Steve Engel, Chief Executive Officer

Steve Website PictureI joined Tamarack Camps as CEO in December, 2010. As a long time Jewish communal professional, I previously served as the camp director for two JCC resident camps – the Ranch Camp in Colorado and Camp Sabra in Missouri – as well as overseeing large day camps and the resident camp as the Associate Executive Director of the St. Louis Jewish Community Center. I am thrilled to be the Chief Executive Officer of Tamarack Camps!  I pledge to maintain its high level of excellence and continue to bring quality Jewish camping experiences to our community.

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, I earned my master’s degree in social work (MSW) from Denver University and also hold a master of business administration (MBA) from Fontbonne University.  My family includes my wife, Tracie, children Robert and Courtney, and beloved dog Nellie.

 

Catherine A. Calvano, Chief Financial Officer

Cathy Website PhotoI joined Tamarack Camps  in December 2013.   Prior to joining  Tamarack Camps, I served as CFO of the Fisher Group, LLC, where I managed its accounting and tax groups  from  2007 to 2012.  This was preceded by 20 years’ service as CFO and General Manager of Finance and Administration for Robertson Brothers Company from 1987 to 2007.  Robertson Brothers Company is home builder in Southeastern Michigan.  I also served as Senior Auditor for Grant Thornton, LLC employed from 1980 to 1987.  Grant Thornton, LLC is a full service public accounting firm.

My expertise includes not for profit accounting and management, and financial and strategic planning capability. I am a certified public accountant in the State of Michigan, and graduated from the University of Michigan in 1980.

 


Camp Maas Team

Lee Trepeck, Director of Camp Maas

Lee Website PictureI have been with Camp Maas since 2009 and through the years, having grown up at a summer camp in northern Michigan as a camper and staff member, have played an active role in the Detroit Jewish community, assuming leadership roles on the New Leaders Project, the YAD Executive Board, Israel Missions and the Temple Israel Board of Directors.

I hold degrees from the University of Michigan and Case Western Reserve University School of Law and, in business, have experience in law, the restaurant industry, commercial and residential real estate, and real estate website development. Shifting professional gears, I am thrilled to pursue my life-long dream and true passion for summer camp, children, and Jewish fulfillment. I offer a fresh perspective and unique vision to the program. We will work tirelessly to ensure that each child gains positive memories, life-enriching skills and everlasting friendships.

I live in Huntington Woods with my wife Robin, and two children, Jamie and Andy.

 

Sean Morgan, Associate Director of Camp Maas

Sean Website PictureI am beyond thrilled to be a part of the Tamarack Camps team and love that my summers are spent at Camp Maas. Camping has been my passion ever since I stepped off the bus for my first overnight camp experience in 1990 at Camp Sabra, the overnight camp of the St. Louis Jewish Community Center. Even though I was desperately homesick my first year, I knew that every summer would be spent at camp. My camper and staff years drove me to pursue a career in the Jewish camping field. Through the years, I have worked as an Assistant Director at three Jewish Community Center overnight camps – Camp Sabra in St. Louis, Camp Lakeland in Buffalo, and Camp Wise in Cleveland. Since the fall of 2011, I have served as the Director of Camp Wise. During my camping career I have been selected to participate in the Foundation For Jewish Camp’s (FJC) Yitro Fellowship, the FJC’s Robert and Elisa Spungen Bildner Fellowship and the Jewish Community Center Association/FJC’s Lekhu Lakhem program. I hold degrees in Education from Southeast Missouri State University and a Masters in Camp Administration and Leadership from Touro University – Nevada.

Although I am not a Tamarack lifer, I feel as though I have been a part of the Tamarack Family for years. My wife, Jenny (Greenberg), was a camper, staff member, and supervisor at Tamarack and I’m so excited to share this experience with her and our daughter, Olivia, who will be a Shiffman camper in 2022.

 

Carly Weinstock, Assistant Director of Camp Maas

Carly Website PictureI began my camp journey at 7 years old in 1988. I have been a committed camper and staff ever since. My last year as staff was in 2001 where I staffed a Western Trip. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in communication from Western Michigan University. When I started working professionally at Tamarack Camps, in 2007, I was the Development Associate focusing on alumni outreach. I became the Program Director in 2009, then the Assistant Director, where my main responsibilities became programming, scheduling, artist in residence and purchasing for summer camp programs.

I live in Huntington Woods, during the off season with my husband Michael and two children, Joshua (who will be an Applebaum camper in 2019) and Marlee (who will be a Shiffman camper in 2022). We all love spending our summers at “The Greatest Place on Earth!”

 

Rachel Devries, Program and Recruitment Coordinator of Camp Maas

Devries Website PictureI have spent my summers with Tamarack Camps as a staff kid, camper, counselor, and supervisor since the age of two.  I am a fourth generation Tamarack camper and many members of my family have been campers and staff at Tamarack (including multiple generations of my Israeli cousins)!  I have worked year-round for camp since 2014 and have been so lucky to have received the opportunity to work for a place that I love with all of my heart, to have earned the responsibility of helping make camp even greater, and to have inherited the best job in the world: to encourage campers and staff to join our Camp Maas family.

I hold a bachelors degree from the University of Michigan in General Studies and a Masters degree in Camp Administration and Leadership from Touro University – Nevada.

I physically live in Royal Oak, Michigan but my heart is in Ortonville, where I spend my summers.  I also frequent Ortonville throughout the year to host our Dad and Me, Mom and Me, and New Years Family Camp weekends!


Teen and Family Programming Team

Jason Charnas, Director of Teen and Family Programs

Jason Website PictureI began my camping career at Tamarack Camps as a camper at Brighton. However, the reason I am who I am is because of
my experiences on the Western and Alaska Travel Trips as a camper.  I found that the friends I made on these trips were friends that I would have for the rest of my life.  My first summer as a Tamarack Camps staff member was a TSS, and continued on to work as a tripper, staff at Camp Kennedy, tripping and ropes supervisor and finally an Assistant Director.

Since then, I have spent time working at the Jewish Community Center in Buffalo, New York, as the Assistant Director at Camp Lakeland and then coordinated the Detroit Teen Mission to Israel for the Jewish Federation.

I’m thrilled to be working for Tamarack Camps and love seeing the teens that participate in our programs at have life changing experiences like I had. I hope they have the chance to discover who they are, develop their Jewish identity, learn about what it takes to create and be involved in a strong community and have the opportunity to meet new friends for life.

Jackie Yashinsky, Teen Programs Coordinator

Jackie Website PictureI was excited for a Jewish camping experience before I was even old enough to go.  For three years, I watched my older sister leave on a green Tamarack bus, begging my parents to let me go with her.  When it was finally my time to go to camp, I loved every minute.  I spent fifteen summers at Tamarack as a camper, counselor, and supervisor at Camp Maas and on the Western and Alaska trips.

I eventually started a career and was no longer able to spend my summers at the “greatest place on earth”.  It was always a dream of mine to return back to camp.  I am thrilled that this dream has become a reality!  I graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Social Work and Jewish Studies.  I most recently worked in development at the Holocaust Memorial Center.

I am excited to be able to experience Israel with our local Detroit teen community! I am looking forward to combining my passion for Tamarack and Israel!

Jeff Goldsmith, Director of Agree Outpost Camp

Jeff Website PictureI have always had a love for the outdoors, and this feeling was sealed the day I stepped off that Big Green Bus as an Agree Outpost Camper.  I was immediately drawn to the sense of home and community I found there.  I came to staff at Agree in 2005, and continued to spend my summers there until I worked on the Alaskan Travel Trip in 2009.  I returned to Agree the following summer.

I wouldn’t have believed it as a camper, but eleven years later, I would get off that same Big Green Bus as the Director of Agree in 2011.  My mission is to give every camper that comes to the Great Northern Woods of Wawa a summer they will never forget!  I know the importance of creating strong Jewish communities, and am especially pleased to do this in a wilderness setting.

 
Jay Winkler, Director of Camp Kennedy

I first came to Tamarack in 2001 as a two-week DeRoy camper. From that very first experience, I knew I wanted to be a counselor someday. After a few years at Mass, I headed north to the shores of Superior, participating in both Agree Outpost Camp and Camp Kennedy. The Outposts solidified a life-long love of camping, and provided me a much-needed space to reflect on the type of person I wanted to become as I transitioned into young-adulthood. When it came time to become a staff member, I knew I wanted to help campers have the same incredible Outpost experience that I did. I spent four summers at Agree between 2008 and 2012, and in 2013 was a Supervisor at Camp Kennedy.

I am so thrilled to be returning as the Director of Camp Kennedy. I am excited to help provide Jewish young adults the same space for growth as I had, and to help create some of the most memorable summers of their lives.

Outside of camp, I earned my bachelor’s in Political Science from Albion in 2013, and currently live in Downtown Detroit.

 

Helayne Shaw, Director of Family Camping

Helayne Shaw Updated PhotoThere is nothing like the magic found at camp. Everything you do from celebrating Shabbat, sitting at a campfire, meeting new people, making new friends, learning about yourself, strengthening your Jewish identity, gaining independence and leadership skills are all things that happen at camp.

I have been so fortunate to have called Tamarack Camps my “home ” for many years. I was a camper for 8 years and held various staff positions over 15 years; from counselor to supervisor, program director and family camp director. I am thrilled to return as the Director of Family Camping.

I look forward to “sharing the magic” with all of the families that attend our programs.


 

Camper Care Team

Roberta Blumberg, Director of Health and Safety

It has been 18 years and I’m still blessed to spend my summers in what some might say is the greatest place on earth, Tamarack Camps.  I’ve been a nurse for over 30 years and have worked in many different areas including emergency and orthopedics.  In my role as Director of Health and Safety I’ve had the opportunity to see my children and yours begin their experience at camp with delight, and return each summer growing, maturing and making lifelong friends while experiencing Judaism in an informal and beautiful setting.

The clinic is a busy place and a hub of activity during camp.  Many of our doctors and nurses went to Tamarack as kids and now return committed to use their expertise to provide our campers and staff with first class medical care in a warm and welcoming setting.

Thank you for entrusting your most precious treasures with us.  We will care for your children as if they were our own and throw in a few popsicles along the way.

 

Franki Bagdade, Director of Support Services and Special Needs

Franki Website PictureI joined Tamarack Camps in February of 2015, though Tamarack Camps has been part of my life for over thirty years! I spent 7 summers as a camper there, 3 as a staff kid at Camp Tamarack Brighton and 1 as a Drama specialist at Camp Maas. I am thrilled to be returning to camp in the position of Director of Support Services and Special Needs. I am honored to be part of a camp that values an amazing overnight camp experience for campers of different abilities. I have been working as a Special Needs teacher and consultant for over 15 years. Previously I taught at Eton Academy and ran the middle school Student Education Support program at Hillel Day School. I have taught several workshops a year for teachers in the area of special needs and am a consultant in the Detroit Jewish Federation, Alliance for Jewish Education’s Opening the Doors program. I graduated from Wayne State with a Masters in learning disabilities and Michigan State University with a BA in Elementary Education. My husband Jeff and my three kids Ruby, Gabi and Avi love spending our summers at Camp Maas!


Development Team


Becca Goodman, Director of Development

Becca Goodman Website pictureMy love for Tamarack Camps started when my children experienced their first summer at Camp Maas. Five plus years later as I was looking to change careers, Tamarack was looking for a Development professional with a diverse background. The word Beshert comes to mind, as it was a perfect fit. Tamarack’s mission is so important to me and I am proud to be a part of such an amazing and generous community.

I began my career in media sales and spent over ten years selling advertising. After taking a professional hiatus, I went back to work part time. My most recent experience prior to Tamarack was working with numerous charities and events at an online fundraising platform. I also have experience working with nonprofit and community board members. I was born and raised in Metro Detroit and currently live in Birmingham with my husband and three Tamarack campers.

Gabe Neistein, Alumni Relations Director

Gabe Website PictureGrowing up in the Detroit, I have always had a passion for the Detroit community. Whether it was during the eight summers I spent as a camper at Tamarack, my experiences as both a participant and staff member on Federation’s Teen Mission to Israel in 2004 and 2008, or my involvement as an organizer for the annual Pitch for Detroit charity softball event, I have always demonstrated a commitment to the city that raised me. As Tamarack’s Alumni Relations Director, I understand how much of an impact Tamarack played in building my Jewish communal identity and look forward to providing the same experiences for future generations of Tamarack campers.

I graduated from Michigan State, with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and am a proud Detroit resident. Two truths and a lie (can you guess the lie)? I recently sang at a friend’s wedding ceremony, I am an owner of an NFL team and I was an extra in an episode of Seinfeld.

Robin Kaufman Trepeck, Director of Philanthropic Partnerships

Robin Website PictureI’m thrilled to officially join the Tamarack team as the Director of Philanthropic Partnerships! Since my husband, Lee, became the director of Camp Maas in 2009, my kids and I have had the wonderful opportunity to join him during the summer in Ortonville. I am continually impressed by the Tamarack experience, and, as an active member of the Detroit Jewish community, I am proud to help represent our community’s camp. Here, my job is to connect parents, grandparents and friends of Tamarack Camps to all of the wonderful happenings throughout our organization and assist the Development Team in further enhancing Tamarack Camps.

I grew up in Huntington Woods, where we now live during camp’s “off season.” I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin and a juris doctorate degree from DePaul University in Chicago. After practicing real estate law for almost 20 years, I am overjoyed to now follow my passion for non-for-profit work and, in particular, for Tamarack Camps and its mission. Whether coordinating a camper art exhibition, touring visitors around camp, or meeting to explore opportunities for involvement, please know I am honored to share our “community’s gem” with you!


Outdoor Education Team

Fletcher Raftery, Interim Director

Fletcher Born and raised in northern Minnesota, I grew up outside; camping, fishing, swimming, snowmobiling, and four-wheeling. I decided that prospering in the outdoors was my cup of tea and found a career that has allowed me to continue my alfresco lifestyle where I have the opportunity to share my love of the environment with others.

After graduating from the University of North Dakota with a B.S. in Exercise Science/Kinesiology, I spent the next four years working at various outdoor education and summer camp facilities across the U.S., gaining experience, an understanding and appreciating for experiential education, which lead me to Tamarack. I’ve been with Tamarack Camps since 2010 and loving it!

CONTACT ME if you’d have any questions or general inquiries about our class choices, scheduling, and/or program pricing!

Meet the rest of the Outdoor Education Team.


 

Tamarack Camps Navigation

Tamarack Camps