If you ask my kids, 70 Darom Lane is a second home, the best summer camp they can imagine. I often hear adults say “I want to live my kids’ life – I want to go to camp!” The Jewish Women’s Getaway, held every autumn in the gorgeous north Georgia mountains of Ramah Darom, is a very close approximation of summer camp, but with all of the comforts we appreciate as women. For a full three days, we are pampered with delicious meals, sumptuous snacks, and spa opportunities, as well as numerous art classes, various exercise options, prayer services and study sessions with inspiring (female) rabbis and educators. There are many options to choose from at any given time during the day, including the option to sit on your tushie and stare at the peaceful lake, or go for a walk with a newfound friend. There are s’mores to roast at the bonfires, climbing towers to summit, waterfalls to admire, cocktails to drink, games to play, and a diversity of women with whom to share it all.
I am fortunate that I have attended all six getaways, and at each one I have made new connections with women from all over the country, who recognize the benefits of getting away from the daily grind. This year we volunteered at the Foodbank of Northeast Georgia one afternoon, to give back to the community that supports Ramah Darom year-round. The food bank facility is state-of-the-art, and we were so grateful to be able to spend some of our time helping the 800 students who rely on donated food each weekend. The outing brought together a group of women who may not have otherwise engaged during the getaway, but had a common desire to support those in need. The activity was definitely a win-win, and one I would like to see repeated on a larger scale in years to come.
Year-round programs have the benefit of attracting participants from a wide geographic area – there are women who attend the getaway from California, New York, and Texas. The Passover retreat reaches across international borders with participants from Canada and Israel. Ramah Darom is unique in that it provides and hosts programming all year long, utilizing the stunning locale while campers are in school. I consider this our great fortune!
While I have attended many year-round programs at Ramah, including the awe inspiring once-in-a-lifetime Solar Eclipse Shabbat, Women’s Getaway holds a special place in my heart. The camaraderie that exists is very natural, whether one is attending for the first time or sixth, alone or with friends. If you ask my kids, I also consider 70 Darom Lane a second home, where I can relax and breath clean air while connecting with dynamic people in a beautiful corner of Georgia. It’s my version of heaven on earth.