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.
Our core values
- Gimilut Chasadim; Acts of Loving Kindness
- Kavod; Respect
- Acharayut; Responsibility
- Shituf Peulah; Cooperation
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 Current 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.
Noah joined Ranch Camp in 2016, starting a new step in a decade-plus long career in Jewish Camping.
I am a life-long camper. Before coming to Ranch Camp in 2016, I spent nearly every summer of my life at Jewish overnight camps in Wisconsin and New York. I was a camper, counselor, and assistant director before taking on the role of Director of Camp Young Judaea Midwest from 2008-2015. It’s my belief that Jewish camp is as critical to the future of the Jewish people as it is to a child’s sense of independence, identity, and strength of character.
Ryan joined Ranch Camp in 2016 from Putnam County, New York, and has grown up almost exclusively at camps. He attended Hillside Summer Camp from 1996 – 2002, and worked for their parent organization, Green Chimneys, for the next 13 years.
I started my work full-time in 2009 at Green Chimneys Clearpool Campus, in their outdoor education department; teaching environmental education to at-risk and underprivileged youth 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 empower others to never rest on their laurels and do the same.
Carly Coons, a Denver native, started at Ranch Camp in 2001 as a camper and quickly found her home away from home, spending nine summers as a camper and staff member. Carly rejoined the Ranch Camp team in her new role in the winter of 2018. She is excited to being working with this community again to shape and change the lives of children.
I am a Denver native and a proud Ranch Camp alum. My experience at Ranch Camp was life changing for me. It helped me to make incredible friends, shaped my Jewish identity, and inspired my career path. Needless to say, I have a great love for and special connection to camp.
Before joining the year round Ranch Camp team, I completed my Master of Social Work degree at Washington University in St. Louis. While in graduate school, I worked part time with the NFTY-Missouri Valley region, staffed the Israel Study Tour through JewishColorado, and led the URJ’s Pacific Northwest Mitzvah Corps program in Seattle. Prior to graduate school, I was the Director of Youth Engagement at Temple Sinai. Through all of these positions, I have had the opportunity to meet and work with many of our youth in the greater Denver area. I am excited to connect to new and old campers, staff, and alumni.
Gina McReynolds discovered the Ranch Camp in 2004 and has enjoyed roles in the corral, as summer admin staff and has held seasonal and year-round associate director positions since 2009.
My work at Ranch Camp has more profoundly affected my life then anything else in the world. Ranch Camp has influenced my personal life through friendships and connections. My professional life has been changed as Ranch Camp showed me the incredible importance of summer camp on youth. I believe that few things in life have the power to shape the journey of youth, define their character, foster their independent selves, and bring pure, unapologetic joy then summer camp. At Ranch Camp I have had the amazing opportunity to watch my campers grow up into creative, passionate adults, many of whom return for years as Ranch Camp staff members. I am grateful everyday for the opportunity to spend my summers out of doors, sharing my favorite place with campers, staff, families and alumni each summer.