COVID Updates & FAQ’s for Summer 2021

Kayitz 2020 reminded us what a gift camp is to our children and families and we are excited to announce that early registration for Kayitz 2021 is now open!

We recognize that our world is significantly different than it was at the beginning of 2020 and how difficult it is to plan for summer during continued uncertainty. Please read the FAQs below about how we are preparing for a successful summer. Do not hesitate to reach out to Camp Assistant Director, Sharon Rosenberg Safra, with any additional questions or concerns.

Communication Updates:

Click here for Rabbi Gelb’s November 2020 email to camp families.
Click here for Rabbi Gelb’s October 2020 email to camp families.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Are you currently planning any COVID or capacity related changes for 2021?

A: We are launching early enrollment based on the plan of being able to operate safely and at near-full capacity. We know that we will likely need to adjust our protocols and programming to ensure the safest summer possible in 2021. We will be closely following local and national health guidelines as well as licensing requirements. We will also focus on group size, travel arrangements, increased sanitation, and programmatic needs as we engage in our 2021 planning process. In true camp fashion, we will be flexible, creative, and safe always keeping the most important thing in mind – our campers! We promise to continue our pattern of regular, open communication to our camper families regarding how the COVID-19 pandemic may continue to impact Ramah Day Camp.

Q: Who is eligible for the early enrollment discount?

A: Everyone! We are continuing our early bird discount for anyone who registers by January 1, 2021. All applications and deposits must be received by that date to qualify for the early enrollment discount. Don’t worry – you don’t need to do anything additional for the savings. Our accounting team will apply the discounts for you. If you have any further questions about how discounts are applied, please email our Finance Associate, Ken Milgram.

Q: How do deposits work for 2021?

A: Families are asked to pay a $100 deposit per camper, per week. If there are extenuating financial circumstances, please email Director, Rabbi Jill Levy. Please see our next FAQ for how to apply your 2020 tuition refund to your 2021 account.

Q: If I authorized Ramah to keep a portion of my 2020 refund to use toward my 2021 fees, how will that work?

A: Families who chose to apply a portion of their 2020 tuition refund to this year’s account need to first complete their online application. The refund will then be applied directly to your child’s camp deposit. (Your credit card will not be charged twice.) If the portion applied to 2021 is less than the total deposit amount, the remaining amount will be charged to your credit card or your eCheck account. If the portion applied is more than the total deposit amount, the balance will automatically be deducted from the remaining charges on your statement.

Any questions about tuition refunds should be directed to our Finance Associate Ken Milgram.

Q: What is your 2021 refund policy?

A: While it is our greatest hope to run camp in Kayitz 2021, we realize that there are still many unknowns for this summer. As a result, we have modified our normal refund policy (found on the bottom of the “Dates & Rates” webpage) to plan for various scenarios.

• In the event that camp cannot run again in 2021, all families will again be eligible for a full refund of their deposits and registration fees.

• If camp opens but it is not medically safe for your child to attend (due to his/her health or a family member’s), those families will be able to cancel their child’s enrollment and receive a full refund. COVID-related medical information will be required in one of our pre-summer forms so it will be critically important this year that all forms are returned to our office by the stated deadline.

• In the event of Ramah Day Camp being cancelled before or during the session for reasons for which the camp is not responsible (e.g. force majeure), tuition paid will be refunded less non-recoverable expenses as determined by Ramah.

• We understand many families rely on camp-provided transportation to send their children to Ramah Day Camp. If we are unable to offer busing during Kayitz 2021, those families who are not able to transport their children to camp may cancel their enrollment and receive a full refund.

• In the event we need to make programmatic changes to align with local health guidelines, our standard refund policy (found here at the bottom) will be in place. (Please see the FAQ below about our Sha’ar Hebrew immersion program.)

• Please visit our Camp Ramah New England COVID FAQ page for additional information regarding our refund policy at our sister overnight camp.

Q: Will Ramah Day Camp be providing bus transportation this summer?

A: We know that families rely on bus transportation to get their kids to camp. We will do all we can to provide busses while understanding we will likely need to adjust our protocols and procedures to ensure the safest summer possible in 2021. We will adhere to CDC and local regulations as we make our transportation decisions. As always, we will provide transparent communication and updates as we get more clarity on the situation. In the unlikely event we are not be able to provide bus transportation, and you cannot bring your child to camp, we will provide a tuition refund if requested.

Q: Will there be Sha’ar for 2021?

A: We are planning a Sha’ar Hebrew immersion program for Kayitz 2021. Should we be unable to proceed with Sha’ar, families will have the option to continue in our general camp program (with a Sha’ar fee refund), or to withdraw completely from camp (with a full refund).

Q: How do scholarships work?

A: We know that some families may be concerned about their ability to pay for camp. We ask that families please register now and then apply for scholarship when the applications are available in January. As always, we are committed to working with our families to make sure that everyone can afford to attend camp. For questions about scholarship process, please email Sharon Rosenberg Safra, Assistant Director.

Q: Who is advising Ramah Day Camp as we make plans and decisions for Kayitz (summer) 2021?

A: We are carefully coordinating with a number of different agencies as we make plans and decisions for kayitz (summer) 2021, including but not limited to:

  • Maryland Department of Health
  • Montgomery County (MD) Department of Health and Human Services
  • The American Camp Association – The ACA is working with a private company, Environmental Health and Engineering, Inc., to develop a Field Guide for Camps. Additionally, we work directly with the ACA New England office.
  • The MASS Camping Association
  • The Chesapeake Camping Association
  • The Foundation for Jewish Camp
  • SKIER Insurance, Inc.
  • The National Ramah Commission Contingency Planning Task Force, overseen by National Ramah Director Rabbi Mitch Cohen
  • The National Ramah Business Managers Group
  • The National Ramah Commission Medical Committee, chaired by Dr. Cliff Nerwin
  • Ramah New England’s Medical Committee
Q: Who leads Ramah New England's Medical Committee?

A: Dr. Steven Schwartz and Dr. Michael Agus.

Steven M. Schwartz, M.D.
Dr. Steven M. Schwartz is a family physician, the Medical Director of Potomac Physician Associates, and the Chief Medical Information Officer of PPA. Dr. Schwartz received his undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University and his M.D. at Tufts University School of Medicine in 1994 and completed his residency in Family Medicine at Georgetown University. He is board-certified by the American Board of Family Medicine. Dr. Schwartz is the former associate dean and Director of Medical Student Education at the Georgetown University School of Medicine in the Department of Family Medicine. Dr. Schwartz currently maintains his association with Georgetown University and is a volunteer associate professor. Dr. Schwartz special interests include sports medicine, dermatology and integrative medicine, and he provides comprehensive primary care to newborns, children, and adults.

Michael Agus, M.D.
Division Chief, Division of Medical Critical Care; Endowed Chair in Critical Care; Medical Director, Medical Intensive Care Unit and Intermediate Care Program; Co-Medical Director, Biocontainment Unit
Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
• University of Pennsylvania, 1990 , Philadelphia, PA, Medical School
• University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 1995, Philadelphia, PA, Internship – Pediatrics
• Boston Children’s Hospital, 1996, Boston, MA, Residency – Pediatrics
• Boston Children’s Hospital, 1998, Boston, MA, Fellowship – Pediatric Critical Care
• Massachusetts General Hospital, 2002 , Boston, MA, Fellowship – Pediatric Endocrinology
• Boston Children’s Hospital, 2002, Boston, MA

Q: What about the annual Open House at Wellspring?

A: We know how important it is for families to see camp prior to committing for the summer. We plan to offer several virtual open houses with lots of pictures so families can get a real sense of what makes Ramah DC Day Camp so special. As the fall progresses, we also hope to offer socially-distant in-person camp tours. We will post dates to our website and Facebook page as well as email you to let you know about upcoming events. Not on our email list? Have friends who might want to hear about these opportunities? Email Assistant Director, Sharon Rosenberg Safra, to be added.

Q: How will I stay updated on your plans for Kayitz 2021?

A: We promise to continue our pattern of regular, open communication to our camper families regarding how the COVID-19 pandemic may continue to impact Ramah Day Camp, and our plans for summer 2021. We will communicate our plans via email and post them here at the top of this webpage.

We will continue to update this webpage with more information about Kayitz 2021.  If you would like to see how Camp Ramah New England, our sister overnight camp, is planning for Kayitz 2021, please click here.  To read any of our communications or information pertaining to this past summer (Kayitz 2020), please click here.