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A New Season – A Fresh of Breath Air

By: Lee Trepeck

This is a month of progression.

  • On March 14th, daylight savings time began – and, as the hands on a clock moved forward, we took a step closer to a new time. We literally jumped ahead, and, on that day (“Super Sunday,” detailed below by our President, Geoff Kretchmer), figuratively entered a new period.
  • Then, on March 20th, we officially turned seasons – ‘for, lo, the winter is past.’
  • Now, this weekend, at sunset on March 27th, Passover begins – our Jewish spring festival.
  • And, next week, Major League Baseball teams embark upon “Opening Day” – a rebirth of imagination, wrapped within the ceremonies of America’s pastime.

Of course, the difficulty of COVID-19 remains, and we are not out of the woods; in fact, cases are rising and challenges still loom. Yet, in other ways, through vaccinations and carefully calculated plans, we face a fresh start – now, with renewed spirit, possibilities exist. Finally, following a year of unusual twists, some sense of a more traditional rhythm exists – temperatures are climbing, spring is in the air, summer is around the corner, and we are inching closer to camp! I have a future visit planned to Munising, excited to revisit Camp Kennedy. Most recently, on Wednesday, with an extra bounce in my step, I walked around Camp Maas, thrilled to be home in Ortonville. Some reflections:

  • The Farber Farm… beginning to blossom. I felt motivated by the positive energy of those who steward the land – Farmer Alex Rosenberg and an inspirational team of volunteers.
  • The Wally P. Straus Medical Clinic… full of donated boxes with personal protective equipment, available for distribution throughout our agency. I felt such pride for our medical team, which includes professional and lay leaders – constantly meeting, always planning.
  • Avodah and Shiffman Villages… new construction. I felt deep appreciation for the transformational support within our community – allowing us to build in an era where the world paused.
  • The grounds… prepared for fresh footprints. I felt sincere gratitude for the commitment of Scott Bahr and his team, our facility partners – beautifully maintaining the vast campgrounds.

And, as I traveled south on I-75, my mind raced. Some highlights of many thoughts:

  • We have assembled a highly talented group of year-round professionals and committed board members, capable of shifting direction. During the year-long absence from the office, Zoom has linked our homes, creating meeting centers of innovation. Even today, as the winds shift, we continue to navigate newfound directions for smoother sail.
  • We have hired an energized group of summer staff members, stretching beyond typical parameters. Our plan is to live inside a bubble, and they are supporting the mission of health and safety, making sacrifices so they can deliver campers the experiences of a lifetime.
  • We work with the finest families, always adding important insight. Now, within evolving plans of action, they are ready to complete medical forms (CampDoc is coming soon!), prepared to pack… and eager for respite!
  • And a note to our campers: you have remained the constant centerpiece of action (and a caring team awaits your arrival, further illustrated in today’s newsletter). As always, in every program offered by Tamarack Camps, we are surrounded by you – the force that moves us. Above all, we are working for you, excited that, shortly, you will receive a ticket to the “Greatest Place On Earth” – Maas, Kennedy, and Olmsted.

As this month draws to a close, and a new summer peeks through the horizon, an old agency is growing – and, once again, it’s going to be a welcome return to the fresh air.

Chag Sameach – with my warmest wishes for the very best of everything.