Tamarack Camps has tens of thousands of living alumni whose journeys have taken them all over the globe. Today, passionate alum Carolyn Fox shares her meaningful story below. Her Tamarack Camps legacy continues with her daughter, Morgan, a current staff member.
When did you attend Tamarack Camps? What villages or programs were you part of? I was a camper in the early 80s and then became a staff member while in high school and into college in the early 90s. As a camper, I started out in Senior Side at Brighton and worked my way up to Berman. I skipped Specialty, but then went on the Western Trip the following summer. As a staff member, I started as a TSS, and then was as counselor in Sheruth, a counselor in Berman for 2 summers, and finished by being the supervisor of Sheruth.
What lessons did you learn from camp? One of my favorite lessons from camp was realizing that it’s the little things that count and add up to make a big impact. Camp also taught me to not take life so seriously. Yes, there are serious things that can happen, but appreciate life and things will work out. It also taught me to appreciate nature most of all. There’s nothing like waking up early in the morning and sitting on the beach at Phipp’s Lake watching the fog roll off the water…the water being so calm…very relaxing.
What are you up to now personally and/or professionally? I am about to become an empty nester. My oldest is in her 2nd year at college, and has been a Tamarack staffer for the last couple of summers (and hoping to go back again this coming summer in 2020). My youngest is in his senior year in high school graduating in 2020 and going off to college. Professionally I am an Executive Assistant and have been working for various companies throughout the years. I owned my own administrative assistance company for about 10 years and worked from home while my kids were young. Then, I was given an opportunity to work for an amazing consulting firm and started working from home again about 6 years ago. I am extremely happy working for an amazing company.
How did camp impact how you live your life today? Camp impacted my life in so many positive ways…I have the best memories in the world! I love sharing them with my kids and with anyone else who will listen. I have a much deeper appreciation for nature and love being active outdoors whenever I can. One of the best ways it has impacted my life is learning how to make new friends and to not be afraid to put myself “out there” whenever possible. Camp has a way of revealing who you truly are…you just have to be confident enough to carry that through the rest of your life and outside of the camp boundaries.
Why is Tamarack Camps “The Greatest Place on Earth?” There is no other place on Earth that allows you to be yourself 24/7 and have fun doing it every day. Even bad days are good. The setting is beautiful, the staff is amazing, the opportunities for growth are endless, and the memories last a lifetime. There’s a reason why kids cry uncontrollably at the end of each session…who wouldn’t want to be in that place all day, every day?! I wish I could go back every day…
Was there a staff member that made a lasting impact on you and why? My very first counselor at Senior Side…Ellen. I was so horribly homesick the first night that I actually vomited. Ugh…so embarrassing. However, she made me feel so much better and made sure the other kids didn’t make fun of me. She spent a lot of time with me making sure I was comfortable and showed me how to have a really good time at camp and that it was ok to miss home and my parents, but they will still be there when I get back. She was the reason why I fell in love with camp and why I kept going every summer. She made me see how awesome camp was…
Favorite camp memory: I don’t have one favorite…they are all my favorites. Foxfire, 4th of July celebrations, building a teepee in P-Skills, waking up early to swim the lake with campers, all the amazing friends I’ve met, horseback riding with campers, canoe trips down the Au Sable, riding on the buses with the kids going to camp, ropes course, being a supervisor of Sheruth (my staff was the BEST!), anything to do with P-Skills.
Favorite camp meal: Shabbat meal – of course.
Favorite trip: Western Trip
Favorite program/theme day: Foxfire- but they were all good
Dream Tamarack reunion idea: Just hanging out at Tamarack for the day doing all kinds of activities – A&C, horseback riding, ropes course, etc…
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