Summer 2020 Cancellation Resources | Camp Ramah Northern California

Summer 2020 Cancellation Resources

It is with broken hearts that we share our plans to cancel all sessions onsite in the 2020 Camp season. We share in your disappointment and sadness. Sharing this news will pose different challenges for every family, and we are here to support you.

Here you will find resources, links and information to help you navigate the cancellation of summer 2020 at Camp Ramah in Northern California Below is a video message to our campers and families from our camp staff.

 

Dear Ramah Galim Camp Families,

It is with broken hearts that we share our plans to cancel all sessions onsite in the 2020 Camp season. We share in your disappointment and sadness. Sharing this news will pose different challenges for every family, and we are here to support you. 

For weeks, each of us has witnessed the impact of COVID-19 and we ache for all who are suffering – across the world and in our community. We made our decision based on public health guidelines, the recommendations of the Ramah medical community, and many other factors. The health and safety of our camp community has remained our number one priority. We recognize and respect that each camp around the country, including our sister Ramah camps, will be making the best decisions in the interest of their own communities according to their own timetables.

Resources for Sharing News with your Camper(s)

This is extremely difficult and disappointing news for all of us. We hope you take a moment with your children to come together; listen, embrace the loss, and savor the gratitude for the blessings of camp, which will continue through the summer and will sustain into the future. On our Summer 2020 Cancellation Resource Page, you can find a video message to share with campers and prepared guides to help families support their child(ren) through their feelings.

Parents entrust us with that which is most precious to them in the entire world. This trust is a blessing to us and the foundation of the partnership we have with all our families.

We always attempt to return that trust with transparent communication. As such, we are planning a series of Community Gatherings to support our camp community and discuss this difficult decision and related topics:

Community Gatherings

Friday, May 15th 3:30pm PST – Camp Community Kabbalat Shabbat on Facebook Live

Sunday May 17th at 3:30pm PST – Parent/Guardian Zoom Meeting (Click her to register)

We invite you and your family to join us at these community gatherings. 

Next Steps

Next week all Camp families will receive an email with instructions on how to redirect tuition payments towards Summer 2021, a refund, or a donation. The fiscal implications of closing camp are serious. “Missing a season” will have an impact on our budget, our programming, and our organization for years to come. To help us face these challenging times, the Harold Grinspoon Foundation will match dollar for dollar camp tuition that is donated back to camp.

Alternative Programming

We assure you that making this announcement does not mean that we have given up. We love camp, live camp, and know that our kids need camp now more than ever. As soon as we are able to safely bring people together at Ramah Galim, we will! This could consist of edah reunions, day programs, winter camp, and other experiences throughout the year. When things change, even if it is later this summer, we will pivot immediately and be in touch with you to share plans for alternative programs.  Our staff are also planning meaningful virtual program offerings for the summer. And while nothing can replace the lost summer of 2020, we are already planning for Kayitz 2021. 

In the meantime, we pledge to continue to work to keep our Camp community connected and communicate frequently. As we say in our beloved camp song, “b’machaneh Ramah yesh matarah yechida: levnot poh b’yachad kehillah kedoshah”  - “at Camp Ramah we have one goal: to build here a holy community.” Camp is a holy community that transcends time and place, and we are extremely grateful for your family’s place in our community.

With prayers that we may safely and soon be together –

L’vriut,

Rabbi Sarah, Executive Director
Loren Shalinsky and Craig Miller, Board Chairs

Community Connections and Events

We pledge to continue to work to keep our Camp community connected and communicate frequently, beginning with the scheduled community events below:

Date & TimeProgram
Thursday, May 14 @ 12:00pm PSTTzevet 2020
Friday, May 15 @ 3:30pm PSTCamp wide Kabbalat Shabbat on Facebook Live
Sunday, May 17 @ 3:30pmCamp Parent/Guardian Meeting (Click here to view a recording of the meeting)

Please use your full name at login for any zoom meetings so we recognize you and are able to let you into the meeting.

WHAT TYPES OF CAMP PROGRAMMING WILL YOU BE OFFERING?
We plan to continue our virtual programming and explore how and when we can meet in person for a Ramah Galim Experience.  Please help us determine what programming you are most interested in by filling out our Alternative Camp Program Survey. We will enhance our virtual presence in the middle of June when we were initially scheduled to open. Our summer calendar of activities will include camp-wide peulot erev, havdallah, eidah, and specialty track focused gatherings, opportunities for engagement with Shabbat programming, and more! In the next couple of weeks we will share more information in addition to our ongoing calendar of programs. In the meantime feel free to check out our Virtual Programs Page.


WILL CAMPERS MOVE ON TO THE NEXT EIDAH/YEAR AT CAMP IN 2021?
It is our intention to create a Ramah Galim experience for all of our camper families digitally and in person through out the year as we are able to do so. We hope that through these experiences, campers will be ready to return in 2021 connected to their peers a year older and just as connected to their friends and Ramah Galim.


WHAT ABOUT NACHSHONIM 2020?
We are working with our Nacshonim families to create a special Ramah Galim experience this year. Depending on how things evolve it could include a short in-person Nachshonim experience along the shores of Monterey Bay later this year. We are still in the creation phase, but we are determined to find a way to develop something meaningful and memorable for Nachshonim 2020.


WILL RAMAH GALIM BE FINANCIALLY OKAY?
We know the coronavirus has and will continue to have a wide-reaching social, emotional, and economic toll on families, businesses, and nonprofits. The fiscal implications of closing camp are serious, as we have incurred – and will continue to incur – many costs this year. “Missing a season” will have a significant impact on our budget, our programming, and our organization for years to come. Ramah Galim’s business model relies on Camp fees to cover not just our summer costs, but also our year-round operations, and tuition make up over 80-percent of our organizational revenue.

To help us face these challenging times, the Harold Grinspoon Foundation will match dollar for dollar camp tuition that is donated back to camp and other donations $1 for every $2 donated. We hope that with the help tuition donations from generous families we will be able to raise $560,000 as part of our fundraising efforts. EVERY donation will impact our ability to build Jewish community along the shores of Monterey Bay now and into the future.


WHAT HAPPENS WITH THE TUITION FEES ALREADY PAID?

In the coming days, all Camp families will receive an email with instructions on how to redirect tuition payments. There are three options and you will be able to “mix and match” your preferences (although we hope you will choose options #1 and/or #2)::

1) Donate all or a portion of your paid tuition as a tax deductible donation. To help us face these challenging times, the Harold Grinspoon Foundation will match dollar for dollar camp tuition that is donated back to camp.

2) Roll over all or a portion of your paid tuition towards summer 2021 and your camper(s) will be automatically enrolled in summer 2021 at the 2021 super early bird rate.

3) Request a refund of all or a portion of your paid tuition fees. Regardless of previous payment method, refunds will be sent in 6-8 weeks via paper check.

We understand the situation is changing daily and many of our families are experiencing financial hardship at this time. If you are in a new financial position and need your funds back sooner than 6-8 weeks, please email me (sarah@ramahnorcal.org) and we will begin the refund process as soon as we can.


CAN WE CHANGE SESSIONS IF WE ROLL OVER OUR TUITION TO 2021?
Yes. You will have the chance to change the session in which you would like to your camper(s) to attend.


WHAT IS THE CANCELATION POLICY IF I ROLL FORWARD MY PAID FEES TO 2021?
Camp Ramah in Northern California’s usual enrollment policies will apply including cancellation/refund deadlines, with additional flexibility provided if cancellation should be required due to COVID-19 related issues.


WHAT HAPPENS WITH MY FINANCIAL AID/SCHOLARSHIPS?
Community-based scholarship decisions, including One Happy Camper grants, are all made locally so you will need to contact your local scholarship provider to ask if they are able to roll forward to 2021. Ramah is also encouraging providers to roll forward all 2020 scholarships.

If you have been awarded a Camp Ramah in Northern California scholarship for 2020 and you roll forward all fees paid to 2021, your full scholarship can also be rolled forward to 2021. If you have not yet heard about your Camp Ramah in Northern California scholarship award for 2020, please email Nate Bankirer. You are also welcome to apply for a Camp Ramah in Northern California scholarship again in 2021, particularly if your situation has changed.

Camper Support Resources

Thank you for being partners with us in creating the Ramah Galim community. Your belief in our mission is why we will endure beyond this challenging time. We know that this news will be especially challenging for our chanichim.

We are here to support you in anyway that we can, so please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

In the meantime, please find a quick guide that might be helpful in supporting your camper(s).

How to Support your Camper(s)

We plan to continue our virtual programming and explore how and when we can meet in person for a Ramah Galim Experience.  Please help us determine what programming you are most interested in by filling out our Alternative Camp Program Survey. We will enhance our virtual presence in the middle of June when we were initially scheduled to open. Our summer calendar of activities will include camp-wide peulot erev, havdallah, eidah, and specialty track focused gatherings, opportunities for engagement with Shabbat programming, and more! In the next couple of weeks we will share more information in addition to our ongoing calendar of programs in the meantime feel free to check out our Virtual Programs Page.

Support Ramah

“Missing a season” will have a significant impact on our budget, our programming, and our organization for years to come. Ramah Galim’s business model relies on Camp fees to cover not just our summer costs, but also our year-round operations, and tuition make up over 80-percent of our organizational revenue. Thanks to the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, Camp tuition turned into donations will be matched 1:1 and all other donations will be matched 1:2.

Donate Now