Opening Day, Family Handbook Letter

Shalom Camp Ramah New England Families,

We are eagerly anticipating welcoming our campers and staff back to Palmer!

Our summer theme is “Maribim b’simcha” (Increasing the Joy). We know that the forms, luggage requirements, Pack My Rx and the myriad of other things we require might seem not so joyous. However, these procedures are in place to ensure the health and safety of our community and to specifically allow our staff to focus on our campers.

This is a comprehensive email containing important information and requiring action items. Please read this entire email which contains information on:

  • Key points in our Family Handbook and a link to the full handbook.
  • Opening day instructions for First Session and Full Summer campers
  • End of First Session/Visiting Day Information
  • Links and information about what you need to submit prior to your camper’s arrival and what needs to be completed in order to receive your bunking assignments when released in early June.

Most information you need for the summer can be found on our website in the current families “Before Camp” section or in your campminder account.

Important Announcements and Family Handbook

Camp operations move to Palmer

  • Please use our 39 Bennett St, Palmer, MA 01069 address starting on May 30.
  • Our admin team will mostly be unavailable June 5 and 6 due to the move to Palmer. Our senior staff should be available via email.
  • We should be back to normal operations on June 7.


Bunking Assignments: We anticipate bunking assignments being sent out on June 12. In order to receive your camper’s assignment, you must have paid your tuition balance (or have an approved payment plan) and submitted all required camp forms.

2023 Pack My Rx registration information – If your child takes any medications, you must click this link and read/follow the instructions. Because so many campers take medications, we simply cannot spend our medical staff’s time organizing meds at the beginning of a session. In order for meds to be safely dispensed starting the first day of camp, we need everyone to comply with these rules. This is a major health concern and we need your cooperation.

As a reminder, the deadline to register for Pack My Rx without late fees is 30 days prior to your child’s arrival at camp. For First and Full Summer families, the deadline is coming up this weekend.

Our full Family Handbook is posted on our website. We encourage you to read all of it. Here are a few points of emphasis:

  • Participation – we added a new section about camper participation. We expect campers to engage in all aspects of the program. The Ramah experience is comprehensive and isn’t delivered “a la carte”. For younger campers, this often presents in being willing to try new things – from activities to food. For older campers, this often presents in not joining in certain activities to even sometimes trying to skip or leave activities. It is our expectation that campers are where they are supposed to be and that they participate. Whether or not we enjoy every activity, we have a responsibility to the community to help make the experience. Additionally, it is a critical safety issue that campers are where they are supposed to be. Please talk to your campers about the expectation that they participate fully in camp.
  • Campers may not bring food to camp. For allergy safety, Kashrut and to limit attracting unwanted critters, we do not allow campers to bring food to camp. Camp provides all meals and snacks.
  • Shabbat Clothing – although we have no dress code at camp, we ask campers and staff to dress “more nicely” in order to enhance the Shabbat experience and differentiate from the rest of the week.

Opening Day Instructions:

Opening Day Testing: Every camper must take an Antigen rapid test on opening day before departing home. If your child tests positive, do not come to camp. Call our summer office for further instructions.

If you plan on using our busing, you must sign up by June 1st to guarantee your spot.

Click Here for our Opening Day Procedures webpage.

Click Here for instructions for dropping your campers at camp.

Click Here for instructions if your camper is busing to camp.

Click Here for instructions if your camper is flying to camp.

End of First Session and Visiting Day, Sunday, July 23:

We are planning for First Session pickup to be between 10:00 and 11:30. We will send information on First Session camper pickup procedures during the session. If you have first and full summer campers, please arrive at 11:30 for the beginning of Visiting Day.

We invite first session families to tour camp and/or join our BBQ lunch when they pick up their first session campers. When we send out the end of session instructions and pick up form, please RSVP for the BBQ and sign up for a post 11:00 pickup time slot.

We expect to welcome full summer camper families to camp for Visiting Day. We will be sending out more details as it gets closer. This is what we anticipate now:

  • Visiting Day will run from 11:30-3.
  • All visitors will need to register prior to Visiting Day, RSVP for the BBQ lunch, and will need to take an antigen test with negative results that day. We are restricting visitors to immediate family.
  • Full summer campers and their visitors will be able to leave campus during visiting hours.


Meet Our Rashei Edot (Division Heads)!

We’ve assembled an incredible group of Rashei Edot (Division Heads) for this summer! You and your kids can get to know them by listening to our Ten for ROO podcast:

  • In this episode, we interviewed our A-Side group (for campers finishing 2nd-6th grades) and our Rosh Amitzim.
  • In this episode, we interviewed our B-Side (for campers finishing 7th-10th grades) group.

We look forward to a summer full of joy, fun and growth. We appreciate your partnership in helping us give your campers an incredible summer experience.

L’hitraot B’Palmer,

Rabbi Ed Gelb (he/him)

CEO, Ramah New England