Total eclipse of the camp: Ramah Darom’s solar Shabbaton

For the first time since 1979, a total solar eclipse will occur in the mainland United States, and right in the middle of the 70-mile-wide path of totality is Ramah Darom in north Georgia.

Just one and one-half weeks after summer camp ends, the Conservative camp and retreat center is planning a Shabbaton around the eclipse, which will occur on Aug. 21. The 122-acre camp is in an isolated area surrounded by the Chattahoochee National Forest.

The eclipse’s path will go from just south of Portland, Ore., reach its greatest duration in Hopkinsville, Ky., and then pass through Nashville on its way to northeast Georgia and down the middle of South Carolina. The middle of totality should hit Ramah Darom around 2:34 p.m. and last around two and one-half minutes.

Partial eclipses, where the moon blocks part of the sun, happen two to five times per year, while total eclipses, where the moon blocks 99 percent of the sun’s surface, happen about every 18 months. Because so much of the planet is covered by water, having an eclipse over a populated area is relatively rare, with the next one in North America in 2024.

The Shabbaton will begin on Aug. 18 and include a Shabbat experience, solar art projects, stargazing, Jewish and scientific learning, and more. One may participate in the entire weekend, arrive on Aug. 20 or stay off-site and be at camp only on Aug. 21, the day of the eclipse.

Participants can choose between camp-style cabins or retreat center hotel rooms. Tent camping will also be available.

More information is available here.