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Chaverim, 

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. 

Before a typical summer we prepare for a variety of scenarios. Scenario planning is key to running a safe community. We are taking a similar approach to preparing for kayitz 2021; we are considering a multitude of scenarios and coming up with plans for each. Our Roadmap to Summer 2021 is the first step in this scenario planning, and we are excited to share it with our community. 

This document is dynamic, posted on our website, for all to see our latest thinking and plans. You will see a 6 word version (Keep COVID out. Contain COVID spread), a two minute overview, and the full ten minute read version. This document is NOT our final operations manual for 2021. Rather is a snapshot of our thinking if we were to open camp next month, based on what we know now. In it, we outline our core assumptions and various operating procedures, including sections about community structure, health & safety, travel, program, food service, facility, and communication strategies. 

Please visit ramahoutdoors.org/covid-19 to read our Roadmap. On the same page, you will see a form inviting you to share feedback and questions. We will be holding a town hall meeting on Monday, November 30th at 7pm MST to answer your questions and hear additional feedback. You will also see the link to register for the Zoom call on that page.


Finally, we appreciate your trust and your patience. Ten months ago we could not have imagined the possibility of a ‘canceled summer’ let alone the notion that this pandemic will impact this coming camp season too. As we turn towards the Winter months, we sit here imagining the feeling of opening day in summer 2021. We imagine giving our chalutzim a joyfully Jewish experience next summer, and we all know that what our kids need and deserve most of all right now is camp! Please do not hesitate to reach out, connect with us if you have any questions or just to say hi too. 


With gratitude, 
Rabbi Eliav, Julia, and the Ramah in the Rockies team 

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.

covid19, 2021, enrollment, registration, summer camp

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