A: The vast majority of our bunks have 12 to 14 campers, and 2 or 3 counselors. The counselors live in the bunks with the campers. (There aren’t separate counselor rooms.) As a general rule, our largest bunk is 16 campers and our smallest is 8, but those are outliers.
A: Please click here to take our virtual tour, which includes 360-degree panorama views of two bunks! Our bunks are all slightly different shapes and sizes from one another, but most follow the same general lay-out: A covered front porch that’s a nice hang-out area; an open central area inside the bunk; wooden bunk-beds around the periphery of the interior, with shelves next to each bed; additional shelves towards the back or on the side for extra sheets/towels/etc. as well as areas for hanging clothes; a bathroom in the back of the bunk, containing 3-4 sinks, 2 toilet stalls, and 2 showers.
All beds and shelves are assigned before camp begins, so no one has to rush to arrive early to pick their spots. Parents can request top or bottom bunks for their child in the spring, if your child has a preference. Counselors decorate the bunk before the campers arrive with signs and posters and fun labels for all of the kids’ beds and shelves. Also waiting for every camper when they arrive, on their bed, is a camp t-shirt and a camp laundry bag with their name on it. (The laundry bags are returned to our laundry service company at the end of the session.)
A: Yes, each camper may request up to three friends who are in the same grade-level and are attending the same session of camp. We guarantee to place every camper with at least one request (and we always try our best to give more). Bunk requests can be submitted through our on-line system, in the spring. All requests must be made by completing that on-line form. Our Director of Camper Care is always available to speak with parents who would like to discuss a specific bunking question or request in more detail.
A: Yes, our camp’s mirpa’ah (health center) is staffed 24 hours-a-day by a doctor and multiple nurses who live on site at camp. Camp physicians staff sick-call hours daily and are always on-call.
A: The security of our campers and staff is of paramount importance to us. Security has been an ongoing process over many years at camp, and we make changes as warranted each year. Common sense dictates that we don’t reveal all of our measures or every detail on a public website, but here is some information:
The annual process for reviewing our security policies and procedures involved our entire organization, including site-specific reviews of our location and program. Members of our senior staff attend multiple security briefings and trainings each year, as provided by local Jewish federations, the Foundation for Jewish Camp, camp director groups, the National Ramah Commission, the American Camp Association, the Massachusetts Association of Camps, the Anti-Defamation League, and others. Additionally, we meet regularly with our local law enforcement officials and our security company, Securitas.
Our summer staff is trained and drilled on our security procedures and emergency procedures. Our local law enforcement (the Palmer police department) continue to help us by reviewing our training and drilling procedures and working through different scenarios and communication protocols with our staff.
The Palmer police do routine patrols around our camp when camp is in session. The local police take measures, each year, to make sure that its officers know our facility. This includes the K-9 units conducting training at our facility during the off-season.
Our front gate is manned 24-hours a day by a uniformed officer from Securitas, a company that works with schools and camps across the United States. No one is allowed access to our facility who has not been cleared by our main office staff.
Camp staff wear photo ID cards at all times. Visitors to camp are given visitor badges which they must display at all times.
A: Click here to see a sample daily schedule! (Please be aware that every age group has these programs in a different order, and we adjust details of this schedule from year to year. Also, this is just a sample listing of the possible chug (elective activity) choices; the exact array of choices is different every year.)
A: It is normal for some campers to experience homesickness at the start of the summer, or to have moments of sadness or difficulty even in the midst of an otherwise fantastic summer. Our wonderful counselors are well-trained in how to help guide campers through these normal moments. We focus on listening to the campers, engaging with them, and helping them to allow themselves to re-join the group or the program. In all of this, our counselors are assisted and supported by our adult staff-members. This includes our senior staff (CEO, Director of Camper Care, Assistant Director, and more), as well as our yoetzot, the adult attached to each edah (division — grade-level). Our yoetzot meet regularly with our counselors to review every camper in their care; this helps us to ensure that we know, in real time, how every camper at camp is doing, and what if anything extra can be done to help us give them the best possible summer camp experience. In more serious situations, our yoetzot and other senior staff-members will get involved personally, guiding and coaching our counselors and also, when needed, getting directly involved with the individual camper(s).
A: Families who live within driving distance of camp can drive their child(ren) to camp on the first and last day of each session. In the spring, we send detailed instructions to our families on the procedures for our opening and closing days, when and how to book an arrival/departure time-slot, and more.
We run busses from the DC/MD area at the start and end of each four-week session. Ramah staff-members are there to greet campers (and parents) when they board the busses, and they help entertain the kids throughout the ride to camp. When they arrive at camp, additional staff-members (along with an excited group of kids!) are there to greet the bus and to help the campers find their bunks and settle in.
For the end of our first mini-session and the start of our second mini-session, we generally staff a flight to/from Bradley airport in CT and BWI for that small group of campers.
Campers from Israel and other international locations can book flights to/from Logan airport in Boston. We will pick them up from Logan and return them to Logan at the end of their camp session, accompanied by Ramah staff-members. Families must contact us before booking flights.
A: Parents are encouraged to write letters and to sign up for our free email service. Postal mail and email messages are delivered 5 days a week to campers. Guest email accounts can be set up for relatives, so that they too can e-mail campers.
A: Yes! We offer a Prospective Family Day during the summer. This is a great day for interested campers and their families to come tour camp, meet with our senior staff, and for children to participate in some of our camp programming! We also offer personal tours on other days during the summer. Please contact Josh Edelglass, our Assistant Director, for more information.
A: There is a scheduled visiting day at the end of first session for full session campers. All visitors to camp on days other than Visiting Day require the approval of the Camp Director. We will only be able to accommodate a request for a visit under very compelling circumstances and well in advance of the visit date. Although most visits to camp are disruptive to the program and the campers, we provide the opportunity for a limited number of Shabbat guests in order to let parents and others experience the magic of Ramah. Rooms in the guesthouse at Camp Ramah are available for families and other guests who wish to visit overnight or stay for Shabbat. Please call the office to request a reservation in the guesthouse. Approval of your request is subject to the Director’s discretion and room availability.
A: Feel free to use this Suggested Packing List when packing your child for camp!
A: Yes, we are a proud member of the ACA — the American Camp Association — and we are fully accredited by them. This process involves annual reviews of our policies and procedures, and an extensive camp visit and review of all policies, procedures, communications, and more, which is conducted every three years.
A: Directions to camp can be found here.
A: Click here
Please click here to see more FAQS and to explore Is Ramah Right For My Child?, and click here to visit our Ramah Stories page to hear directly from happy Ramah campers, parents, staff-members, and alumni!