Exciting Programs Coming This Summer

Shalom Families,

We’re excited to share a lot of important information about our plans for this Kayitz (summer), including:

  • Preparing for Summer: Camp Calendar, Parent Handbook, Orientation, and Meet the Staff
  • Kayitz 2023 Program Updates: What’s New & Improved
  • Summer Staff Highlights

Preparing for Summer:

HOT OFF THE PRESSES: Our 2023 Camp Calendar is NOW ready. Take a look at this printable, refrigerator-ready summer calendar. Please make a special note of family days and late nights.

PARENT HANDBOOK: We hope for this to be ready no later than June 1. Stay tuned.

SAVE THE DATE: On Wednesday evening, June 7 at 8:00 PM, we’ll hold our Parent Information Session via Zoom.  (Parents received the Zoom link via email.)  Whether this is your 5th summer, or you are brand new to Ramah, we encourage you to join this meeting. We will cover transportation, packing lists, programming and more. There will also be time for Q&A.  It will be recorded.

MEET THE STAFF: Join us IN PERSON AT CAMP on Sunday, June 25th from 1:00-2:30 PM to meet the camp staff, tour camp, pick up your child’s camp t-shirt, and drop off medications.

Kayitz 2023 Program Updates:

Our theme this summer is “Marbim B’Simcha” or Increasing Joy and we couldn’t be happier! (Pun intended!)   Here are a few highlights of how we plan to make this a ruach (spirit)-filled summer of Jewish learning, living and playing.

YOM SIMCHA: Our first Yom Meyuchad (special day) of the summer kicks off with Rock Star Musician Shira Kline in concert on Friday, June 30th.  We will celebrate simcha (joy) all day long!

DVASH MAGAZINE COMES TO CAMP AND HOME: We are partnering with Hadar so your camper can bring home a copy of parsha-related Dvash magazine each week. We will also include Dvash content in camp programing.

NEW GAGA PIT: That’s right, thanks to our March Madness donors we have a brand-new gaga pit coming our way and we can’t wait to play!

FIELD TRIPS RETURN: During Week 4 (July 17-21), each edah will have its own Yom Trip. Visits may include: the National Cryptologic Museum, Geologic Times Corporation, Green Meadows Petting Farm, and the Splashpark.

TISHA B’AV (July 27): Fun fact! This is the first time Tisha B’Av falls on a camp day since 2017.  Campers will honor the holiday by going into a time machine to explore Jewish history.

NEW & IMPROVED CHUGIM: Chugim (electives) are ALWAYS a highlight of camp. We promise to bring back some old favorites AND we wanted to mix it up with a few new ones like cardboard engineering, outdoor cooking, brain games (ex. chess & Rubix), and wearables (ex. creating hats and Jewelry). We also plan to “up our game” with themed bishul (cooking), zimkudiyah-related chugim like set design, and incorporating some of our chugs into weekly performances during Shira B’Shishi (Friday Singing).

ZIMKUDIYAH: Session 3 Families, SAVE THE DATE – On Thursday August 3, we will hold our joy-increasing Zimkudiyah (Song and Dance Festival) & Family Night. Due to space and weather concerns, this program will take place at the CESJDS Lower School in Rockville. (All campers will be brought to CESJDS, and families will be invited to meet us there. Limited busing to our regular stops will be provided for those campers not participating in the event.)

RAMAH NE APP: Worried one of these amazing events will slip your mind? Want to see photos highlighting all of these programs? The Ramah NE App is there to help!  (Check your recent emails from Ramah for instructions.)

Summer Staff Highlights:

HANHALAH: We have an almost complete Hanhalah (senior leadership team). You will get to know them a bit better at our Zoom Information Night on June 7 at 8:00 PM.  Stay tuned to Instagram for video introductions.

SHLICHIM: 11 summer shlichim (Israeli counselors) and 2 year-round shlichim will be joining our staff this summer. If you are interested in providing housing for one of them, please email Rabbi Jill.

STAFF PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: We have implemented a new leadership structure for our madrichim with the goal of increasing professional development over the summer, building a leadership ladder, and increasing longevity for staff.  Each kvutzah (group) will have 2-3 madrichim (counselors) and 1 or 2 menhalim (group leaders), in addition to the Rosh Edah (Unit Head) and Yoetz/et (Parent Liaison).  We are also committed to year-round professional development by sending staff to conferences, trainings and providing other paid opportunities throughout the year.

STAFF WEEK SPECIAL GUEST: Finally, guess who is coming to staff week? We are excited to bring Survivor Winner* (Season 3*, 8, 40), Ethan Zohn, to talk with our staff about how Judaism helped him find joy during difficult moments in his life. From playing Survivor three times, losing a parent at an early age, and surviving cancer twice, he found strength in Jewish values and community.  He will also be leading team building activities, Survivor challenge style! Know someone who would make a good staff member? Send them our way at www.ramahdcdaycamp.org/staff.

We can’t wait to see many of you in 52 days (but who’s counting?!)