We recognize that our world is significantly different this year and we will be transparent about how we’re proceeding on the path towards a safe and successful summer 2021. While we are planning for a typical Camp summer, we will continue to review local and Federal guidelines and the recommendations of the Ramah Darom Medical Committee and of the American Camp Association.
We promise to continue open communication regarding how the COVID-19 pandemic may impact Camp Ramah Darom–our Camp dates, session lengths, camper capacity and overall plans for summer 2021. Please see our COVID-19 FAQ.
Here, we bring together a diverse community of talented, experienced staff, offer outstanding athletics and arts programs, and infuse a love of Israeli culture and Jewish heritage into everything we do. Campers gain new knowledge, skills and experiences, which help them develop strong Jewish identities— through prayer, a lively song session or even a game of basketball. The profound importance of community to the Camp experience cultivates a strong understanding of communal connection and responsibility. Ramah Darom is an inclusive Camp and offers Tikvah Support Program for campers with neurodevelopmental and physical disabilities. We also focus attention on developing our campers and staff into leaders, educators and free-thinking individuals.
We have several programs that are based on the upcoming school grade of your child. Children entering the 3rd or 4th grade may participate in our “Taste of Ramah” program. Campers entering the 4th grade may enroll in our “Taste” program or a 4-week long session, 5th-grade campers may enroll in a single 4-week session and campers in 6th-10th grade may elect to attend for either 4 or 8- weeks. Gesher Leadership Development Institute is a summer-long program for raising 11th graders that incorporates counselor training and a 12-day trip along the east coast visiting college campuses, other Ramah Camps and Washington, DC. We also offer two five-day Summer Family Camps for families with children 10 and under.
The daily schedule is packed with a variety of exciting activities. Your child will choose from a range of both sporting and non-sporting activities in which we stress skill acquisition and development. Additionally, swimming, learning, bunk activities, evening programs, daily prayers and culturally-based activities are just part of your child’s daily life at Camp.
Our selective hiring process requires applicants to be at least a rising college freshman who have a strong Jewish background and experience working with youth. Additionally, we seek staff members with maturity and strong character who have the ability to serve as positive role models. They must apply with three personal, educational, and professional references.
Another characteristic that differentiates us from other camps is our camper-to-staff ratio. Overall, we have one staff member for every two campers. Within our bunks, the ratio is no more than four campers to one counselor, ensuring that each child receives as much individualized attention as possible.
A principal foundation of Ramah Darom’s mission is a commitment to ensure that any parent has the opportunity to give his or her child the enriching benefits of Ramah Darom. While the majority of financial assistance comes from local sources, Ramah Darom does provide limited scholarships. For those needing additional assistance, we encourage you to speak to your rabbi, contact your local federation and ask community leaders about funding opportunities in your area. We also offer payment plans. Additionally, you may contact our office to obtain a financial aid application. Please see our Financial Aid 1, 2, 3 for more information.
A major goal of the summer camping experience is to build independence and self-reliance. Therefore, direct phone contact is not permitted. Your child will be strongly encouraged to write home at least once a week. Parents may also communicate with their children through letters and a one-way email system. In order to assist parents in communicating with the Camp and checking on the status of their children, the Camp maintains a staff of parent liaisons (Yoetz/et). This group consists of skilled individuals who have extensive experience in working with children. The parent liaisons will answer any questions you may have about your child’s summer. Messages left for parent liaisons will be returned within 24 hours.
Due to the short length of each Camp session, we are not able to offer a visiting day and we do not allow parents to drop in. Please see the COVID-19 FAQ for information about our Summer 2021 Ramah bubble.
Many of our campers have various dietary restrictions from lactose intolerance to peanut allergies. Parents may alert us to special dietary needs by submitting a special diet request form so that we can ensure that your child receives all the special accommodations that he/she requires.
During the summer season, Camp Ramah Darom’s kitchen facilities are under the supervision of Rabbi Joel Roth, the halachic authority of the National Ramah Commission, Inc., and Professor of Talmud and Jewish Law at The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS).
During the summer, our health center (MARP) is staffed at all times with two physicians and three nurses. These skilled professionals are available to provide routine care and to respond to emergencies. Medications are distributed during meal times from our mini infirmary. If your child requires emergency medical service, there are three hospitals within an hour radius of Camp.
Among our most cherished Jewish values is the importance of preserving life and maintaining health. Reducing the risk of vaccine-preventable illnesses from entering any of our programs is the single most effective strategy we can take to protect the health and wellbeing of our community. This goal can only be accomplished through the appropriate vaccination of all those in residence at Ramah Darom. While we respect that individual families may choose to defer vaccinations, we cannot and will not defer the safety of our community as a whole.
We require that every person planning to attend a program at Ramah Darom adheres to the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunizations Practices (ACIP) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) or the Canadian Pediatric Society (CPS) as outlined in the 2020 US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s (CDC) Recommended Immunization Schedules:
If you are not sure which vaccines you or your child(ren) have received, please ask your health care provider.
Note: Not all states have the same requirements, but ALL CDC recommended immunizations are required at Ramah Darom.
There are exceptions to the Ramah Darom vaccination policy, but they are extremely rare. We recognize that individuals who have had a documented allergy or severe adverse reaction to a particular vaccine may not be able to complete the immunization schedule outlined by the AAP and the CDC. Additionally, individuals with medical conditions such as congenital immunodeficiency or HIV, cancer and who are receiving chemotherapy, transplant patients and persons receiving immunosuppressive drugs and chronic steroids also may not be able to receive certain vaccines. In these extremely rare circumstances, current documentation from a Physician (MD or DO), or a Pediatric/Family Practice Advanced Practice Nurse (ARNP or PNP), describing the reason for exemption from immunization must be furnished to Ramah Darom. We are happy to discuss case by case management of these extremely rare circumstances of medical contraindication to partial or complete vaccination.
Camp readiness is an important consideration in any summer, and we know you may be wondering whether your child is ready for a first experience, or ready to make the shift from two to four weeks away. We know that currently, we can’t rely on practice sleepovers or overnight school trips as indicators. However, there are many ways to assess how your child might adjust to a camp setting based on current information. As we get closer to Camp, we will be sharing specific ideas on how to best prepare your child for a successful summer.
Please schedule a time to speak to a member of our camper care team about how to make the best determination for your child for Kayitz (Summer) 2021.
Our campers come from 11 southeastern states, and many fly to Atlanta, where they are met by our staff and transported to Camp. There are buses available from certain locations and many parents choose to drive their children directly to Camp. Whichever way you choose, our staff is here to support you. Please see the “Travel” section on the COVID-19 FAQ page.
We have security gates at all Camp entrances and a security booth all visitors must check in with before entering our campus. During the summer, our Camp is guarded 24 hours a day. We have a team security staff that works together with local law enforcement to patrol inside and outside the Camp.
Camp Ramah Darom is located in the town of Clayton, Georgia in the North Georgia Mountains. We are approximately two hours northeast of Atlanta.
Our campus address is 70 Darom Lane in Clayton, GA 30525