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Successful Conclusion to 2013 NRC Spring Leadership Training Conference

“Every time I come to Winer, I feel like I’m getting an upgrade,” said Rafi Spitzer, Rosh Solelim this summer at Ramah New England. “I feel like I become Rafi 2.0.”

Ramah New England Hanhallah at the 2013 Spring Leadership Training Conference

Ramah New England Hanhallah at the 2013 Spring Leadership Training Conference

Rafi was not alone in this sentiment as the 2013 Spring Leadership Institute came to a close. “I feel excited,” explained Jon Weinreich, counselor at Ramah Berkshires. Jon is one of our 80 Daber fellows this summer, and after four days of intensive Hebrew speaking and training, he is pumped to take this new energy into Kayitz 2013. “This mission is very important to camp, and I feel prepared to help carry it out.”

It’s a wonderful sight to experience so many dedicated and talented Ramahniks in a single place, and it’s clear that everyone at the conference feels it. Marnie Wachs, Rosh Machon at Ramah Poconos, agrees that “it’s such a great opportunity to meet staff members from all the Ramah camps. I get to see what methodology and programming work well for all of them, and then apply them to the Poconos model.” Marnie and her fellow rashei edah spent many hours Wednesday and Thursday discussing best practices for time management, staff supervision, and the implementing of the Ramah vision. A panel of veteran rashei edah took some time to answer questions and share their secrets to optimizing the summer.

Kivun Teva Group 2013

Kivun Teva Group 2013

Our sports, teva, and archery specialists have finished the KIVUN program with a feeling of accomplishment as well. “I really appreciated the energy this week and everyone’s ability to learn and have fun,” said Sarah Hamburger from Ramah Darom, who participated in the sports track and was certified in archery. “This week was definitely beneficial to all of us here to gear up for instruction this summer.”

Lauren Levy, Director of Jewish Life at URJ’s 6 Points Sports Academy, agrees.  “On behalf of the URJ, many thanks to Camp Ramah for welcoming us into their beautiful home at Ramah New England.  Through KIVUN programming, specialists from both the Reform and Conservative movements were able to refine their technique in sports and nature, learn ways to infuse Jewish values, and have a lot of fun!  I hope this is just the beginning of a great partnership between our movements in the field of Jewish camping.  May we all have amazing summers!”

On Wednesday, the staff members representing the National Ramah Special Needs Network had the pleasure of spending some time with Marie Strazzulla, a young woman with Down syndrome, and a participant in the Post Voc-Ed program at Ramah New England. Marie, and her mother who accompanied her, discussed options for enhancing vocational education programming within the camps. “These programs are constantly developing,” explained David Abraham, Rosh Ezra (vocational education program) at Ramah California. “Coming here, and hearing speakers like Marie, is a way for us to improve our own skills and programming, while also teaching others who share our passion.”

Ramah Wisconsin Staff at the 2013 Spring Leadership Training Conference

Ramah Wisconsin Staff at the 2013 Spring Leadership Training Conference

And that’s truly the goal of this entire program: to teach and learn from those who share this passion for leading the Ramah Camping Movement. We’ve had fun, we’ve honed our skills, and we are ready to take this energy into Kayitz 2013!

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