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A Guide to Staff Life
Camp Ramah in the Berkshires
Winter: 25 Rockwood Place, Suite 345 Englewood, NJ 07631 Phone: (201) 871-RAMAH (7262) Fax: (201) 871-7232 Summer: Box 515, Wingdale, NY 12594 Phone: (845) 832-6622
Rabbi Ari Perten Rabbi Paul Resnick Director Assistant Director email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Table of Contents
ohtcv ohfurc .......................................... 1
Important Dates..................................... 2 I Guide to Camp Life ........................ 4 II Staff Life.........................................8 III The “NO’s” of Camp...................... 11 IV Money “Cents” ............................. 15 V Daily Routine ............................... 16 VI Security ........................................ 19 VII Camp Program ............................. 19 VIII Families in Camp ......................... 24 Hebrew Glossary — iukhn ......................28 Preliminary Calendar ........................... 31
We are excited to welcome you, a ,uum rcj of Camp Ramah in the Berkshires, for the 2013 season. With your active and creative participation, we expect this summer to be the best ever for you and your campers! This guide is revised annually so that it better reflects the goals, values and current practices and policies of Ramah. We have created this guide to make your experience in camp as pleasant and rewarding as possible. Remember, ,uum hrcj are responsible for all of the information contained in this guide. After reviewing the material, please be sure to submit your forms, including the signed staff handbook agreement, that are all available on your staff member dashboard on our website. If you have any questions, please ask Dave Teitelbaum for clarrification.
DID YOU REMEMBER??
Upon reviewing this guide and its contents, please make sure to return the following documents. Your signed staff contract can should scanned and emailed to email@example.com and all forms below should be faxed to the specific number indicated for our online fax-back system. 1. 2. 3. 4. W-4 and I-9 (with its supporting documentation) Voluntary Disclosure Form Extenuating Circumstances Day Off Form Staff Handbook Agreement Form
2013 IMPORTANT DATES
APRIL 30TH JUNE 16th Medical form due
,jkan arrive ,uum
Sport/Mayim/Al Hagova arrive
All JC’S and New Staff arrives
JUNE 18th JUNE 25th JULY 21h AUGUST 14th AUGUST 15th
Rest of ,uum arrives
ohfhbj arrive! ☺ ohjrut ouh - Visiting Day
Camp season ends Staff goes home
Why did the Conservative movement decide 65 years ago to establish a summer camping program? Perhaps the former chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary, Rabbi Ismar Schorsch, summed it up best when he said, “Camp Ramah legitimized childhood.” That is what we do at Ramah. We give children fun and friendships in an environment that fosters a strengthened sense of Jewish identity, a stronger commitment to observance and a heightened responsibility to fellow human beings. Additionally, we teach skills in sports, swimming, the arts, and other areas. The name of our camp has two parts – “CAMP” and “RAMAH.” “Camp” is a place where children participate in sports, hiking and other outdoor activities while enjoying their summer vacation. “Ramah” is a place where we encourage children to see all of life’s activities through Jewish eyes and where all that we do encourages a commitment to ongoing Jewish living. Camp Ramah is the place that allows children to
experience a completely Jewish existence, grounded in the modern world. When we achieve this goal, Ramah is successful. Many campers say that they return to Ramah because they make their most meaningful friendships in camp. Indeed, many of us know of Ramah alumni who share apartments or travel with their camp friends. Ramah even creates “shidduchim” of couples who met in camp. Ramah builds and helps to foster wonderful, long-lasting relationships. These friendships eventually develop into small communities. In fact, a driving force behind our work at camp is the development of small communities within the larger communities we serve. This goal is based on the model that exists in camp. First, there is the ;hrm (bunk) community. This is the most important community in camp—the foundation upon which the rest of the structure stands. Building on strong ohphrm, we have the vsg and then the side of camp on which the vsg lives. Only after all of these communities are created can there be the sense of the greater community of the entire camp. When a child feels a part of the camp community, he/she takes this newly found feeling home. The hope is that the child will also take home some of the beliefs and practices by which we live in camp. Once the campers are home, we hope they will further influence their family and the Jewish community. As a ,uum rcj, you make this happen. You are the person who the child remembers as being a positive role model during the summer. You are the person who can truly influence the child. You can change each child’s world. This is an overwhelming task and responsibility. We ask you to join us in this process. Every staff member is needed to participate, as every staff member makes his/her own contribution to the betterment of camp. Let us work together so that we can complete the summer fulfilled and satisfied that we have enriched the Jewish lives of our campers and that the world is a better place because of our efforts.
Rabbi Paul Resnick Director
Guide to Camp Life
This section describes day-to-day details to help make your life at camp as pleasant as possible. There are people in camp who can answer your questions about these issues. Remember: you are responsible for knowing all the information contained in this guide. PRECAMP (Arrival) All new staff members, including Junior Counselors (JCs) who were campers at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires, are expected to arrive in camp by noon on Monday, June 17, 2013. If there is sufficient interest, we will arrange a bus for new staff members to leave from J.T.S. (3080 Broadway, at 122nd St.) at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, June 17, 2013 Returning staff must plan to arrive at camp by noon on Tuesday, June 18, 2013. A staff bus will leave J.T.S. (3080 Broadway, at 122nd St.) at 10:00 a.m., on Tuesday, June 18, 2013. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org by June 3rd to reserve your seat! As in the past, Hanhallah and staff members serving on the waterfront, sports, and Al Hagovah staffs will be required to arrive earlier for specific training. Waterfront, sports, and Al Hagovah staff should plan to arrive on Sunday, June 16, 2013 Staff may bring their own luggage with them on the staff bus. Please remember that there are no trunks allowed in camp for campers or staff. Please use a soft covered and collapsible duffle or bag. You may also drive up to camp. When you arrive in camp, please check in at the front office.
vbfv guca (Staff Week) Staff Week is an integral part of the camp
experience for veterans and new staff alike. It is a great period of socializing, recreation, and intense learning. If you think that you might not be in camp for some part of Staff Week, you must speak with Dave Teitelbaum no later than May 17th and submit the extenuating circumstances day off form.
vbjnv ;ux (Departure)
There will be a day to complete checkout
procedures and celebrate our fulfilling summer together. You may depart camp on Thursday morning, August 15 2013 after you have completed your sign-out form. You will also receive your paycheck at this time. If you cannot stay until 9:00 a.m. on August 15th, you should speak to your atr in advance. If you leave early, you will be docked pay as indicated in the staff agreement. There will be only one staff bus from camp, leaving on Thursday, August 15, at 9:00 a.m. traveling to the Jewish Theological Seminary in Manhattan. PACKING (Clothing) Ramah is a religious community. One of the ideals that we try to uphold is that of modesty (,uhbm). Modesty is a concept in Judaism that embraces more than just clothing. The way we dress reflects how we view ourselves. We want to show our campers that we respect ourselves and our bodies. Therefore, staff and campers are not allowed to wear clothing that: • Advertises alcoholic beverages. • Advertises cigarettes. • Promotes marijuana or any other illegal substance. • Has inappropriate messages. • Promotes bigotry. As a way of showing modesty at camp, these dress regulations have been developed: • Sleeveless tops should least 3 adult finger widths on the shoulder. • Shabbat clothes must cover the shoulders. • Underwear must not be visible (men and women). • Bra straps must not show. • No bare-midriffs, see-through tops, “low-rider” pants, mini-skirts, leggings, halter tops or backless tops should be worn.
(Shabbat Clothing) All staff members need to be especially mindful of ,ca clothing. On Shabbat, staff members are expected to dress modestly and appropriately both for Friday night and Shabbat morning services. Most weeks, the entire camp davens together on Friday nights. On these weeks, everyone is expected to wear a white top that conforms to camp’s standard of modesty. Staff may not wear jeans on Friday night nor on Shabbat morning.
Locks Those non-bunk staff members who would like to use a lock on their room door should bring one to camp with them. Camp reserves the
right to enter any room at any time during the summer. While the privacy of individuals at camp is a value that we teach and respect, the needs of the community supercede the needs of the individual. If the health or safety of campers or other staff indicates a need, belongings including one’s car may be searched and/or inventoried. Linens Staff members living in North America should bring their own linens, pillows, and blankets. We will provide linens for those staff members that live outside of North America. FORMS All of the important forms listed below are available on your dashboard when you login as staff at www.ramahberkshires.org. No one can work without a signed contract, a properly filled out W-4 and I-9 (including proper supporting documentation), a medical form, and a voluntary disclosure form. Contract Please read your contract carefully. Note the dates that you are expected to arrive at and leave camp. If you choose to leave before the end of your contract, or if you are terminated for cause, your pay will be reduced by liquidated damages of 25% and you will receive a prorated share of the remainder. If you cannot work for the entire period shown on your contract, you must let us know now. W-4 This form is used to determine how much will be withheld from your paycheck for federal and state income taxes. If you wish to claim exemption from withholding, be sure to write the word “EXEMPT” in Box 7. This form must be resubmitted annually. I-9 This form is required by the Department of Homeland Security to verify your identity and your eligibility to work. Please complete and sign Section 1. You must include a scanned copy of a document from List A OR a document from both List B and List C. An example of a document from List A is a passport. Examples of documents from List B and List C include a combination of a driver’s license and social security card. Please follow the instructions per the email letter that accompanied your contract and the form itself. Voluntary Disclosure Form We are committed to the safety of the campers we serve. This form was developed and is approved by the American Camp Association as a staff screening tool for camps. Medical Forms Your employment is subject to certification of your health. Before you arrive at camp, you must submit a signed medical certificate for yourself, and, if applicable, for your children who accompany you. If you do not do so, camp will deduct $50 from your paycheck and require you to submit to an examination by the
camp physician. If you need additional forms, please log onto our website or e-mail email@example.com with any questions.
Working at Ramah Berkshires has been an invaluable tool in my personal growth. During the summer I learned about my potential for affecting the lives of young Jewish campers. I had to learn to not only be responsible for myself, but for the campers in my care as well. Our tzevet worked hard to create educational, fun and worthwhile programming for our edah and we always had to make sure that our behavior reflected that of good Jewish role-models. A big part of the Ramah experience for staff members is being able to form significant relationships with campers, and after a summer of learning and growing together, this is almost always achieved. For me, the best moment of the summer was when my chanichim thanked me for creating wonderful programs for our bunk and told me that their summer was terrific mostly because of their counselor and the work I put in. Day in and day out, being a counselor is a challenging role but the rewards are truly priceless. It is one of the only jobs in the world where you can see the fruits of your labor first-hand and giving another generation of Jewish campers unbelievable experiences is a wonderful feeling. I owe so much to Camp Ramah because not only have they given me memories that are amazing from my years as a camper but after working with this organization I have learned a tremendous amount about myself. —Amy Winiker- Camper, Counselor, and Rosh Edah
(Staff Programming) There are a full range of activities for staff during evening hours, including sushi night, drive-in movies, roller-skating, Al Hagova nights (caving, rock climbing, etc), and lectures. If you have any ideas for the upcoming summer, please contact Andrew Belinfante at firstname.lastname@example.org. Every Thursday, there will be an “in-night” when all staff members are expected to participate in the staff crg ,kugp and are not permitted to leave camp. On these nights, as well as other nights of the week, there will be free food available for staff.
(Canteen) The staff canteen is located in the ,uum iusgun. The canteen will be open for extended hours from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and from 10:00 p.m. to midnight on Thursdays. The canteen has great food choices at great inexpensive prices. Occasionally, there will be nights when everything in the canteen will
cost 25¢! Staff is welcome to use the canteen next to the iye og ,hc as well. It is open during most afternoons. If there are campers at the canteen, please let them be served first. Trash cans and recycling receptacles are located throughout camp for any wrappers and cans.
sunhk (Staff Learning) Everyone studies at camp during the summer.
In addition to vfrsv sessions, staff participates in Torah Lishma sessions. These sessions are held on a weekly basis.
vapuj hnh (Days Off)
Each full-summer staff member is entitled to six 24-hour days off during the season. Each full-summer staff member working in Bogrim, Machon, or Gesher will be entitled to five days off during the season. Fours of these days will be 24-hours off and the fifth day off can last up to 36-hours. Any staff member who is not working in these three edot may choose to forego his or her sixth day off in order to take one 36-hour day off. Days off will begin on Sunday night, July 28th, 2013. All days off must be taken by Thursday, August 8th. Mondays and Thursdays are days off for counselors and junior counselors; specialists and teachers are off on Wednesdays. Hanhallah members will take off as arranged with Rabbi Resnick. Days off that are not used during the summer season will be forfeited Before you leave on your day off, you must sign out of camp with your atr/ Upon return at the end of the day, you must report to and sign in with your atr. PLAN FOR TRAFFIC!
(Counselors and Junior Counselors) begin their day off either on Sunday or Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. and end it the following day at 5:00. ohgumen ofhrsn (Specialists) and ohrun (teachers) may leave on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.; their day off ends 24 hours later on Wednesday at 6:30. These exact times may be subject to change. Those who arrive late will be “docked” hours, hour per hour, from their next day off. Occasionally, the need will arise for extenuating personal, family or college circumstances. Please fill out the extenuating circumstances dayoff form and discuss your situation with Rabbi Resnick or Rabbi Roth
before arriving at camp. Pay will be prorated accordingly. Leaving Camp During the Day and at Night The Hanhallah is responsible for the entire community, campers and staff alike. We must know whether you are in camp or out of camp. Additionally, we must ensure that we have the proper amount of staff in camp at any given time. Tzevet may leave camp during the day once a week on Tuesdays and Fridays between the hours of 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. only with the permission of their rosh. As in the past, you need to sign in and out of camp during the day at the front gate. Staff may leave camp at night as noted below. Thursday nights will continue to be “in-nights” and staff may not leave camp during Shabbat. Shmira The Hanhallah is responsible for the entire community, campers and staff alike. We must know whether you are in camp or out of camp. Additionally, we must ensure that we have the proper amount of staff in camp at any given time. Tzevet may leave camp during the day once a week on Tuesdays and Fridays between the hours of 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. only with the permission of their rosh. As in the past, you need to sign in and out of camp during the day at the front gate. Tzevet may leave camp at night as noted below. Thursday nights will continue to be “in-nights” and staff may not leave camp during Shabbat. Curfew A curfew is established to ensure proper supervision of all campers and to ensure that staff members are well rested so that they can be aware, alert and properly responsive to campers’ needs. One person from every other bunk, will be required to do shmira between two bunks each night. All bunk staff will be required to sign in and out with the Rosh Shmira. Non-bunk staff will be included in the shmira rotation to ensure proper supervision at night. During the week, staff who leave camp need to return to camp by 12:30 a.m. under all circumstances. On Saturday night, staff also must return by 12:30 a.m. Proper coverage in camp needs to be maintained at all hours. You may be around camp until 12:45 a.m., at which time you must sign in with the Rosh Shmira and proceed directly to your bunk/staff housing unit. You cannot be in somebody else’s sleeping quarters. "
Bus Duties On the first and last days of camp, all staff members will receive assignments to help with the moving process. If you are interested in traveling on the camper buses, please contact Adina Rothman (Operations Manager) when you arrive at camp. Housing You will receive your housing assignment when you arrive at camp. Whether you live in a camper bunk or staff housing, please remember that it is your responsibility to keep your area neat and clean. We also need to keep the public areas of the building clean. The Dutchess County Department of Health and camp administration have the right to inspect every room in camp during the summer, even without the staff member present. Sleeping Quarters Staff members are housed either in camper bunks or in staff housing. To conform with health and safety standards, bunk staff may need to sleep in bunk beds so that there is sufficient space for counselors and campers. To respect the privacy of campers and staff, members of one gender are not allowed in bunks of the opposite gender. Staff Buildings Campers are not allowed in the ,uum iusgun' ihgn or staff housing at any time during the summer. We have this rule so that staff members have places in camp that they can call their own. To ensure that they are kept clean and neat at all times, there will be a rotation in which every staff will be responsible for the upkeep of the ,uum iusgun and the ihgn. Guests and Visitors To have a guest in camp at any time, please speak with the guest coordinator. To maintain a safe environment for everyone at camp, guests will receive a form of Ramah identification that they must wear while they are in camp. Guests cannot stay in staff housing at any time. Overnight guests are permitted on Shabbat only, and only when arranged with the guest coordinator.
The “NO’s” of Camp
Abuse The issue of child abuse has been on the agenda of educators and parents for many years. Children speak out more today and are, therefore, better protected than years past. New laws regulating adult-child interactions have been written because society is more concerned about caring for the most vulnerable members of our adult-centered society.
Because the camp environment provides the setting for close 24-hour contact between campers and staff, it is particularly important to be aware of issues of abuse. These relationships are encouraged, nurtured, and often form the backbone of the Ramah experience. With such closeness, special care must be taken and sound judgment should be used to avoid even the slightest appearance of impropriety. Such improper conduct, or abuse, falls under five main categories. If any staff member is suspected of any of these types of abuse, it is grounds for immediate dismissal. • Physical Abuse – NEVER, under any circumstances, should a staff member lay a hand on a camper – either as a serious consequence or as a playful gesture. Such gestures can be subject to many interpretations. Even the most playful of “nugies” may leave a blackand-blue mark. One can argue it leaves an emotional scar as well. If you feel yourself getting angry, walk away, find a yoetz(et) or supervisor, count to ten, run a few laps around camp...But NEVER, NEVER touch a child. Psychological/Emotional Abuse – (i.e., “If you don’t make your beds by the time I count to three, you’re going to bed early for the next three nights,” or “If I hear you making noise before my alarm goes off in the morning, there will be serious consequences!”). This common form of “punishment” can make a camper fear and distrust a staff member rather than build the kind of trust and comfort required in the intimate bunk setting. Be careful of threats, jokes, and of the way you speak to both campers and fellow staff members. Verbal Abuse – Working at camp is a tough job. At some point during the summer, campers will push you to your limits. Walk away. Never yell, curse, scream, or threaten a camper. Yelling and cursing may help you let off steam, but it only communicates a message of being out of control. As with psychological/emotional abuse, the scars, though invisible, last a long time. Sexual Abuse – Romantic and/or sexual relationships between staff and campers are grounds for dismissal. It is crucial to the legal and professional functioning of camp that this line is never crossed. Each staff member is responsible for his/her actions and the possible implications of those actions. Avoid putting yourself in a one-to-one situation with a camper that may be delicate or one that might easily be taken out of context (e.g., sleeping in their bed, showering alone with them, etc.). Finally, be careful not to use suggestive language. Neglect – This fifth type of abuse is often left off the “list,” but it is
perhaps the most often perpetrated. There will be campers with whom you will immediately “bond” and those with whom you might require a little more time to become close. All campers deserve equal time. With a little extra effort, you will find special and positive traits in every child. One needs to make a conscious effort to work with every kind of camper. Neglect is often an unintentional form of abuse, but it can be just as damaging as the previous four. Your supervisor and/or yoetz(et) can help you work through difficult situations. Always think before you act. Ask yourself these questions: Is this appropriate behavior? Think about the child’s parent on one of your shoulders and the Director on the other. Would you still behave this way? Would I want someone to do this to me or my children?
Alcohol and Drugs In New York state, it is illegal for people under the age of 21 to consume alcohol anywhere, at anytime. Drinking while employed by Camp Ramah in the Berkshires is prohibited at all times in camp as well as outside of camp. It is forbidden to give/sell alcohol to any camper. You will be dismissed if you are found possessing or under the influence of alcohol. Marijuana, narcotic, and hallucinogenic drugs, including stimulants and depressants, are forbidden in camp at any time. Also prohibited is possession of any other substances that are forbidden by law or any prescription medication without an appropriate current prescription. You will be dismissed if you are found possessing or under the influence of any illegal substance. Every staff member is expected to be a model for the camp, and even attending social gatherings where you are aware of the illegal use of substances puts you and the camp’s reputation at risk. If reasonable suspicion of use arises a staff member may be asked to submit to a drug and/or alcohol test. The use of alcohol and/or drugs at the above times, or even the suspicion of use, violates the trust we have in you, and may result in immediate disciplinary action up to and including termination as determined by the Camp Director or Associate Director.
(B’tzelem Elohim) At the foundation of Judaism is the idea that each human being is created oheukt okmc — In the image of God. At camp, this value is expressed in the way we dress and in the way we speak and act towards one another. Sensitivity, patience, respect, and compassion are expected of every member of the Ramah staff.
Certain norms in secular society challenge the notion that we are created oheukt okmc. Societal trends such as tattoos and body piercing negate the underlying Jewish value that our bodies are to be viewed as gifts on loan from God, entrusted in our care. While most agree that body piercing is not prohibited by Halacha (Jewish Law), it is strongly discouraged if taken to the extreme. Earrings are permitted in camp. No other body piercings are allowed. Any other kinds of rings or piercing must be removed before arrival at camp. Inappropriate Sexual Behavior The camp leadership realizes the importance of relationships in camp. After all, a Ramah relationship can last a lifetime! However, inappropriate romantic activity is not permitted. Discretion should be upheld in any kind of relationship. NO public displays of romantic affection should be seen in camp. One of the greatest parts of campers and counselors living together is the trusting environment created. However, there is always the risk that the boundary between counselors and campers may become blurred. Therefore staff should never share with their campers any details of their own private romantic experiences. Sexual Harassment Sexual harassment will not be tolerated. Sexual harassment is a violation of federal and state law. Sexual harassment is defined as sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or visual, verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: Submission to such conduct is made a term or condition of employment. Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting the individual. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an employee’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment. Please speak with Rabbi Resnick or Rabbi Perten if there is an incident that needs attention. Medication In accordance with New York State law, no medication of any kind can be kept in campers’ bunks. Medications may be kept in the Marp (Infirmary), the secure lockers in the Moadon, or a supervisor’s area. This includes all prescription and non-prescription (over-thecounter) drugs. The Marp carries a variety of over-the-counter drugs that are available for staff if needed. Smoking IS NEVER ALLOWED IN ANY BUILDING IN CAMP AT ANY TIME. Every building in camp is made of wood and every
precaution must be taken to avoid a dangerous situation. Smoking cigarettes is permitted only after 9:00 p.m. in the designated smoking area near the bus road parking lot. Cigarette butts must be disposed of properly. Smoking is never permitted on Shabbat. Weapons Real or toy weapons of any kind are not allowed in camp. These include knives of all kinds (pocket, Swiss Army), Beebee guns, or any other type of gun. We feel that their presence is not conducive to the environment we try to create at Ramah. This includes water-guns. Should one of your campers bring a water-gun to camp, please label it with the camper’s name and take it to the main office where it will be stored until the end of the summer. Other “Portable Devices” Devices forbidden in camper bunks include: televisions, hot pots, coffee makers, refrigerators, airconditioners and sandwich makers. Campers and staff members have received first and second degree burns due to some of these devices. Digital Cameras There are many opportunities to capture memories from the summer. Because of the ability to post and share pictures so readily, we need to ensure that that all picture-taking with any cameras, in particular digitial cameras, is done respectfully. Please make sure that cameras are used in an appropriate manner. Social Networking Websites We are proud that camp is not just a two-month experience; we are a year-round community. Campers and staff maintain connections year-round and make each of us count down the days from one summer to the next. The blessings of technology make this easy. However, be mindful of the visual and written content of social networks (Facebook, IM, weblogs, Youtube etc.). Because all of these venues are in the public domain, do not publish things that could be interpreted as inappropriate or offensive (foul language, alcohol/drugs, immodesty, etc.). On Monday, June 3, you will receive a special form to fill out that details this further including your agreement to not publish such material during the time you are employed by Camp Ramah in the Berkshires.
II Money “Cents”
Reimbursements No one will be reimbursed for purchases without prior approval. All purchasing must be done through the ;bgqvsg atr, the zfrn, the ihgn atr or the ohjnun atr/ Receipts MUST accompany requests for reimbursement.
Lockers For safekeeping, staff may store items of value in the lockers in the Moadon. Camp Ramah in the Berkshires is not responsible for any valuables that you bring to camp. Salary Advances Staff may get one advance from their salary, not exceeding half of the amount they have accrued. (For example, if your salary is $1,500 and you request an advance after one-third of the summer, you will be able to receive no more than half of $500, or $250.) A form is available from the bookkeeper. Requests for advances take one week. Please plan ahead. The deadline for advances is July 20, 2013. Advances are not available after July 20, 2013. All advances must be approved by Rabbi Resnick or Rabbi Perten. Lost paychecks You will be charged $30 for replacing a lost paycheck to cover bank fees.
(Dining Room) An important concept in Judaism is that the table is likened to the sacrificial altar of the Temple. We strive to make the dining experience as pleasant as possible. Please help us achieve this goal. Under the direction of the Commissary Manager, Aby Laznik, we serve ‘family-style’ meals. All staff with pre-camper age children and most non-bunk staff eat on the staff porch. There are multiple shifts for each meal. Breakfast on ,ca and Wednesdays (ws ouh) is served a half-hour later than during the week. Please be on time for meals. Arriving late causes undue hardship. It is very difficult to be properly prepared for each shift if people arrive late. The members of the kitchen staff work under very challenging conditions. They are a very friendly, amicable group, however, we want to show .rt lrs to them as fellow staff. Non-bunk staff generally eats on the staff porch except on ohfhrsn days off. Non-bunk staff should expect to sit with bunks at lunch when additional coverage is needed at meals (i.e. days off, Jr. and Sr. Counselor lunches, etc.). There is no assigned seating on the staff porch, but please fill up a table as you enter. That is, do not sit at an empty table when another table has empty seats, so there is sufficient seating for the next shift. Please cooperate with this so that the correct food quantities can be prepared.
Non-bunk staff members are free to eat any shift. However, please try to eat at the same shift each day to help us cut down on wasted food. Meals begin when thmunv ,frc is recited by the campers. No food is served before then. When the meal is concluded, please “bus” your table. All leftover food and serving utensils must be cleared and benches placed on the tables. Any staff member who has a special dietary requirement or restriction should speak with Aby so that arrangements may be made. We will try our best to accommodate everyone, but we are limited in what can be done. Salad bars will continue to be featured at most meals, and pasta will be placed on all tables prior to the start of lunch. Most nights, there will be a hot bar (generally soup or pasta) at dinners. SERVICES Facilities We are fortunate to have a dedicated and professional facilities staff. These people report directly to Jason Smalley, our Facilities Manager. If you have any maintenance or housekeeping needs, complete a request form in the front office. Requests for repairs are picked up frequently during the day. Please be patient and reasonable; requests for repairs are handled as expeditiously as possible. If you have any questions, please speak to our Business Manager. In the event that you have a stuffed toilet, rather than filling out a form, please call “0” and the front office staff will take down the necessary information. Please do not ask the facilities staff directly for any requests. This will only hamper the smooth functioning of camp.
(Infirmary) Camp maintains a fully staffed and supplied infirmary. ,uthrc ,uga (sick call) are conducted daily for nonemergencies. On Saturday, a ,uhtrc ,ga is conducted after vkscv. Someone is always available at the vtprn for emergencies. (Mercaz) Mail, newspapers, and general cleaning supplies can be picked up at the Mercaz. Cleaning supplies include toilet paper, brooms, sponges, and cleanser.
(Laundry) Camper laundry is sent out to a laundry service seven times during the summer. The laundry is generally returned the next day. There are two laundry rooms for staff use, one on wt vbjn and one on wc vbjn/ The machines cost $1 per wash and $1 per dry. Please
do not do any camper’s laundry. Change, in quarters, is available in the front office. COMMUNICATION Mail letters at the zfrn. Mail is brought to the post office Monday through Friday and is distributed after lunch Sunday through Friday. oh,rcj ofhrsn are expected to bring their campers’ mail to the zfrn once every day except Shabbat, preferably in the afternoon. Mail must be properly addressed with proper postage affixed. Mail of a suspicious nature will not be delivered. (Newspapers) As a service to the staff community, daily delivery of The New York Times is available. If you have any questions, please speak with our Operations Manager. The papers will be available at the zfrn before lunch.
(Telephone usage) There are white phones outside the front office and in the ,uum iusgun that you may use to call toll-free numbers. These phones cannot receive phone calls from outside camp. You can use calling cards, available for sale with excellent domestic and international rates with toll-free access numbers to place calls from these phones. You may not use office phones for private use even if you use a calling card. Don’t give out the camp phone number for private calls; they will not be put through. The switchboard is open from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily (world time), except for ,ca. On Friday, the switchboard closes at 6:00 p.m. (world time) and opens for an hour after ,ca. There is an answering service for emergency messages at all times.
,uum iusgun/ Cell phones should not ever be used in front of campers nor
should staff members be walking around using their cell phones in camp. Computers are available for e-mail in the ,uum iusgun. The computers in the main office are for use only by the office staff. (Hamodia) This is the daily newsletter. It contains very important information. It is used as a vehicle of communication between the administration and the staff. Please read it carefully. Some of the information in the ghsun should be shared with the campers. If you
Cell phones can only be used in or on the back porch of the
would like to have something appear in the ghsun, please see the ghsun coordinator by lunch the day before you want the information to appear. (Hashavuah) This is the weekly announcement paper. It contains general information and events that will be taking place throughout the week. It is distributed on Thursdays.
(Time) Camp runs on “camp time” the entire summer, one hour earlier than Eastern time (called in camp “world time”). 7:00 camp time is 8:00 world time.
Train Pick-Up/Drop-Off A camp driver will make one morning and one evening run to the Wingdale train station on the days posted in the front office. If you need a ride to the train station, please sign up at least 24-hours in advance in the main office. Don’t assume that the run is always available or that you will be picked up automatically in the evening; you must sign up in advance. If you miss the run, please call the office as soon as possible so that the driver can be notified.
There will be a new security policy instated for the 2013 summer. The details of the new policy will be outlined during staff week.
THE DAILY PROGRAM Campers are exposed to a wide variety of activities in camp. We aim to provide each camper with an exciting program of Jewish learning and general recreational and cultural activities. wt vbjn campers can participate in many different activities in the arts as well as in sports and at the waterfront. wc vbjn campers may individualize their program so that they can spend more time in activities at which they excel. The program affords most campers the chance to make decisions about the kinds of recreational and cultural activities in which they wish to participate. For those of you who are new to camp, it is important to realize that Ramah offers a vast array of activities for campers. During a single day at camp, a child might swim, play softball and basketball, finish a woodworking project, learn a song in Hebrew and still find time to write
a letter home! Campers and staff share in the responsibility of participating in the programs to ensure their success. Camp days are very intense. From the time the children wake up in the morning to the time they go to sleep, they are constantly on the go. We are confident that you will reap the benefits of your hard work, as you witness the growth of your campers and of yourself while you experience the “ruach” that can only come from a summer at Camp Ramah. We look forward to working with you to create the type of dynamic, exciting program that ensures camper participation and enriches all of our Jewish lives. A typical day at camp includes: • vkhp, – age appropriate morning prayer • iuheb – bunk clean-up • yrupx – a choice of basketball, soccer, tennis, etc. • ,uhbnt – a choice of arts activities, including: vnrs where performance helps teach Judaism, iujcyn (kitchen/baking) food preparation is used to teach different Jewish holidays, ,uraf, nutrition, and vesm. vehxun teaches songs that enhance and strengthen campers’ commitment to Jewish life, Israel and the Hebrew language. • vhja – swim twice a day, vhhja iunht (instructional swim) and ,hkkf vhhja (free swim). • Supervised free time • crg ,kugp (evening activity) planned by the edah staff • ;hrm ,kugp (bunk activity) planned by the bunk staff, often with camper participation Other activities include vcudv kg (outdoor adventure), Camp’s outdoor education and adventure program which offers caving, biking, hiking, ropes course, zipline, and rock climbing. Additionally, madrichim teach their own hobbies during the campers’ Bechira period.
(T’fillot) Everyone in camp, counselors, live-ins, and nonbunk staff alike, is required to attend ,hrja. The only exception is made for single camp parents who have young children. When two spouses are in camp, though, one should be at ,ukhp,. If the parent’s children are of camper age, the staff member is expected to be at ,ukhp,. The time for vjbn is announced in the ghsun. ,hcrg ,khp, is recited by all ,usg on wc vbjn/
In the ,usg of campers who are pre-bar/bat mitzvah age, there is one ihbn for the vsg. Boys and girls have the opportunity to participate equally. There are two ohbhbn for ohkkux and ohrduc and an additional two for iufn and rad on Torah reading days. Shacharit is recited as a ;hrm on non-Torah reading days. In the two different minyanim for each edah, only males assume the leadership roles in one and women and men assume equal leadership roles in the other. We attempt to create an environment where everyone in camp can be comfortable with ,ukhp,. All minyanim need proper supervision; while you might have an interest in a particular one, you may need to attend the minyan that a Rosh assigns. Our scholars-in-residence and Rabbi Resnick are available to discuss this issue. ,hc ouka is a guiding principal regarding the creation of any of our policies regarding ,ukhp,. Please remember to bring extra kippot and put your name in your tallit and tefillin bags.
A summer at Ramah is an opportune time to explore your Jewish identity and to strengthen your own religious commitment. While people hold to different levels of observance regarding ,ca, at camp, we want everyone to feel comfortable. With everyone’s cooperation and active participation, ,ca will continue to be one of the most spiritual and rewarding aspects of the Ramah experience. During Staff Week, we will discuss the details of how we achieve this so that the ,u,ca we spend together form wonderful memories for all of us!
,ca is a central component of the Ramah experience.
(Swimming) On most days, there is a staff swim period reserved for staff members to swim laps. All staff members who wish to use the waterfront must be tested by a waterfront staff member and receive a buddy tag. One cannot use any facility at the waterfront without his/her buddy tag. The rules of the waterfront have been formulated to insure the safety of the campers and staff. To help run a safe swimming program and to insure your own safety, you must follow all the rules and instructions of the waterfront staff. If you have any questions, please speak to the ohn atr. SAFETY PROCEDURES AT THE WATERFRONT Nobody is ever allowed at the waterfront or the beach without a waterfront staff member — at any time! 1. You must be tested to swim or take out a boat.
2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
Know the buddy system before you go swimming. You may not enter the water without your tag on the buddy board. Respond to all whistles at all times. Floating devices, fins, masks etc. are not allowed. PRE-CAMPER CHILDREN may only swim when accompanied by an adult. No use of waterfront equipment is allowed without waterfront permission. BOATING — No one is allowed in a boat without permission of the waterfront staff. Boating takes place during free swim except on ,ca. One must wear a life jacket properly in all boats. No shoes are permitted in the boats. Boaters must remain silent during buddy call. After boating, equipment must be returned properly. DOCK DUTY — Everyone is responsible for making sure that a safe environment is maintained at the waterfront at all times. Dock duty requires all bunk staff to help supervise at the waterfront during free swims. (ohn ,uum will provide more details about this during Staff Week).
(Ma’ayan) The Ma’ayan is a program center that provides resource materials for staff in planning and preparing their various ,ukugp (activities). The Rosh Maayan serves as a resource to help madirchim plan their peulot. Staff may also use the Ma’ayan computers to type up programs. Personal Growth Camp is a time that you, as a ,uum rcj' have the unique opportunity to grow personally. There are many opportunities for growth both spiritually and personally. Davening daily is an experience in which many Jews do not engage on a regular basis. Another is the chance to experience and live a camp Shabbat. For many staff members, camp is their only shomer Shabbat community. During the summer, there are also opportunities to learn new skills or practice old ones. There are times when staff can do art, woodworking, pottery, the rock wall, Jewish learning, Hebrew ulpan and many of the same activities that the campers enjoy. (Hebrew) Hebrew is the language of our people. It binds Jews throughout the world together as one people. At camp, we aim to create a Hebrew speaking environment. Many of our campers who attend day schools know how to speak Hebrew and certainly understand Hebrew very well. What can you do? All of us can try to use Hebrew more often. We should
try to use more Hebrew at meals, during nikayon, on the sports fields, and in general. Try to think of ways to use Hebrew more, irrespective of your level and ability. This is also a great way to involve our Israeli staff members. Please consult the list of commonly used Hebrew words at the end of the handbook to help prepare you for camp. While it is impossible to include every word that would be useful to you, becoming familiar with these words before you arrive at camp will enhance your ability to use Hebrew during the camp day.
Families in Camp
As a staff parent, it is wonderful to be immersed in camp life and experience firstthand what makes camp so special. This has enabled me to relate to my own children’s experiences with a unique perspective. As a family, we are able to share stories about camp activities and events. Living in this beautiful place, away from the usual pressures of everyday life during the school year, is rejuvenating and is a magical part of the summer for me. There is something very powerful abuot sharing a space as a kehillah where we can focus on each other through activities which open doors to new friendships, new discoveries and new accpmplishments for both campers and staff. (Of course, gettting a break from cooking every night is also an enormous treat!). As an educator, my favorite setting in which to teach is informal. I have experienced a great deal of growth from this opportunity, and value the time I spend here honing my skills. I also cherish the time I have for reflection, and the chance to study with other teachers and rabbis to further my own learning. I feel privilveged to be in the role of a staff parent, and to have a part in creating the nurturing environment that my children and I call home for seven weeks (and my husband on weekends) during the summer. The memories we create keep us warm all throughout the off-season! —Wendy Rosen, Rosh Teva, 2008-present, Mother of Sara, (Gesher ‘11) and Jonah (Bogrim ‘12)
A “camp family” consists of one or both parents working in camp whose children are campers or pre-campers. There are approximately 30 families in camp each summer. Staff members with children are hired for their skills and because families add a special dimension to the camp environment. They add valuable life experience. Some of our staff has been at Ramah for more than ten years. They exhibit themselves as positive role models of the Conservative Movement for the campers and the younger staff. Of course, being part of the camp community poses special concerns and challenges. It is expected that everyone in camp “lives by the rules,” including all family members (this includes spouses who visit for the weekend). For example, everyone follows the rules at the waterfront and waits in line at the canteen. Everyone in camp contributes to the community. Being a part of this
greater camp community means that one is “on” all the time, always ready and willing to contribute to the betterment of camp. In camp, “9 to 5” jobs do not exist; there is no such thing as “I’m not on,” or “It’s not my job.” A staff member at Ramah serves in many roles. For example, everyone in camp is expected to give Divrei Torah or harga’ot and participate in ,ca activities if asked. Being A Camper Parent Last summer, there were more than 40 campers whose parents were working in camp. In a sense, these children have the best of both worlds. They are regular campers and they get to see their parents regularly. Sometimes this puts undue pressure on the youngster’s staff. Parents need to be very sensitive in dealing with their child’s staff. Use the regular channels of communication that any nonresident parent would use. For example, if you think there is a problem, please talk to the vsg atr or .guh, and not directly to the counselor. ohfhrsn, vsg hatr, ohmguh and others in camp try to treat “staff kids” like every other child. The expectation is that parents will do the same. This will make the summer more enjoyable for your child and for the staff. Childcare Families with pre-camper age children are offered the option to have a babysitter, on a part-time basis, from members of our European kitchen staff. Families arrange this through the office before the summer. Camp does not permit teenage babysitters. Please discuss any specific needs with the Rabbi Ari Perten as soon as possible. Camp-Wide Activities At camp-wide activities such as the vhrnz and plays, please pay special attention to pre-camper age children who might wander away. (Chadar Ochel) The way the dining room functions is described in the section under “staff life.” The following are additional guidelines for families with young children: 1. No food or utensils may be brought into or taken out of the dining room. 2. Baby food/formula must be approved by the mashgiach. Most baby formula is dairy, so please do not use it during a meat meal in the dining room. 3. Baby carriages/strollers are not allowed in the dining room because we maintain clear exit and entranceways in case of an emergency. 4. Keep a watchful eye on your children at all times. This will help ensure everyone’s safety. 5. Make sure your child is properly dressed. 6. Pre-camper children may not carry trays in the Chadar Ochel, nor
should they enter the kitchen during meals. Pre-camper children will eat breakfast and dinner with their families and lunch with ohrcj or id.
Family Charges There is a National Ramah Commission scale for family charges that you should discuss with Rabbi Resnick or Rabbi Perten. Unless you have made alternative arrangements, all balances are due before camp begins. (Gan) The id is run between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. for children (who are toilet trained) three to six years of age. Please bring your child to the B-side pagoda on the boys’ circle by 8:45 a.m. and wait for the ganenot to arrive. Children should not be left unattended. The id is held every day except ,ca and Wednesday (when it is a day off). During the day, children in the id experience a variety of activities such as arts and crafts, music, woodworking, dance, and sports. There is also a swim period. Each child should bring a “day bag” that includes a towel, bathing suit, sun hat, and sunscreen. Children receive a light snack in the late morning and eat lunch first shift supervised by the id ,uum. On days like yrupx ouh, ctc wy etc. there will be a special schedule. During Staff Week, the ganenot will pass out a sheet to confirm id times. Please refer to the ghsun for details regarding the daily program.
(Haverim) ohrcj is the program for staff children entering second and third grades. The ohrcj program runs from 8:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily except Shabbat and Wednesday. There will be one staff member who will be the counselor for this group of children. Parents working in camp who have children entering fourth grade have the option of enrolling their children in ohcfuf for either the first or the second session. As there is no full-season option in ohcfuf, these children may join ohrcj for the other four weeks.
Visiting Spouses Many families have spouses who visit for the weekend. It is important that all members of the camp community abide by the rules of camp. Spouses are welcome at all staff activities and are expected to make themselves part of the camp community. Spouses should get a camp ID card at the front office. There will be meetings during staff week to review specific policies regarding family life and children in camp.
(Mikvah) If you have any questions regarding Mikvah use,
please speak to the Rosh Mayim.
Preparing for Camp
Thank you in advance for all of your hard work this summer. We cannot wait for the summer to begin. As you begin to think about Kayitz 2013, here are some ideas that should help get you ready for a terrific experience working at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires. • Gather books, stories, articles, materials and games that can be used for programs at camp. Bring them with you. • Think about skills you have that you would like to share with the camp or teach campers i.e. sign language, craft projects, outdoor skills. • If you are a madrich(a), read some materials about the age group with which you will work and literature about the job you will be doing. Give some thought to: o Fun things to do on ,ca o Ways of using and learning Hebrew o How we can make Israel meaningful for our campers o In-camp bunk activities o Rainy-day activities During the month of June, madrichim of younger edot will call their campers to let them know who their counselors are. In addition, all madrichim will send postcards to their chanichim during Shavua Hachanah. Chanichim love to hear from their madrichim before the summer. We look forward to a wonderful summer of growth together. Please contact us with any additional questions that you have about this upcoming summer and how we can help your experience as a staff member at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires be a memorable one.
Hebrew Glossary —
People — ohabt
Camper (male/female) Specialist Specialists Counselor (male/female) Specialists who live in Bunks Teacher (male/female) Teachers Advisor (male/female) Programming director Director Associate Director A division of campers: Entering 4th grade Entering 5th grade Entering 6th grade Entering 7th grade Entering 8th grade Entering 9th grade Entering 10th grade Entering 11th grade Section “head” Division head Head of a specialty area Head of waterfront Head of sports Management Doctor Staff
vfhbjqlhbj vjnun ohjnun vfhrsnqlhrsn ,qh,rcj
(Hanich/Hanichah) (Mumcheh/chah/) (Mumchim) (Madrich/a Chevrati[t]) (Madrichim Miktzo’iim) (Moreh/ah) (Morim) (Yoetz/et) (Merakezet) (Menahel) (Sganit Menahel) (Edah) (Cochavim) (Nitzanim) (Shorashim) (Tzeirim) (Solelim) (Bogrim) (Machon) (Gesher) (Rosh) (Rosh Edah) (Rosh Anaf) (Rosh Mayim) (Rosh Sport) (Hanhallah) (Rofei) (Tzevet)
vrun ohrun ,mguhq.guh ,zfrn kvbn kvbn ,hbdx vsg ohcfuf ohbmhb oharua ohrhgm ohkkux ohrduc iufn rad atr vsg atr ;bg atr ohn atr yrupx atr vkvbv tpur ,uum
Places — ,unuen
Camp Dining Room Bunk Social Hall Lake Field Camp fire circle Canteen Infirmary Resource Center Library (Machane) (Hadar Ochel) (Tzrif) (Beit Am) (Agam) (Migrash) (Igul) (Hanutiah) (Mirpeah) (Ma’ayan) (Sifiriyah)
vbjn kftv rsj ;hrm og ,hc odt ardn kudg vh,ubj vtprn ihgn vhrpx vkugp crg ,kugp ;hrm ,kugp vsg ,kugp ws ouh vhrnz vhsuer vzjn vkhp, duj yrupx xhxc rusf kx rusf ;g rusf gcy vcudv kg ,ubnut ,uhbnt
Activity Evening activity Bunk activity Division activity Wednesday (Special Day) Song festival Dance festival Play Prayer Elective activities Sports Baseball Basketball Volleyball Nature Camping/Outdoor education Arts and Crafts Arts activities
(Peulah) (Peulat Erev) (Peulat Tzrif) (Peulat Edah) (Yom Daled) (Zimriyah) (Rekudiyah) (Machazeh) (Tefillah) (Chug) (Sport) (Kadoor Basis) (Kadoor Sal) (Kadoor Af) (Teva) (Al Hagovah) (Omanut) (Omaniyot)
Singing Dancing Drama Swimming Instructional swim Free swim Clean up Broom Dust pan Cookie Campfire Bedtime story Snack Meal Meals Breakfast Lunch Dinner Hebrew
(Shirah) (Rikud) (Dramah) (Sichiyah) (Imun Sichiyah) (Sichiyah Klallit) (Nikayon) (Metateh) (Ya’eh) (Ugiah) (M’durah) (Harga’ah) (Kibud) (Aruchah) (Aruchot) (Aruchat Boker) (Aruchat Tzohorayim) (Aruchat Erev) (Ivrit)
vrha suehr vnrs vhhja vhhja iunht ,hkkf vhhja iuheb tytyn vgh vhdug vrusn vgdrv suchf vjurt ,ujurt reuc ,jurt ohruvm ,jurt crg ,jurt ,hrcg
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