Camp Ramah in the Berkshires Masterplanning & Concept Design – Wingdale, NY

Camp Ramah in the Berkshires Masterplanning & Concept Design – Wingdale, NY

Sorensen Partners was Architect and Masterplanner for the 400-acre Wingdale, NY property of Camp Ramah in the Berkshires. The masterplanning goals were (1) to undertake a 10-year update to the organization’s previous masterplan; and (2) to set facilities goals that will allow the Camp Ramah Berkshire’s Strategic Plan to be accomplished.

Sorensen Partners’ role was to act as both Architect and Masterplanner. As Masterplanner, we collected and organized Camp Ramah Berkshire’s program goals; recommending facilities sites, roads and paths, landscape, and water/wastewater infrastructure improvements; and analyzing constraints and opportunities in conjunction with our sub-consultants CT Male (civil and wastewater) and Wolf Landscape (landscape architecture).

As Architect, we created conceptual designs for five programs within the Camp, including analyzing renovation versus new construction options.

Masterplanning Concepts were presented and discussed on site in Summer 2019.
Camp Ramah Berkshires overlooks beautiful Lake Ellis; our facilities planning looks to create closer connections between camp activities and the lakefront.

Stakeholder Engagement

Board Engagement for Camp Ramah in the Berkshires 400-AC Masterplan, Wingdale, NY. In 2019-2020, Sorensen Partners worked with leadership, staff, and board members of Camp Ramah in the Berkshires, a non-profit educational and religious organization that operates an outdoor overnight recreational facility in the New York Berkshires, to plan for architectural and site improvements aligning with the organization’s strategic plan. Our work began with detailed programming conference call meetings with stakeholders of each of the programs that are intended to undergo facilities growth or reshaping – including dining, medical services, housing, and disabilities inclusion program. We prepared agendas for each of these programming calls, convened the calls, and provided meeting notes at the end of each call. From these program notes, we created space program diagrams showing how each program would evolve as a result of the comments gathered from experts and facility operators. After programming these specific areas in depth, we worked with leadership, facilities staff, and a sub-committee of alumni with expertise in architecture, engineering, and facilities management to propose multiple alternative locations for new programs. Sorensen Partners developed three alternative masterplans, each one showing different locations for the major programs to be located. Over fifty members of the Camp Ramah board were invited to the property for a full-day meeting that included our presentation of all three plan versions, followed by an interactive discussion of each of the alternatives. During this Q&A period, Camp Ramah leadership, Sorensen Partners staff, and our landscape planning subconsultant each convened discussions and solicited feedback around one of the three masterplan options. Through further design planning refinement, additional architectural and engineering analysis, video conference calls, and discussions held after the in-person board meeting, a vote was held in January 2020 approving the masterplan.