Expanding our Community: Supported Employment at Ramah Day Camp Greater DC
Ramah Day Camp Greater DC is excited to formalize our Supported Employment program for staff who need additional support. This initiative is truly a “ground up” program. Last summer, we had three staff members who we knew would be amazing additions to camp but would not thrive in a kvutzah (group of campers and counselors). Our Tikvah Director supported them by finding them the right positions to match their skills, offering additional structure and opportunities to check in, and speaking with their therapists or other year-round supports in advance of and during camp.
When we hired these staff members we did so guided by our values, including “Kol Yisrael Arevim Zeh Ba Zeh” (we are all responsible for one another) and “B’Tzelem Elohim” (we are all created in the image of God). By the end of the summer, we realized that these staff members added more to camp than we could have imagined. They supported our specialists through helping with supplies, camp preparations, working with our campers, and keeping us organized. But even more, it was their smiling faces and positive energy that brightened everyone’s day.
It became important to us that we intentionally hire staff who need support and build in the resources to be able to set them up for success. We are grateful for the donors who are excited about this new program and are providing seed money this year to launch it. We hope that you will help us spread the word about this amazing program so we can more fully live out our values.