As part of each of our signature specialty tracks, campers will experience unique activities and challenges as well as Jewish learning, service, and skill-development. On an average day at camp, campers will participate in the core specialty areas in the morning and then electives and bunk activities including swimming, arts and crafts, and other sport activities in the afternoon. On special days campers will have the opportunity to participate in all-camp activities such as Yom Sport or Yom Yisrael in addition to the special field trips and transformative overnight trips we offer for each specialty track.
Ocean Exploration – Campers will experience the life and magic that lies below the ocean surface through ocean sports and marine biology. Our expert leaders will offer opportunities for campers to safely learn to kayak, surf, and scuba dive, all the while empowering them to learn about the ocean environment and ocean conservation. Boys and girls in the ocean exploration track will discover marine organisms, ride the waves, observe underwater flora and fauna, learn and master paddling and scuba skills, and raise questions about marine sustainability.
Performing Arts – This is not your bubbie’s drama program! Campers will have an opportunity to work with experienced performing artists to build their skills in a specific medium and then to craft their own play, dance, musical number, or set design as part of our larger showcase of modern Jewish arts. Campers will draw on inspiration from the natural environment and Jewish texts as well as improvisation skills to develop their own creative voice and use it to make the world a better place.
Adventure Sports – By horse, bike, hand, and foot, campers will overcome exciting challenges in our adventure sports track. Campers will have opportunities to build lifelong skills and friendships as they explore the world from the ground to the sky while horseback riding, rock climbing, organic farming, mountain biking, and more. Campers will utilize and refine their new wilderness skills as they climb to new heights on the overnight backcountry trips we offer each session.
Unlike at other summer camps where campers rotate through all camp activities from art to sports to theatre, a specialty program like ours allows for campers to explore their passions in-depth and engage in greater skill-development through intensive blocks of instruction and experience. Moreover, we believe in giving campers the opportunity to choose their specialty track each session as a development of their own responsibility and leadership skills. Campers who stay for both sessions I and II can choose to switch specialty tracks between the sessions or continue on in the same track. In addition to the specialty tracks, campers will have ample time to play sports, do arts and crafts, swim in our pool, and participate in other traditional camp activities.
Scuba Intensive – Campers in the 4 week scuba intensive will gain a deep appreciation for the wonders of life beneath the surface as they learn how to scuba dive and have the opportunity to become certified as open water divers. Scuba instruction will take place in our camp pool before campers venture out into Monterey Bay with our Dive Instructors and Dive Masters for an open water scuba experience. Campers will leave with knowledge of scuba safety, equipment, and diving skills as well as an introduction to marine life and conservation through a Jewish lens.
The Open Water scuba Intensive consists of three main phases:
Adventure Scuba Intensive –
Surfing Intensive – Want to be a surfer? Under the guidance of our expert surf instructors, campers in the 4 week surfing intensive will develop their surfing skills both at camp’s beach as well as at famous surf spots all around northern California. Campers will learn advance surfing techniques and develop leadership skills that stem from surfing and Jewish textual connections.
Horse Intensive – Spend 4 weeks of your summer in Etgar with a focus on Horseback Riding. Go beyond the basics of riding in a variety of settings. Learn horsemanship skills, develop sound riding techniques, and try your hand at vaulting in addition to a more traditional trail riding experience.
Visual Arts Intensive – If you love the arts, this is the intensive for you! Campers in the Visual Arts Intensive will have an opportunity to participate in the performing arts track through creative set design, costume design, and being apart of the ensemble. In addition, campers will choose a project in a medium of their choice to complete during the 4 week intensive with the support of the camp’s visual arts staff and guest artists-in-residence. The intensive will also include a special arts masa (off site excursion) to further develop skills with local artists and experience the intersection of marine life, art, and Judaism in Santa Cruz.
Camp Ramah in Northern California strives to provide an amazing camp experience to as many campers that wish to come to camp and have a wide variety of activities available for campers to participate in. Camp Ramah in Northern California provides camp opportunities for campers going into grade 3 through grade 11.
Camp Ramah in Northern California also has a small program for campers with special needs. While age is a determining factor only so much as being indicated under 18, or over 18 for the campers with special needs, medical, cognitive, and physical factors are used to determine appropriateness of the program for such campers. We strive to provide a safe, fun, inspiring environment for these campers and work with parents to evaluate the camps ability to provide the necessary services to operate in such a way with each individual camper for this smaller program.
In general, eligibility to participate in camp activities is based off of several factors:
1) A health screening by a qualified medical professional indicating that the camper is healthy both physically and mentally enough to participate in general camp activities and meets the camp’s medical standards OR indicating participation in some activities but not all with a reason indicating participation & non-participation.
2) Parent permission to participate in all camp activities OR permission to participate in some camp activities but not all. Indicating the reason for participation & non-participation.
3) Age appropriateness of activities. Not all activities provided at camp are appropriate for all ages.
1. General camp programs are offered for campers going into grades 3 through 11. One week programs are offered to campers going into grades 3 & 4.
2. Any Scuba diving activity requires camper to be at least age 10, have parent permission, and meet the medical requirements as listed by PADI the scuba diving certifying agency.
3. Some discussions and program activities at camp are also age dependent by Edah (division). This is done to allow campers to express themselves, have conversations, and push themselves in a manner that is both safe and nurturing for those of a particular age.