JCC Ranch Camp is committed to providing a resident camping experience for youth that enables campers, staff and families to strengthen their Jewish identity, become more caring and responsible members of society, and connect with the natural world.
In fulfilling its mission, the JCC Ranch Camp provides:
- Innovative learning opportunities for children and staff members in an environment that challenges growth in mind, body, and spirit.
- A safe place for children to be cared for by qualified professionals, with a commitment to safety, supervision, customer service and Judaic programming.
- Opportunities for children and adults to experience a nurturing community based on Judaic values.
In addition to our program activities, the Ranch Camp strives to connect children — mind, body and spirit — to their Jewish heritage, Jewish community and to the natural world around them. The Ranch Camp provides children with spiritual and innovative Jewish programming, including:
- Kabbalat Shabbat services in our outdoor Pavilions
- Saturday morning services in beautiful Eddie’s Corner
- Musical Havdallah looking out over the front meadow
- Spirited Shabbat song sessions
- Israeli dance, music and culture
- Supervised Kosher Kitchen
Surrounded by nature and the warmth of old and new friends, campers experience Judaism as never before. Together they share Jewish rituals and traditions and better understand the special way in which we are all connected to one another – connections that will last a lifetime.
We seek to have campers access Judaism in a way that fits them best. We have special traditions that are both a part of Judaism as well as linked with the history of Ranch Camp. We incorporate our mentality of ‘challenge by choice’ into everything we do. Want to take part in lighting the Shabbos candles? Come up and join our staff, praying alongside them and maybe even getting to do the actual lighting! Want to lead a song for Shabbos services? Jump on stage and take part. We aim to weave Judaic values into every part of camp, getting campers to learn and appreciate an aspect of Judaism while having fun and bonding with new friends.
...One of the most amazing days at camp is Shabbbat. On Friday night we start to slow down. We gather as a camp community to enjoy an unforgettable service outside. This beautiful service is followed by a delicious meal shared together by the whole community. Then we sing and dance the night away outside under the Colorado sky...
Former Camper and Staff Member
Our staff is a big part of what makes Ranch Camp such a special community. From our year-round team to our summer staff, each person hired has a commitment to ensuring the emotional, physical, spiritual health, safety and well-being of each camper in our care.
JCC Ranch Camp staff attend on-site training from 10 – 17 days depending on their level of certification and job description.
Our general staff training includes: Child Abuse Reporting, Camper Care, Program Planning, Homesickness, Bullying Identification and Prevention, Cabin Management, CPR/First Aid, Emergency Procedures and Preparedness as well as lots of area specific training. We want to prepare them to focus on safety while facilitating strong, positive connections between their peer group!
When hiring staff, each applicant, whether they are new to our community or returning, participates in a personal interview. Staff members are also reference checked and background checked through multiple agencies.
Ryan joined Ranch Camp in 2016 from Putnam County, New York. He spent a majority of his youth in camping, attending and working at his childhood camp for a total of 23 years.
I started my work full-time in 2009 at Green Chimneys Clearpool Campus, in their outdoor education department; providing environmental education to at-risk, underprivileged populations from NYC. I served as the assistant director of their new, second summer camp, living my passion for creating unforgettable experiences for children from all walks of life.
For three years I’ve been blessed to be a part of the of the Ranch Camp family; it has had a profound impact on who I am as a person. Once disconnected from my Jewish identity, it has been fully reformed by the community at JCC Ranch Camp. It’s hard to put into words the magic and love the community at camp has for each other, and how everyone inspires everyone around them to be the best versions of themselves.
In the words of Seuss, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot” is the muse for my passion to create lasting and memorable experiences for campers, and to encourage others to never rest on their laurels and do the same.
Katelyn first joined the Ranch Community as a camper in 2007. She’s spent almost every summer at camp since then.
The summer after 4th grade my mom sent me to Ranch Camp for the first time. Having never been away from home for more than a night, I was terrified. But the moment I stepped out of the car onto the dirt parking lot at the camp office, I instantly knew that this was a place where I would become the best version of myself. Many years later, I get that same feeling every time I arrive at camp; only now I’m part of the team creating an inclusive environment enabling campers to create, learn, and thrive. I understand, firsthand, the importance of providing children with opportunities to reach their fullest potential, and the consequences if such opportunities are lost.
One of my camp mentors once told me that this is the most important work in the world and I wholehearted believe that it is.