Our Special Needs Program
In the spirit of inclusion, the Ramah Berkshires leadership recognized the need for an overnight camp experience for children with learning and social challenges. Breira B’Ramah (literally, A Choice within Ramah) was created to provide the magic of a Ramah summer in a supportive environment for children with special needs from across North America.
Breira B’Ramah is a four week inclusion program for campers with mild to moderate learning, social or emotional challenges, such as ADHD, high functioning autism, pragmatic, receptive and expressive language issues, and anxiety. This program is designed for campers entering fourth through seventh grades. However, once a camper is accepted into the program and reaches eighth grade, a recommendation may be made that a camper stay for the full summer. Campers live in bunks with typical campers and are integrated into all activities, guided by dedicated, trained staff. Campers in the Breira program receive assistance in the areas of social skills, conflict resolution, communication and frustration tolerance as well as support with organizational and sensory challenges.
The goals of the program are:
- To provide a place at Ramah for children of varying abilities and challenges within a mainstream camp setting
- To utilize feedback from campers and staff in order to increase self-awareness regarding personal hygiene, social responsibility, and social growth.
- To provide the necessary tools to enable Breira campers to strengthen their identity, observance and commitment to Judaism.
Each Breira camper is placed in a typical bunk. The bunk, in addition to the assigned counselors, is staffed with a third counselor specially selected and trained to support the Breira camper through coaching the camper and modifying the camp program as appropriate. The counselors are carefully chosen for their qualities of leadership, personal values and caring that enable them to relate to and motivate young people.
Throughout the summer, the Breira campers are part of the Camp Ramah environment, which encourages independence, social development and behavior awareness. During the summer, campers receive special support services designed to address their individual needs and capitalize on their strengths. Such supports aim at improving their self-esteem and better integrating them in the Camp community.
For more information on the Breira B’Ramah program, please contact Elizabeth Chipkin, Breira Director: firstname.lastname@example.org.