A few words from our campers, staff, and parents on why they love camp.
(If you want to submit your own, please visit ramah.org/campstories)
“After oneg my best friends and I go to the bench on the top of the givah, and we just sit and talk. Camp forces us to do this because in the outside world, we would become too easily distracted by our phones or TV. In the outside world, if you asked someone to go sit on a bench and talk, they would give you a funny look. But at camp, any chanich or chanicha would love to do this. Camp gives you the perfect environment and setting. Having close conversations is a skill that is lacked in the outside world. But camp has taught me and given me the resources to have these types of conversations daily. This is now who I am. Camp has blessed me with this gift that I now carry with me into the outside world. Those people who haven’t felt the camp experience can’t engage in these types of conversations that chanichim like I can.” -Eli, 16
“This summer, and the past eight summers, have been the best of my life. Each one just getting better and better. They have let me see the world around me through a different lens, pushed me to meet new people, and given me the tools to build my own confidence. They have allowed me to let loose and have some fun, to find people who are already changing the world, to feel loved, and to make an impact.
In just the short 28 days I spent in hot Ojai, I finally understood the impact my actions have. I understood what it means to stand up for what i believe in. I understood what it really means to be leader. That’s how camp changed me. It opened my eyes to how my actions matter, it empowered to me want to change the world around me. I finally understood what means to work for something I care about. To be happy. To establish connections. To be a Jew. I understood who I am. It was the most meaningful 28 days of my life.” -Taliana, 15
“Camp has had a profound experience on my life. It has helped me learn how to branch out, helped me expand my knowledge and practice of judaism, and has introduced me to an amazing group of people.” -Lev, 14
“Best sleep away camp in the whole world!” -Sam, 15
“The summer of 2016 was best summer ever. I made so many great friends at Ramah and had strong bonds. . I told my mom that camp Ramah is important to me because I made great friends and wanted to meet even more people and become their friend. I can’t wait for another summer of fun!!” -Ya’ara, 13
“This summer means everything to me and has finally showed me why camp is so important to me and why it is such a special place!” -David, madrich
“During kayitz 2017 I was so inspired by my peers and felt connected to Judaism in a way I never had before that I realized it was finally time to have my bat mitzvah, since I never had one when I was 13. My staff and all my friends were so supportive of me while I was studying and in the moments leading up to my reading that it was a day I’ll never forget. I remember towards the end of the kayitz, Ariella came to Gesher tefillot and gifted me with a tallis. I was so touched by the gesture and how much camp had supported me in my decision that I started to cry! All of my campers (who were there two sessions after my actual bat mitzvah date) were so proud of me that they all ran up and yelled “Mazel Tov!” and started dancing around me. It was a really special experience, and I feel very blessed that I was able to be a strong female role model for my young girls.” -Greer, madricha
“This place is my home. A full year of my life I’ve spent learning, playing, growing, and cultivating the community that by many great miracles at the hands of many great people appears in the Ojai valley each summer. My childhood is steeped in the candlelight and the night sky and the songs of Camp Ramah in California” -Tobi, madrich
“Camp Ramah represents a place in which I and so many others have developed and flourished. It is a place which cultivates a sense of community, instills a moral compass to all, and breaks social barriers.” -Kayla, madricha
“Ramah Raised Me, gave me friends that became family, and memories which almost always included losing my voice from having too much fun.” -Marissa, former madricha
“[Ramah is the] place that has allowed the most special relationships to thrive; the place that is filled with innumerable incredible memories; the place that will forever hold the most special place in my heart. There are so many that need you ❤” -Shayna, former madricha
“Camp Ramah is a truly magical place from top to bottom. It has changed our family forever in the best way possible. Thank you Rabbi Joe and all of the hard working staff!!!” -Amy
“Summer after summer, a huge hit. Our daughter loves spending time at Camp Ramah and now our son does too.” -Mara
“I wanted to thank you for giving her such an amazing 1st Camp Ramah experience! She had the most incredible time with all of you, and I appreciated all of the love and care you gave to her. I went to Camp Ramah growing up and absolutely loved my summers there. It’s wonderful that Arielle came home smiling and wanting to return again next summer. ” -Elana
“Thank you! What a treat for us to see first hand what happens at Ramah. “Best summer so far”, were many of the statements we heard from our daughter and her friends. You guys just keep stepping it up every year. We could not be more thrilled to be a part of the Ramah family.” -Jennifer
“Our son just returned from second session last week. He was in Adat Hayom. All we’ve heard since he’s been back is how much he misses camp. Thank you for creating a positive, Jewish, fun atmosphere where he gained confidence, made friends, and tried new things. We appreciate that, and all the countless other ways his counselors made this ‘the best summer ever’.” -Keren and Ilan
“Dear Ramah Camp Staff,
Talia got home safely this afternoon even more radiantly glowing with joy than usual and surrounded by similarly shiny old Ramah friends.When I asked her on the walk to the car, “Did you feel homesick at all?” Talia said, “No! Why would I waste any time at Ramah feeling sad? [The whole two weeks] felt like one day!”
“So many enormous and tiny things have to happen every day to make Ramah such a safe and special place for so many children, teenagers, and adults. We are grateful for every single one of them. “”I just wanted to thank you and your entire Ramah staff for yet another magical summer for Joshua. He actually said this was his best one yet! We truly appreciate all the hard work and effort that goes into each and every session. Joshua is made to feel so loved and special at Ramah. Thank you.” -Nirayl
“From the minute they arrived at the camp site, we felt completely confident that we had left them in the right place. The ruach on the first day and the way they were embraced and welcomed was unforgettable and it set the tone for a fantastic time. We valued the personal call we received on the first night to let us know that our boys were happy and integrating.
It was after visitors day when my brother came to Ramah to see Edan, our older son that we knew we have found our place. He was so impressed with everything, from the leadership to the kids, to the camp site to the bunks to everything. When Edan came home it was with respect, enthusiasm and pure joy. He had a brilliant time and could not stop talking about it. Both boys often break into their songs from camp and they share their memories with us generously.” -Desi and Jerry