COVID-19 | Camp Ramah Northern California

COVID-19

COVID-19 Communication Updates

We hope this message finds your family healthy and safe amidst the difficult times in which we find ourselves. We will continue to update our community regularly to best support our families. We are hopeful, and provided that it is safe for us to operate, we are planning to hold camp this summer.

If your family is in need of additional support to deal with these trying times, feel free to reach out to Monica Shapiro, our Director of Camper Care at campercare@ramahnorcal.org, or Rabbi Sarah at sarah@ramahnorcal.org.  We are here to help you in any way we can.

We have received many inquires with regards to this summer at camp and hope to be able to answer your questions in the page below including our FAQ’s section at the bottom of the page. As always should you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us. For general inquiries send an email to info@ramahnorcal.org and we will forward your inquiry to the correct person to respond.


As we continue to develop a more clear picture of our summer camp operations, we wanted to provide our community with an overview of our decision making process and take time to outline some of the many factors that go into that decision.

There are two large driving questions we are asking ourselves as part of this process:

  1. Can we open camp?
  2. Should we open camp?

Health and Safety

First, as a summer camp the health and safety of our camp community comes first and foremost. We rely on guidelines, recommendations, and health regulations from the CDC, American Camp Association, the California state health department, Santa Cruz County Environmental Health Department, the National Ramah and Ramah Galim Medical Committees, as well as our insurance, larger camp community and several other health and safety oriented stakeholders to ensure we operate with that tenant at the forefront of our organization. Each helps to inform a piece of the camp operation puzzle.

We are currently waiting to receive guidance from these bodies as to what is necessary to operate a safe and healthy summer if we are able to do so. As we have yet to be told specifically that we cannot operate onsite by one of the regulatory bodies, we hold out hope that we can have camp onsite in a meaningful way this summer.

Program standards, inclusivity, and the magic of camp

Second, we look at our programming ability. Can we maintain the inclusive, transformative, and highly engaging summer camp experience we have spent the past five years creating while maintaining the health and safety best practices necessary for our operation? Can we include our entire camp community in this experience (all campers, staff, and community members in the Ramah Galim family)? Can we create the magic of camp in a meaningful way for our campers within the model we need to operate?

With this programmatic lens in mind, our year round team is working diligently and thoughtfully to develop an onsite Ramah Galim experience as well as potential alternatives should we not be able to operate as planned.

Camp Operational Capacity

Third, we are looking at our ability to operate the ins and outs of the summer camp experience. Do we have the right staff and are they able to travel to camp? Are we able to get enough medical and cleaning supplies to camp, while not depleting supplies needed elsewhere? Are our food vendors able to provide us with the necessary ingredients for camp meals? Are we able to adapt our facilities to follow the required health guidelines and best practices for summer operations? Can we ensure transportation to camp for our community? Are we able to screen campers, staff, and community members appropriately? etc.

Our operations team is busy connecting with vendors, advisors, and staffing agencies to set-up and adapt our operational systems to meet the constantly changing scenarios of summer camp operations.

Financial Considerations

Fourth, we have to take into account the financial picture of Ramah Galim to best ensure that we are able to continue our cherished Ramah traditions and specialty track programming for many years to come.

We are working with our board of directors, financial institutions, community foundations, and consultants to help us make sound financial decisions and budget for the necessary additions for healthy best practices in our summer camp operations.

Camp Community & Decision Timeline

We appreciate the support of so many that has enabled us to provide the transformative experiences at camp over these last several years, and to ensure we can do so for years to come. We have heard from so many of our camper families how much camp means to you, and how it is not just another business or another place to spend your summer, but rather how camp is the magical experience that you spend ten months of the year waiting for.

We truly hope that we will be able to see you this summer on our magical Ramah Galim beach. Thank you for your support, your commitment, and your partnership in this time of uncertainty.

We are committed to providing our camp community an update on our summer camp operations by May 15.

COVID-19 Update #6 – April 22, 2020

Update #6 April 22, 2020 I hope this finds your family healthy and that you had a meaningful Pesach. During this time of year between Pesach and Shavuot when we...

COVID-19 Update #5- March 25, 2020

Dear Camp Ramah in Northern California Families, We hope this email finds your family healthy and safe amidst the difficult times in which we find ourselves. It was such a...

COVID-19 Update #4- March 18, 2020

Dear Ramah Galim Camp Families, I hope this email finds you feeling healthy and connected to family.  Amidst these overwhelming times, I have adopted a daily gratitude practice as part...

COVID-19 Update #3- March 13, 2020

Dear Ramah Families, Today like many of you, I got the email:  School cancelled next week.  As many of us prepare for weeks of remote learning and social distancing, here at Camp...

COVID-19 Update #2- March 10, 2020

Hi Ramah Families, We wanted to update our camper families with regards to the health and safety of our camp community. We continue to closely monitor developments surrounding the COVID-19...

COVID-19 Update #1- March 3, 2020

Dear Camp Families, We know that you are all concerned with the global spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and wanted to let you know what we are doing to prepare for...

There are many amazing virtual programs happening within the Camp Ramah in Northern California Community, the larger National Ramah Community and the California Jewish Camping Community.

Join us and many of your camp friends and family in these fun programs. Check out our Virtual Camp Programs Here!

Don’t forget your onesie for Havdallah!

Will Camp Happen This Summer?

We are hopeful, and provided that it is safe for us to operate, we are planning to hold camp this summer. We know how much a Ramah camp experience means for our chanichim and families right now, and we very much would like to be together. As the pandemic continues to unfold, we are in close contact with the leaders at National Ramah and the Foundation for Jewish Camp. We are also in contact with the leadership of the American Camping Association, who is working in partnership with the CDC, on releasing guidelines and recommendations for the summer. We continue to closely monitor information from our local, state, and federal government agencies regarding policies and protocols that may impact the summer.

Finally, we realize that things continue to be uncertain, so we are considering a variety of contingency plans for our community should we not be able to hold a traditional summer experience. We will continue to share updates with you as we get more information.


Refund Policy

In the event we need to cancel any sessions of camp this summer, we will at that point offer our camper families several options:

1) You can roll over your camper(s) enrollment and paid program fees to a summer 2021.

2) You can choose to convert your paid program fees, or a portion of paid program fees, into a donation to camp.  If we are unable to open, we will need your generosity. All donations of tuition will be matched 1:1 by a generous donation from the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. Though camp has operated in a fiscally responsible manner since we opened, paid program fees make up over 80-percent of our revenue, and do not cover all of our fixed operational costs.

3) You can accept the offer of a full refund of your paid program fees.
If this becomes necessary, we will work quickly to determine an appropriate schedule for the disbursement of the funds.


How can I support Ramah right now financially?

First, we thank you for your support. We are experiencing significant financial loss from the COVID-19 pandemic. We are truly grateful for any help you might provide right now. Please click here if you would like to support our COVID-19 Camp Ramah in Northern California Fund.