Summer 2022 Updates & FAQs

Summer 2022 Information:

We will continue to update this FAQ page throughout the year, with our latest information. We appreciate the partnership we have with our camp families, which enabled us to keep camp safe last summer while providing a wonderful Ramah experience. We look forward to working together to make kayitz 2022 even better!

Q: What are the policies for pre-camp testing?

A: All campers need to take and submit a rapid antigen test (whether the test result is positive or negative) the day before their arrival AND on their arrival day.

For the test the day before arrival: (1) Put the rapid antigen test on a piece of paper with your camper’s name and date of birth clearly written on it; (2) Take a picture of this piece of paper; (3) Save the photo on your computer as “name, date, COVID antigen test”; (4) Convert the photo to a pdf (Use if needed); (5) Upload to the portal in your account for the “Day Before Arrival” that will be activated several days before your camper’s session.

For the test the day your camper is arriving at camp: If your camper is being driven to camp or is flying on the DC group flight, use a sharpie to write your camper’s name, birth date, and the date directly on the test card, put it in a ziploc bag, and turn it in to staff at camp or to the flight chaperone at BWI. If your camper has a different flight, follow the instructions above and upload to the “Arrival Day” test result portal in your account.

Q: What will the procedures be for Second Session Opening Day (July 26) and luggage?

A: Please click here to read Rabbi Gelb’s email with full instructions for Second Session Opening Day (July 26)!

Q: What will the procedures be for the Closing Day of First Session (July 24)?

A: Please click here to read Rabbi Gelb’s email with full instructions for the Closing Day of First Session (July 24)!

Q: What will the procedures be for Virtual Visiting Day (July 24)?

A: Please click here to read Rabbi Gelb’s email with full instructions for scheduling virtual visits on July 24!

Q: What are the policies for vaccinations and boosters for campers and staff?

A: All eligible campers and staff must be up to date on their vaccinations, which now includes both the two initial doses and the booster prior to the summer. This also applies to Gan campers ages five and up. Please see this link to the CDC website for guidance on when one is considered “ Up to Date” on their vaccines and boosters.

Please click here for a letter from the National Ramah Medical Committee, explaining the Ramah camps’ vaccine policy, as well as their detailed answers to frequently-asked vaccine questions.

Q: What COVID-related policies will be in place for summer 2022, including masking?

A: Here are our policies and principles of operation for summer 2022. We want our campers and staff to experience all the incredible things camp has to offer. By and large, camp will run normally. Our choices will balance risk and reward. We will change and update policies and principles of operation as needed as conditions change. Our policies are made in consultation with the National Ramah medical committee, our medical director, medical staff at camp and our senior leadership. We will emphasize the program on-site and there will be minimal programming off-site. For example, we are not planning on taking the campers to Six Flags. We expect our staff to take off-campus days off.In general, we are strictly limiting camp visitors.

We will conduct rapid antigen surveillance testing of all campers and staff several days into the session.We will be employing COVID sewage surveillance testing.

We will be eating meals outside in our OCH (the pavilion attached to our Chadar Ochel). We will have as many activities outside as possible. We will not have tzad or camp-wide activities at least until we do our Friday surveillance testing.

We may ask people to mask in certain situations, for example, if we are forced indoors more because of rain or at large indoor gatherings.

Second Session update: we ask our families to report pre-camp Covid exposure, (including any household members who test positive) to Marci Galinkin:

    • Report any known camper exposures July 19-26
    • Report any household members who were positive at any time during July 19-26
    • Report any household members who turn positive after dropoff July 26-30

All campers in the above categories may come to camp with negative antigen tests AND we will ask them to mask until after our antigen surveillance testing on Friday, July 29.

We will ask campers with COVID symptoms who test negative and come to camp to mask through Sunday, July 31 (day 6).

If your child tests positive at camp, we will contact you. We expect (depending on the total number who test positive) to be able to care for campers at camp who do test positive. Families who wish to have their children recover at home will be able to pick them up.  (UPDATE July 8, 2022: We are requiring that campers who contract COVID and live within driving distance of camp go home to recuperate. We will evaluate every day if we need to continue this policy and also when a child can return. This will depend on many factors but mainly on COVID census and how it impacts our MARP and housing.)

Campers with COVID symptoms who test negative will mask during the day and test twice daily until symptoms improve.

COVID-positive campers who are experiencing symptoms and need more medical care will be housed in the Marp (our Health Center) until those symptoms are improved.

COVID-positive campers who are largely symptom-free will move to COVID housing that we have set up in camp.

Through day four, COVID-positive campers will participate, as they feel up to it, in special separate programs for them including regular camp chugim and special activities. Starting on day five and until day nine COVID-positive campers can test out by testing negative on a rapid antigen test. Once they test negative or on day nine regardless of test result, they will return to their bunks and regular programming. Campers who still test positive day five through day eight and do not have a fever will be able to rejoin their edah for activities. They will be required to wear a mask, they will eat outside at a table with other COVID positive campers and they will sleep in their COVID housing. Campers who elect to go home to recuperate may return on day five or after and also rejoin their edot and follow the same protocols. We believe that allowing masked COVID-positive campers to rejoin their edah activities greatly enhances their experience while adding minimal additional risk of COVID spread. This policy also is closely aligned with CDC guidelines and with recent school practices where students were allowed to return on the same timetable.

Q: Will visitors be allowed at camp this summer?

A: In general, we expect to strictly limit visitors to camp.

Q: Why is Ramah running a bus to the Washington, DC area on the closing day of camp (August 21, 2022) instead of staffing a flight?

A: We have decided to offer busing (coach buses with bathrooms) on the closing day of camp this year instead of staffing a flight to the DC area. The bus will cost $65 per camper (not including luggage). Parents can choose for their child to take the bus or pick them up on closing day.

We are making this decision for several reasons:

  • In the last few years, we have had to switch to buses twice after plane cancellations and delays. When busing, we can control departure and arrival times.
  • If we send campers by bus, we can have the bus and luggage arrive at the same time and place. Parents won’t have to drive all the way to the airport and back and then go get luggage.
  • The bus will be less expensive for parents than flying.
  • Several times we have booked Southwest at a convenient departure time only to have them cancel that flight and rebook us at a very inconvenient departure time.
  • Although the bus takes about seven to eight hours to make the journey, campers and luggage will arrive together at approximately 5:30 pm..
  • We can staff the bus with our counselors from the DC area.
Q: What will be the procedures for staff days off this summer?

A: We anticipate staff days off to happen normally. Other than for days off, for COVID safety we will have a closed campus.

On days off, we expect staff to wear masks (KN95) when indoors in public settings and on public transportation. We recommend eating outdoors whenever possible. Prior to each day off, we will discuss protocols that take current COVID conditions into account.

Q: Who leads Ramah New England’s Medical Committee?

A: Michael Agus, MD
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
Undergraduate Degree
• University of Pennsylvania , 1990 , Philadelphia , PA
Medical School
• University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine , 1995 , Philadelphia , PA
• Boston Children’s Hospital , 1996 , Boston , MA
• Boston Children’s Hospital , 1998 , Boston , MA
Pediatric Critical Care
• Massachusetts General Hospital , 2002 , Boston , MA
Pediatric Endocrinology
• Boston Children’s Hospital , 2002 , Boston , MA

Q: How will Ramah handle the extra social and emotional health needs brought on by the pandemic?

A: Camper Care is the single most important thing at Camp Ramah New England. We know that our campers and their families have faced difficult challenges this past year, and that it’s even more important than ever that camp provide individualized care and support for every child in our care this summer. Talya Kalender, our Director of Camper Care, is overseeing a robust program of training this year for all staff-members to create a safe, warm atmosphere at camp, train them in how to recognize and address mental health needs and issues in their campers, and how to respond when challenges arrive. This will be a team effort of our entire year-round and summer 2022 staff. We are excited for Ramah to once again pave the way in terms of how best to create a transformative summer camp experience in which all of our campers can feel safe, and can flourish.

2022 Updates:

Please click here to read Rabbi Gelb’s July 21st email with updates to our Covid policies for Second Session.

Please click here to read Rabbi Gelb’s July 15th email with detailed instructions for Second Session Opening Day (July 26).

Please click here to read Rabbi Gelb’s July 15th email with detailed instructions for our Virtual Visiting Day (July 24).

Please click here to read Rabbi Gelb’s July 15th email with detailed instructions for Closing Day of First Session (July 24).

Please click here to read Rabbi Gelb’s Second Session & Mini-Session Covid Policy Update from Monday, July 11th.

Please click here to read Rabbi Gelb’s Visiting Day announcement from Monday, July 11th.

Please click here to read Rabbi Gelb’s Covid update from Friday, July 8th.

Please click here to read Rabbi Gelb’s Covid update from Wednesday, July 6th.

Please click here to read Rabbi Gelb’s June 24th email with instructions for Opening Day (June 28th)!

Please click here to read Rabbi Gelb’s full introductory email to our 2022 Family Handbook, with important updates on summer 2022.

Please click here to read Rabbi Gelb’s full May 2022 email, which contains updates on Covid policies, opening camp, visiting day, and the end of the sessions.

Please click here to read Rabbi Gelb’s full February 2022 update email.

Please click here to view kayitz (summer) 2022 documents and information, including a welcome letter from Rabbi Gelb and materials related to Israel education, racial justice, and inclusion at camp, and more.

CDC Study on Ramah’s COVID Prevention Strategies:

We’re proud to report that we had a fantastic and safe kayitz (summer) 2021, with no cases of COVID at our overnight camp!

We’re proud to share this study, published by the CDC, describing the successful outcome of the multiple COVID-19 prevention strategies implemented at Ramah this summer. Among over 7,000 campers and staff at our 9 U.S. overnight camps, there were only 9 positive cases of COVID-19, and no outbreaks. We are filled with gratitude for our extraordinary, hard-working tzevet (staff) & lay leaders, and our incredibly supportive Ramah community, for everyone’s dedication to bringing back Ramah and keeping our children safe. Click here for the full report.