Dear Ramah Day Camp and Camp Ramah in Wisconsin Communities,
First – some unabashed joy. Please enjoy this video prepared by the Roshei Anaf (specialty heads) in Omanuyot Habamah (performing arts)!
As we approach Passover, I imagine that nearly all of us are in the same boat: Whatever your Seder situation will be this year, it will likely be different than you expected. Our current reality is very challenging… and it is an opportunity to create a unique and meaningful experience.
Our year-round staff and the 2020 Roshei Aidah (see photo) are busy preparing materials to enhance your celebrations this year. Later this week we’ll email resources for Passover preparation, a Seder guide, and an in-depth look at the Maggid section of the Haggadah with activities and commentaries geared to Ramahniks of all ages.
We’ve loved seeing so many of you participating in our Kikar from Afar online programs via Zoom and Facebook. Thanks so much for your feedback – it is amazing that we are connecting as a camp community through online music, dance, sports (tae kwon do!), study and more. Ramah Day Camp activities geared to young families are scheduled most weeks in April on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings – check it out at Kikar from Afar.
Preparations continue in earnest for our 2020 seasons. At Ramah Day Camp Tali is working closely with Assistant Director Judy Jury and other senior staff developing programming for Omanut (art), Teva (nature), and STEM, among other areas.
Adina and Annie met last week with the Roshei Eidah to begin their formal pre-summer preparations, catching up on everyone’s lives, reviewing material from last summer, discussing new programs for this summer, and beginning to think about welcoming our staff and campers.
We’ve been working to reach out to our hired staff at both camps to check-in with everybody about their semesters, current lives at home, and excitement for this summer!
If you know of someone who might be interested in working at either of our campuses this summer, we continue to look to fill a number of senior staff positions as well as counselor roles at both camps. Please have interested parties be in touch directly with Tali (email@example.com) or Adina (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Update on Coronavirus Pandemic
Our Board and year-round professional team, in consultation with National Ramah, the Foundation for Jewish Camp and American Camp Association, continue to monitor the evolving Coronavirus pandemic and continue to plan for opening camp this summer.
We remain committed to be in touch by May 1st with an update on the possibility of opening up our camps in mid-June. Tomorrow you will receive your April invoice if you have a remaining balance. We continue to accept payments for summer tuition and continue to process payment plans, unless otherwise notified.
To repeat information shared last week, given the current uncertain environment, we are committed to working with families to ensure camp is financially possible. We are extending our April 1st payment deadline while expecting that all tuition bills will be paid or payment plans established prior to the start of camp. In addition, we request that you complete all camp forms at your earliest convenience. If your camper is unable to obtain a physical exam at this time, we ask that it be completed prior to the start of camp.
If camp is completely cancelled or if your child has any medical reasons for being unable to attend camp, we will provide the option to rollover payments already received to a future camp season, convert all or a portion of the tuition into a donation to camp or receive a full refund. If the camp season is shortened or modified, we will provide a fair revised tuition structure.
Finally, some words of thanks
During the Biblical period, stretching from the first Passover, in Egypt, through the end of the Second Temple Period, the Passover celebration was a unique blend of the individual and communal. The Torah offers an explicit commandment that each house must sacrifice their own lamb. Unlike virtually all others, this sacrifice is one of an insular family. And yet Passover is still a pilgrimage festival, a massive celebration for the entire community, combining the agricultural origins of the holiday – the onset of the barley harvest – with the historical recognition of our birthday as a people. This balance of the individual and communal is surely relevant to us today: isolating in our own homes and planning on Seders with only our nuclear families while finding new ways to build community and feel, in certain ways, closer than we ever have before. We are all in this together.
Let us extend this balance, and recognition, to the first responders, medical professionals, and other individuals in our communities who are embracing a disproportionate amount of individual responsibility to help protect, and save, our community. In this time of need, in the days, weeks, and months ahead, we will need additional waves of volunteers to give of themselves to help rebuild what will be lost. You can read stories of Ramah alumni helping out during the COVID-19 crisis in our latest edition of Beynenu. Kol HaKavod!
For the moment, on behalf of Camp Ramah in Wisconsin, I say thank you to everyone out there truly on the front lines while so many of us shelter in place. We are working to reach out to nurses, doctors, first responders, and others in our Ramah Wisconsin family; if you are aware of such individuals who are involved in the medical community’s efforts to tend to the sick – alumni, parents of current or past campers, staff, etc. – please send me their names at email@example.com.
And, of course, if you know of someone in our camp community who is ill please share that information with us as well. May they have a refuah sh’leimah, a complete recovery of body and spirit.
With ongoing wishes for your health,