this challenging time. We know that this news will be especially difficult for our chalutzim to take in. I (Eliav) prepared this video to share with them.

Please be in touch if you have any additional questions. We are all available on email. In the meantime, visit our Virtual Chava page for ongoing opportunities to connect with our community online. Thank you for your understanding!

Rabbi Eliav Bock, Executive Director
Gil Rosenthal, Board Chair
Dr. Marcus Oginsky, Head of Medical Committee

Dear Families,

Each year, hundreds of families entrust Ramah in the Rockies with their most valuable possessions–their children. It is an awesome responsibility! Our team works year-round to build the physical community that campers and staff are a part of each summer. But the lessons, values, and relationships developed during this time remain with them for years to come. Over the past month we have heard from so many about the importance of Ramah to the development of your child’s identity. Thank you for your emails and calls.

The health and safety of our community remains our number one priority. Each off-season we spend countless hours preparing for emergencies and working with a variety of public health officials and first responders to help ensure an uneventful summer. Our goal is singular: to make certain that campers and staff can have as safe as possible of an experience while challenging themselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  

Over the past six weeks we watched as COVID-19 changed how we live in our world. We have been planning a number of scenarios for this summer based on these developments.

Now, at the end of April, we can say definitively that WE WILL NOT RUN SESSION I OR OPEN CAMP BEFORE JULY 1. We made this difficult decision in consultation with National Ramah and with our own medical team, board of directors, and local health department.

OUR PLAN MOVING FORWARD

We remain hopeful that we can join together for at least part of our 2020 camp season and are moving forward simultaneously on several alternative scenarios.

Scenario A
Run a modified Session II, beginning a few days earlier than scheduled, from Monday, July 13 to Monday, August 10. (Session I campers can switch to Session II.)

Scenario B
We are exploring the possibility of running several smaller family-camp-style programs in late July/early August in the event that regulations do not permit us to run camper-only programs.

We are realistic that “Scenario A” is unlikely to happen but not yet ready to rule it out. By June 1 at the latest, we will share a decision about Session II and possible family programming.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS
We know the coronavirus has and will continue to have a wide-reaching social, emotional, and economic toll on families, businesses, and nonprofits. The fiscal implications of closing camp are serious, as we have incurred – and will continue to incur – many costs, regardless of what happens this summer. “Missing a season” will have an impact on our budget, our programming, and our organization for years to come.

If camp is unable to open this summer or you choose not to send your child for any reason, you may choose from any combination of these three options:

  1. You can receive a full refund of your paid tuition. Regardless of previous payment method, refunds will be sent in 6-8 weeks via paper check.
  2. You can “roll over” your paid tuition to summer 2021.
  3. You can choose to convert some or all of your paid tuition into a donation to camp. If we are unable to open, we will depend on your generosity since tuition makes up 80% of our operating revenue.

To help us face these challenging times, the Harold Grinspoon Foundation will match dollar for dollar the first $65,000 of camp tuition that is donated back to camp. If camp does not operate, we hope that through donations of tuition dollars from generous families we will be able to raise the $325,000 needed to cover the costs of our year-round site operations and insurance. EVERY donation will impact our ability to build Jewish community at 8,000 feet now and into the future.

We understand the situation is changing daily and many of our families are experiencing financial hardship at this time. If you are in a new financial position and need your funds back sooner than 6-8 weeks, please email me (eliavb@ramahoutdoors.org) and we will begin the refund process.

But if you can wait until after June 1 to register for a later session, request a refund, rollover funds to 2021 or make a donation, we would sincerely appreciate your patience. We need a few more weeks to evaluate the possibility of a modified Session II or family camp.

CONCLUSION
This evening (Thursday, April 30) at 6:00pm Mountain Time (5:00pm Pacific, 8:00pm Eastern), our team will be available via Zoom to answer questions. Chalutzim are welcome to join. Please use your full name at login so we recognize you and are able to let you into the meeting. (Email juliac@ramahoutdoors.org for zoom link)

Thank you for being partners with us in creating the Ramah in the Rockies community. Your belief in our mission is why we will endure beyond this challenging time. We know that this news will be especially difficult for our chalutzim to take in. We prepared this video to share with them.

Please be in touch if you have any additional questions. We are all available on email, and in the office in between maintaining our respective homeschools. In the meantime, visit our Virtual Chava page for ongoing opportunities to connect with our community online. Thank you for your understanding!

Rabbi Eliav Bock, Executive Director
Gil Rosenthal, Board Chair
Dr. Marcus Oginsky, Head of Medical Committee

Dear Camp Families,

We are all craving certainty in this uncertain time. Therefore, we are committed to making a decision about this summer’s sessions as follows:

  • By May 1st, we will make and share a decision about the plans for Session I.
  • By June 1st, we will make and share a decision about the plans for Session II.

We are monitoring the COVID-19 situation daily in consultation with our camp medical committee, national Jewish camp partners, CDC, and local Colorado health department.

Please know that our year-round team and our board of directors has decided that, in the unprecedented event that camp cannot open this summer, we will be offering full refunds for tuition paid to date. We make this offer knowing that it will be extremely difficult for us from a financial perspective, but also knowing that it is the right thing to do.

The fiscal implications of closing camp are serious, as we have incurred – and will continue to incur – many costs, regardless of what happens this summer. Our entire year-round team depends on camp happening each summer, and ‘missing a season’ will have a lasting impact on our budget, our programming, and our organization for years to come.

Should camp be unable to open, we will offer families any combination of these three options:

  1. You can choose to convert some or all of your paid tuition into a donation to camp. If we are unable to open, we will need your generosity. Though camp has operated in a fiscally responsible manner for many years, tuition makes up over 80- percent of our revenue.
  2. You can “roll-over” your paid tuition to summer 2021.
  3. You can accept the offer of a full refund of your paid tuition. Regardless of previous payment method, refunds will be sent in 6-8 weeks via paper check.

Again, we will be in touch directly with all Session I families by May 1st and all Session II families by June 1st.

Please be in touch if you have any additional questions. In the meantime, visit our Virtual Chava page (https://www.ramahoutdoors.org/virtual-opportunities-for-our-kehilah/) for ongoing opportunities to connect with our community online.  Thank you for your understanding!

UPDATE #2
March 19, 2020

Dear Ramah in the Rockies Community,

At camp, we talk about our four core values of kavod כָּבוֹד– respect, simcha שמחה– joy, tzmicha ishit צמיחה אישית – personal growth, and k’sharim קשרים – connections.

While we all face disruptions to our normal routines, we have an opportunity to rely on these core values to help guide us through moments of hardship, and can lean on these values to help strengthen our kehillah kedosha קהילה קדושה- holy community.

Starting tomorrow, we will be sharing online and printable content regularly – some of our own creation, some created by our partners at Ramah camps and Jewish camps throughout North America. We hope that these resources will provide opportunities to connect, to learn, and to grow.

We honor the uncertainty that exists in the world. We are committed to communicating regularly with you, our camp community, as we make decisions about the summer.

As we shared in our last email, we plan to operate this summer, and are constantly monitoring advice from the CDC, CDPHE, and Jefferson County Public Health to guide our decision making.

Registration for 2020 is still open, and we have adjusted our payment structure in recognition of the uncertainty – you can register and hold a spot for your child for a $300 deposit, with no additional tuition due until June 1st

We are all craving certainty in this uncertain time. Therefore, we are committed to making a decision about this summer’s sessions as follows:

By May 1st, we will make and share a decision about the plans for Session I.By June 1st, we will make and share a decision about the plans for Session II.

As a reminder, if circumstances change regarding COVID-19, and we are not able to operate our camp this summer or your child is prevented from attending, we will offer affected families a 100% refund of all tuition already paid.

We have heard from many of you that you are looking for opportunities to connect with your Ramah kehillah! Starting next week, we will hold reunions for each Edah.

These reunions are a chance to check in, reminisce about the summer that past, and dream about the summer to come while hanging out with your Ramah friends. All reunions will be held on Tuesday or Thursday evenings, from 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM MDT at this Zoom Link.

Ilanot & Metaylim Session I: Tuesday March 24
Ilanot & Metaylim Session II: Thursday March 26
Solelim & Bogrim Session I: Tuesday March 31
Solelim & Bogrim Session II: Thursday April 2
Sayarim & JOLI Session I: Tuesday April 7
Sayarim & JOLI Session II: Tuesday April 14

Additionally, we have heard from some families that they would like to use these days at home to further their Jewish learning, particularly, their Torah reading skills. If you (tzevet or chalutzim) would like to teach or to learn Torah reading/layning, please click here to fill out our online buddy form. We will make the connections. In a week, or so, we hope to publicize the list of Torah readings for the summer so any child who wants to begin learning an aliyah/ot/whole Parsha portion can do so.

We know that there is a lot of Jewish educational content on the internet right now – what a blessing! We are creating some of our own, and have compiled a list on our website. National Ramah is maintaining a similar list of Ramah-wide programming.

Each week, join us on Facebook for the following:

Mondays & Thursdays, 9:00 AM MDT– Torah Tidbit. We will be posting a Torah Tidbit video each Monday & Thursday morning. Email Ethan at ethanw@ramahoutdoors.org if you have a Torah Tidbit you want to share with our kehillah.

Tuesdays, 3:30 PM MDT. We are partnering with our friends from the other Jewish summer camper here in Colorado to share a live, interactive activity each Tuesday, through Facebook Live.

Fridays, 12:00 PM MDT. Together with the other camps here in Colorado, we will post a weekly pre-Shabbat medurah style music video to help get you ready for Shabbat! This video will be posted to our Facebook.
In addition to these weekly programs, this weekend we have three incredible musical opportunities:

Tonight: Ramah Wide Shira with Josh Warshawsky – 6:00 PM MDT

Friday: Erev Shabbat Live from NY with Michael Harlow – 4:00 PM MDT

Sunday Morning: Rick Recht Concert – 10:30 AM MDT

Depending on the response from our families we will see whether more shira and tefillah with our Ramah favorites can become weekly traditions during this period of physical distancing.

Each Wednesday, we will share resources for you to use at home – favorite Ramah recipes, games, and resources we use at camp to add meaning to every-day experiences.

Stay tuned for an awesome masa journal, recipes, and more! Make sure to share your photos with us so we can post them on our social media pages. You can also access much of our camp music on our SoundCloud. We have playlists for Weekday & Shabbat tefillah, plus tons of other shira favorites.

Check our website and social media accounts each week for new material.

We hope you will join us for these opportunities to live our core values.
As always, our year-round team is available via phone at (303) 261-8214 and email if you have any questions, concerns, or just want to chat!

Rabbi Eliav and the whole Ramah in the Rockies Team

March 12, 2020
Dear Ramah in the Rockies Families,

We know you are carefully monitoring the news about the novel Coronavirus(COVID-19), as are we. 

While summer is still months away, we want to share some information and updates with you, because nothing is more important to us than the safety and wellbeing of your/our children and staff.

Ramah in the Rockies, together with all of our partners in Jewish camping, is planning to operate fully this summer.
 
We can assure you that we are already planning some extra precautions, which may include: greater pre-camp health screening for campers and staff; limiting guests who can visit camp; and changing some protocols in our food service. 

We are, however, concerned about the ongoing spread of the COVID-19, and will continue to provide you with updates regarding our plans both before and during the summer. Our senior staff continue to monitor the CDC daily. We have been in touch directly with our coordinators at Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and Jefferson County Public Health Department, including their infectious disease epidemiologist. We also are participating in movement-wide calls/forums with directors and business managers from all the Ramah camps as well as some broader camp industry conversations. 

We know many of our families are nervous about the summer and uncertain about how COVID-19 will affect summer plans. If circumstances change regarding COVID-19, and we are not able to operate our camp this summer or your child is prevented from attending, we will offer affected families a 100% refund of all tuition already paid.  

We are, however, far from making such a decision. We are enrolling our final 40 campers, hiring our final 25 staff members and planning each day of the summer program. We are finishing three building projects and readying the ranch to open in under 100 days!

We thank you for your trust in us and look forward to another amazing summer of fun and transformation—all while keeping our communities safe and healthy.

Please be in touch directly at 303-261- 8214 X104 if you would like to discuss anything further. 
 
 
Rabbi Eliav Bock, Executive Director
Gil Rosenthal, Board Chair 
Dr. Marcus Oginsky, Medical Chair

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