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Ramah Rockies: The Place for Jewish Teens to Find Themselves

- Shuli Bolton

By Shuli

Ramah In the Rockies, Ramah Colorado, Ramah Outdoor Adventure, in hebrew, אתגר ברמה, they all mean the same thing to me. Home.

I was 16, when I went to the camp for the first time, spending four short, fast-moving, adventurous, and enlightening weeks. I was part of the oldest age group, the camp program, JOLI, I was a part of, was separate and different from being a regular camper.

JOLI, standing for Jewish outdoor leadership institute, focused on how to be a Jewish leader, an outdoor leader, and a Jewish outdoor leader. The days consisted of programs on self discovery/ reflection, leadership skills and styles, and activities and trips full of learning about how to survive adventure in nature.
The program taught me so much about who I am in terms of different ways I identify myself, in all different aspects of my life. It allowed me to gain leadership skills I will use for the rest of my life, and it allowed me to be around people I felt 100% comfortable around, therefore allowing my confidence to grow.

Along with the program being phenomenal and rewarding, the camp itself was just as amazing.
The people, campers and staff are accepting, supportive, unique and fun. Everyone pushes each other to be the best they can be, so that all individual thought and opinion is heard and used to everyone’s advantage. The nature hiking, backpacking, climbing, rafting, biking, horse and farm trips are fun, educational, and well organized. The Jewish learning and roots allow people, campers and staff alike, to have a connection to this religion they are born into.

And of course, one cannot leave out the view.

At an elevation of 8,000 feet in the National Forest Pike and San Isabel in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, the nature that one is surrounded by everyday is breathtaking. The mountains and trees are beautiful. The hot temperatures yet snowy mountain tops are incredible. The weather, the rain, is like nothing else. It is god’s constant change of mind. One second, dryness and heat, and the next, god is taking a really wet shower. Being in nature like that makes one feel so connected to the earth, to what is real and beautiful all on its own with no metals or plastics or human change.

Jewish teens out there, listen closely.
Do you want a Jewish camp experience like no other?
If so, maybe my home will end up being your home too.




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