Dear Ranch Camp Alumni,
In my second summer as Director of Ranch Camp, I am still becoming familiar with the breadth of our history and the depth of the roots in our community. Nearly everyone I meet is familiar with Ranch Camp and everyone wants to share their connection. Every interaction underscores the weight of my role as Ranch Camp’s steward and inspires me to be at my best. As I look to the future of Ranch Camp, my goal is to enhance the things we do well and pursue innovation while preserving the ties to our 64-year history as a community institution.
By way of update, enrollment is way up after a summer of transition. 170 campers are joining us for their first summer as Ranch Campers, which is the largest number of first-timers on record. Grant funding for marketing, recruitment, and scholarships has expanded our enrollment from towns with small Jewish populations, and Denver’s Russian-Speaking Jewish Community.
For our second session, we introduced a model of “tracked” programming; campers in grades 5-8 registered for one of three tracks: Our traditional Equestrian (EQ) program, Field and Court Sports, Art and Design, or Outdoor Adventure. A “Beginner Horsemanship” program was open to grades 4-6 with the goal of seeding an expanded Equestrian program in the near future.
Last summer, we began a program to bring Jewish artists to Ranch Camp, with the goal of making Judaism more present. How do we convey our history and connection to Colorado’s Jewish community? Artist-In-Residence Lael Har worked with campers to produce a mural, which then had to be placed somewhere on site. After seeing it, it was clear that we wanted it to be seen by everyone upon entering camp, and we knew exactly where it should go.
As we plan for the future of the JCC Ranch, I look forward to connecting with more alumni. Our future depends on the willingness and ability of our alumni to preserve and enhance this community institution.
Noah Gallagher, Ranch Camp Director