For Campers

Camp F.A.Q.s

We’ve complied a list of some of our most Frequently Asked Questions!
If this list didn’t answer your question, please email us at info@ramahoutdoors.org!

Ramah in the Rockies is 360-acres of pristine ponderosa forests and alpine meadows nestled in the pristine Pike and San Isabel National Forests. At an elevation of 8,000 feet, the ranch is surrounded by magnificent towering mountain peaks with three mountain-fed streams running through its center. We have on-site natural climbing walls, horse stables, numerous fields for sports, and hundreds of lush, verdant acres for our chalutzim (campers) to safely explore every day.

We are located approximately two hours from Denver International Airport, 90 minutes from Denver, and 70 minutes from Colorado Springs. The drive is a scenic mix of highway and local paved roads. The last six miles to camp follow a well-maintained dirt forest service road.

To read more about our facilities and location, click here.

At base camp chalutzim (campers) sleep in large, sturdy platform tents according to their gender and edah (age group). Each tent holds up to 14 chalutzim and 2-3 counselors. Tents are equipped with bunk beds and cubbies for storage. Tents are rustic with no running water or electricity, but all are around central shower and bathhouses with hot showers and flush toilets. We have two tent areas, divided by age. They are only 250 feet-ish away from each other so we all feel part of a larger community. You can view pictures of our camp facilities here.

On masa’ot (backcountry excursions), chalutzim have the chance to sleep outdoors near a mountain stream, in an alpine valley, or along the banks of a river. Our camp provides lightweight tents or sturdy tarps to ensure that all participants stay dry and warm on their excursions.

For the first week of camp, our 3rd-6th grade campers rotate by ohel (bunk) experiencing the different base camp activities we offer. When they return from their first masa (backcountry excursion), the younger edot (age groups) continue to rotate to all the activities with their ohalim, with choice for a couple of activity periods.

Our 7th-9th grade chalutzim rotate by ohel to activities on the first full day of camp and then level into chuggim for all additional program days at base camp, enabling them to specialize in specific activities. 

Our rising 10th grade chalutzim choose one out of three activities in which to major for the first two weeks: mountain biking, rock climbing, or off-the-grid living. They spend half of their day at base camp engaged in this activity, prepping to apply their skills and knowledge on their majors masa. When they return from masa, they continue to select their base camp activities. 

Days out on the trail begin with the sunrise. Each masa group prepares breakfast and spends some time engaged in traditional or alternative prayer experiences. Throughout the camping experience, our madirchim (counselors) integrate Judaism and its connection to nature, lead the group in wilderness skill-building, and facilitate group bonding activities. There is no such thing as a typical schedule while on excursions as each excursion is unique: some campers may be rock climbing new cliffs all day, while others may be biking along the beautiful roads heading back to camp after having gone rafting the previous day.

For more information, see here.

At base camp all meals are prepared in our kosher kitchen by our professional culinary staff. We believe that the food we serve and eat should reflect our environmental values. A core part of what we do is to “lift the veil” on our food at camp. We aim to serve sustainable food, taking into account where food is grown, how it is made (we try not to serve anything processed), and how it affects both our budget and our bodies. While we would like to say we only serve 100% local and organic food, in reality our budget does not allow for this. We engage our campers in the conversation about the choices we have made (for example, we cannot afford to buy only organic dairy, but strive to serve only organic greens.)

The basics:

Meals: We eat family-style as a whole camp.  Meals are about 45 minutes to allow for conversation and connection. All food is kosher, and we serve primarily vegetarian food, with meat 1-2 times per week and fish 1-2 times per week.

Allergies: We are allergy aware and able to accommodate special diets. We always have vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free options available. Also, our kitchen is “nut aware”, and we do not serve any nuts or products containing nuts. 

Masa (backcountry excursions): Meals are prepared by the group and cooked on camping stoves or over open fires. All excursion meals are kosher vegetarian and enjoyed by everyone, while also accommodating our gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan friends!

To learn more about the food at Ramah in the Rockies, take a look at Food Info and the science behind our philosophy here.

Camper tents have no electricity. We do encourage campers who are flying to Denver to bring a cell phone for their travel day, but there is no cell service at camp. All portable electronics are collected on the first day of camp, locked up for the duration of the campers’ sessions, and recharged for their return home. If your child brings any electronics (phone, tablet, kindle, etc) for travel day, they must bring matching chargers, if they wish to be charged for the return.

Electronic games, DVD players, and MP3 players are not permitted at camp. Campers who require an MP3 player to cope with anxiety or to learn their B’nei Mitzvah portion will be allowed to listen to them ONLY while on their beds. Any MP3 players brought to camp must only be able to play music (no devices capable of connecting to the Internet or cell signals) and may not be brought on excursions under any circumstances. 

We prefer campers to read from paper books while at camp, but we understand that some prefer their e-readers or may not even own paper books anymore. Only basic e-readers without data connection capability (e.g. 3G, 4G, LTE, or WiFi) may be used, and only on a camper’s bed. We have a strict no-screen policy at camp and e-readers are still screens.

Please note that we assume no responsibility for your children’s electronics, except those given to the office on the first day of their session. We assume no risk for any MP3 players, Kindles, etc. kept by campers for use in their tents.

Whether it is your first summer camp experience or your fifth, there is always a sense of excitement and anxiety when it comes to packing and making sure the “right” gear and clothing find their way into your bags. Our Printable Packing List includes both a bare-bones packing checklist as well as a technical gear guide with information that will help you choose the right camping gear for your chalutzim (campers). We have partnered with REI and PackForCamp to simplify camp packing. We highly recommend checking out both of these retailers for all your camp needs! 

Please note that campers are expected to supply their own personal clothing and gear, including waterproof jacket, sleeping bag for 30 degree temperature, and hiking boots (already broken in). All communal equipment such as tents, stoves, pots, and pans are provided by the camp. While we encourage participants to bring their own internal frame packs, we provide extras for those who do not want to make the investment in such equipment. 

In terms of packing tips, in sum:

  • Pack WITH your child
  • Provide tools for organization
  • Ziplock bags are your friend!
  • Pack a waterproof basket for all of your child’s toiletries
  • Order stick name tags
  • Label, label, label (first AND last name)
  • Don’t pack anything valuable or expensive
  • Don’t pack items like candy that are not allowed

For details on these tips, please see our Ramah Koreh (New Camper Magazine). You can also find our top 5 items to bring to camp and top 5 items NOT to bring to camp here.

In order to create a positive and intensive Jewish summer experience, the Ramah environment is unencumbered by modern technologies. Your child will not have direct access to a phone or any means of communication besides paper and pen in order to adjust to camp life as smoothly as possible. However, while we generally discourage campers from calling their parents at camp for more routine matters, such as to tell them that they are feeling sad, that they are tired, or had a fight with a friend, we allow them to speak to parents when a parent or senior staff member agrees to a call. If a child requests to call home, the Camp Wellness team will contact the parent(s) and ask whether the child can call. If the parent(s) consent, a call will be arranged. Campers should be given the option of speaking to their parent(s) in a private room/office or on a portable phone, away from any campers or staff members. 

If you need to discuss something with your child, please contact Camp Wellness at (303) 261-8214 x119, who will help you communicate with your child in case of family emergencies or other special circumstances. 

Email: To send your camper one-way emails, which are printed daily (except Shabbat) and then distributed to campers, please go to www.ramahoutdoors.org and log in to your CampMinder account.  At the top, left of your account page, there is an email link OR you may scroll down to the bottom of your account page to the Online Community section and click on the link to email your camper. 

Snail Mail: Letters should be addressed as follows. We will email the camp address and your child’s ohel number to you shortly before your child’s session begins. Please include ohel number on any mailed correspondence, it helps our sorting immensely!

Campers are expected to write home AT LEAST once a week, and mail to the coasts can take 5-7 days to arrive. If your child needs to send an urgent letter, they can ask their counselor or a Camp Wellness staff member to scan and email the letter to their parent(s)

At Ramah in the Rockies, we strive to maintain a clean, healthy environment. An abundance of packages creates unnecessary waste, increases the focus on “stuff” that we try to de-emphasize at camp, and raises issues of inequity, competition, and unnecessary social pressure.

We will ONLY accept letters, postcards, one-way emails, and flat envelopes up to 12”x15”. If a non-flat package arrives that is not pre-approved, it will be returned, unopened, to the sender.

Prohibited Items: All packages will be opened by our office staff prior to distribution. Please do not send food, candy, or gum – all food items will be dumped.  We will not give campers any inappropriate items, weapons or weapon toys (nerf guns, slingshots), or items which will create significant litter (water balloons, silly string, confetti, glitter).  

Necessary Items: Should your child forget an item (e.g. sunscreen, water bottle, or sandals), please be in touch with Camp Wellness, campwellness@ramahoutdoors.org or (303) 261-8214 x119 before sending them.  Camp is often able to obtain these items for your camper, avoiding the wait and hassle of shipping something to camp. If after talking with Camp Wellness an item still needs to be mailed to camp please address the package to:

Child’s Name c/o Camp Wellness

This new policy (implemented in 2019 to rave reviews) puts us in line with many other camps, and we appreciate your cooperation in implementing it. You may direct questions to Rabbi Eliav, eliavb@ramahoutdoors.org or Mirit, mirit@ramahoutdoors.org.

Ramah creates an alternate reality, a plausibility structure, which supports living an observant Jewish lifestyle inclusive of prayer, ritual, and interpersonal mitzvot. Our campers and staff come from a variety of Jewish backgrounds, and we work to make everyone feel comfortable, using language like “this is what we do at camp” and “it’s okay if it is different from what you do at home.” 

We observe Shabbat in a traditional way, which means no activities that involve writing or drawing, no electricity (not a big deal since there is no electricity in the bunks), and this enables our community to be present in the moment as we play board games, sports, and relax together. We have daily t’filot (prayers) and use a variety of modalities like meditation, yoga, music, and art, to show our community that there are several ways one can engage in prayer and Judaism. These experiences are the definition of joyous Judaism–get ready to experience the magic!

For more information, see here.

For homesickness:

It is important that campers WANT to come to camp, and it is normal for campers to experience some homesickness at the start. In our experience, this mostly passes within a few days to a week. We expect that some campers may need a lot of support in the first few days. However, we hope to see a positive arc of improvement. If you are concerned about this, please share with us what your child’s bedtime routine usually entails at home, as well as things that work well to comfort your child. Additionally, it can be helpful to prepare your child by letting them know that it is okay to have a great time at camp and also miss home at the same time. 

For bullying:

Violence or bullying of any kind is not permitted, and we define it as using one’s social and/or physical power to target someone else repeatedly. This includes verbal, physical, relational, and social bullying. Our goal is to help campers take ownership for harm done and repair their relationships with those they’ve harmed. However, campers who create an unsafe or hostile environment for others are subject to consequences up to and including dismissal from camp with no tuition refund.

Packing List

Whether this is your first summer camp experience or one of many, there is always a sense of excitement and anxiety when it comes to packing and making sure the “right” gear and clothing find their way into our bags.

Our Printable Packing List includes both a bare-bones packing checklist as well as a technical gear guide with information that will help you choose the right camping gear for your chalutzim (campers). We have partnered with REI and PackForCamp to simplify camp packing. We highly recommend checking out both of these retailers for all your camp needs! For our JOLI and Sayarim campers who will be participating in more intensive masa’ot (backcountry excursions), please pay special attention to the items listed as required.

Top 5 – Bring To Camp

1.Clothing that can get dirty

2.Warm layers for mountain nights
3. High quality,waterproof rain jacket
4.Warm bedding including a sleeping bag design for 30 degrees
5.Headlamp (flashlight)

Top 5 – Won’t Need At Camp

1.Electronic devices
2.Food (no outside food allowed)
3. Inappropriate clothing (see handbook for more info)
4.Valuables or large sums of money
5.Trunk or hard-sided suitcase

Food Info

At base camp all meals are prepared in our kosher kitchen by our professional culinary staff. We believe that the food we serve and eat should reflect our environmental values. A core part of what we do is “lift the veil” on the food at camp. We aim to serve sustainable food, taking into account where food is grown, how it is made (we try not to serve anything processed) and how it affects both our budget and our bodies. Whenever possible, we try to serve organic and locally-grown foods. On overnight excursions, meals are prepared by the group and cooked on camping stoves or over open fires. All excursion meals are kosher vegetarian and enjoyed by everyone!

Curious about our philosophy or concerns about protein at camp? Read more here.

SundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridayShabbat
Aruchat BokerCereal, granola, and oatmeal, breakfast bar with yogurt, cottage cheese, fruit, and hard boiled eggsQuick breads, cereal, breakfast bar
Aruchat TzohorayimFalafel, pita, and Israeli saladBurrito barTofu stir-fry and riceGrilled cheese and tomato soupMac and cheese, garlicky zucchini and squashSandwich bar with tuna salad, egg salad, and homemade hummusHearty vegetable soup, homemade challah, salad bar
Aruchat ErevMeat BBQ: grilled chicken, corn on the cob, baked beans, green beans, and fresh saladPizza and roasted vegetablesBreakfast For dinner! Eggs, potatoes, pancakes and salad barImpossible burgers with sweet potato fries and saladChili and cornbreadFish tacos or roasted salmon with mashed potatoes and roasted broccoliBaked ziti

Transportation

Transportation Questions?
Families are highly encouraged to download and read our Camper Transportation Quick Facts for a complete run down of our transportation systems.

Please contact transportation@ramahoutdoors.org with any questions about your child’s travel arrangements.

Campers Flying to Denver

Flights should land in Denver between 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM.
Flights should depart Denver between 10:00 AM – 2:15 PM.

* Please check our Transportation Quick Facts for our recommended flights.  Our staff will meet all campers on the recommended flights.  Campers flying in on other flights should collect their bags and meet at the Ramah rally point in the Westin Hotel Plaza.

There will be campers wearing their camp shirts arriving from all over the US and overseas at Denver International Airport on arrival day. Campers should look for Ramah in the Rockies staff who will be wearing bright, neon yellow shirts that say “Camp Ramah Staff”. Camp staff will meet any arriving Southwest plane that lands between 9:00 and 11:30 am on the first day of camp. If there is no suitable Southwest flight during those hours, but there is a flight on another carrier, please email transportation@ramahoutdoors.org to confirm that we can meet the other flight. Many flights arrive very closely together and our staff may just be a few gates down meeting other campers before coming to your child’s gate; so please instruct your child to wait at their gate for us. Campers and staff will then go together to baggage claim, where staff will help campers claim their luggage.

If your camper is mature enough to go to baggage claim on their own, or if you are dropping your camper off at the airport, the Ramah Rally Point is located in the Westin Promenade on the west side of the airport. Ramah staff will be waiting here to meet campers as well. Campers travel to camp in vans or a bus depending on when they arrive.

Campers will get a snack at the meeting point and are encouraged to fill their water bottles. Campers also will receive lunch once they arrive at camp, or for late arriving campers, on the van on the way to camp.

Especially for Airline Travel

Please also include a change of clothing, sweatshirt, snacks for the flight, and any toiletries or medicine your camper might need on travel day in their carry-on bag in case your checked baggage is delayed. You may also want to give your camper a pre-paid ($25) credit card to use at the airport.

Unaccompanied Minors

If your camper(s) will be traveling as unaccompanied minors (UM), please use the following information to complete the airline’s unaccompanied minor form:

Designated Pickup Person: Camp Ramah
Camp Name: Ramah in the Rockies
Address: 300 S Dahlia Street, Denver, CO 80246
Camp Phone: (303) 261-8214

Secondary Contact, if necessary: Zach Usmani
Camp Name: Ramah in the Rockies
Address: 300 S Dahlia Street, Denver, CO 80246
Camp Phone: (303) 261-8220

Denver Shuttle

Ramah in the Rockies has a shuttle bus for Denver area campers. The bus will depart the Hebrew Educational Alliance (HEA) at 11:00 am on the first day of camp.  On the final day of camp, the bus arrives back at HEA by 10:30 am. Hebrew Educational Alliance is located at 3600 S. Ivanhoe St, Denver, CO 80237.

Driving to Camp

Please email transportation@ramahoutdoors.org to receive driving directions. Campers may be dropped off at camp between 11:30 am and 1:00 pm on arrival day and picked up between 9:30 am and 11:00 am on departure day.

The camp is approximately 1.5 – 2-hour drive from Denver.

Travel Updates/Changes

If your camper’s travel or UM (unaccompanied minor) status changes at any time before travel day, please update the online Travel Survey in CampMinder.

If the changes/updates occur on travel day, please call our office at (303) 261 -8214

We All Made It to Camp!
Communications

We understand how nerve-wracking it may be between seeing your child(ren) off and waiting to hear that everyone has arrived safely.

Although campers are welcome to call home from the Denver airport, our airport team’s primary focus is getting the campers from their arrival gates to baggage claim, collecting bags, loading them onto trucks, and ensuring all campers are on the shuttle buses for the ride to camp. Our staff will not be calling families from the airport. They will be in touch with our office to communicate any issues or to notify us of the shuttle buses departing the airport for camp.

Once all of our campers have reached the chava (ranch), we will send an email to our camper families letting them know that everyone has arrived safely.

Parents/guardians are welcome to be touch with our office at (303) 261-8214.

Family resources

This information is also available to registered families in the ‘Forms and Documents’ section of CampMinder.
Camp Handbook
Camp Packing List

Our Music

Our Camp Song

Click here to learn the lyrics to the camp song – you’ll be singing along by the time you get to the chava (ranch)!

Shira & General Camp Songs

Before & After Shabbat

Weekday T’filah

Shabbat T’filah

Ramah in the Rockies operates under a special use permit on the Pike-San Isabel National Forest. - Enfold Theme by Kriesi

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