Welcome home! Located on 1,250 forested acres and two sparkling lakes in Ortonville, Michigan, Camp Maas is uniquely designed for children and teens entering 2nd through 12th grades. This program combines wonderful activities with outdoor adventure, Jewish culture, excellent facilities – and of course, lots of fun!
All campers live in villages, separated by grades.
Brighton Side: Entering 2nd – 5th grades
The Brighton Side, named after our beloved former camp site in Brighton, MI, is reserved for our youngest campers. Within a short walking distance is our private waterfront, sport fields, roller-skating/floor hockey rink, arts and crafts and “Smoklerville” – just to name some of our special program areas.
The 2nd and 3rd graders live in Applebaum and Shiffman villages. Each cabin is spacious and has its own bathroom and roomy cupboards. The lodge is centrally located to all cabins, which allows additional unit programming. The supervisor of the village resides in the area as well.
The 4th and 5th graders live in DeRoy and Fishman villages. All cabins have bathrooms, while the centralized lodges provide extra program areas and showers.
Brighton Side programming and staff training are geared to provide the highest standard of childcare. Programs take into account the natural imagination of this age group, allowing kids to pretend, make believe, and to have lots and lots of fun.
We also offer Mini Camp for campers entering 2nd – 5th grades.
Mid Side: Entering 6th – 7th grades
Mid Side is a continuation of the fabulous Camp Maas experience and has been created to recognize the progression of a child’s development. Activities represent this sensitivity, which allows elevated programming, such as: Derby Days, Tamarack Idol, multiple day camping trips, and Starry, Starry Ride – just to name a few. The 6th graders live in Levison and Charach Sheruth villages. The 7th graders live in Hermelin and Berman villages.
This year, we are offering one Mini Camp for campers entering 6th grade (Mini B).
Senior Side: Entering 8th – 9th grades
Senior Side offers a perfect combination of structure and freedom. Activities are at a high level, and include: extensive overnight canoe and hiking trips, rock climbing, the “Zip Line” and our Adventure Challenge Course (R.O.P.E.S.).
The Senior Side villages include the following:
Robinson Pioneer Adventure Program – Entering 8th Grade
Created for adventurous campers who enjoy the out-of-doors, this program travels to Hocking Hills for zip-lining and the beautiful Upper Peninsula for an extended camping trip. This is a co-ed experience and home base is Camp Maas.
Ruach Village – Entering 8th Grade
This amazing co-ed program, located in Grosberg Village, offers unique and creative programming, utilizing all of the facilities that Tamarack Camps has to offer. An amazing overnight camping trip is scheduled – to Manitou Island along Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
Kaufman Specialty Village – Entering 9th Grade
This program is geared to the interests and abilities of our oldest campers. They have the opportunity to choose one area of specialization to participate in each morning; drama, waterfront, sports or fine arts. A memorable part of this program is their travel trip which includes the famous Mackinac Island and sightseeing along majestic Lake Superior in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula.
TSS Israel Fellowship: Entering 12th Grade
Tamarack Camps is excited to announce a new program for teens entering 12th grade, in partnership with Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit and community congregations. This initiative is geared toward teens interested in becoming future leaders within the community and at camp. The first half of the summer is in Israel, exploring the country and enhancing leadership skills. For the second half of the summer, teens will return to Camp Maas to participate in leadership training opportunities, work placements in various areas at camp, an exciting camping trip, and camp activities. For more information click here!
Other options outside Camp Maas for entering 9th – 11th Grades
While no one day is the same at Camp Maas, here is how we typically organize your fun-filled day at camp:
- 7:30 am // Rise and Shine
- 8:20 am // Degel (Flagpole) – Except Senior Side, where breakfast is served in villages
- 8:30 am // Breakfast
- 9:00 am // Cabin Clean-up
- 10:00 am – 11:00 am // Bunk Activity 1: Campers participate in a variety of activities including sports, drama, group games, waterfront, swim lessons, etc.
- 11:15 am – 12:15 pm // Bunk Activity 2: Morning fun continues with more camp activities.
- 12:30 pm // Lunch and Singing
- 1:15 pm – 2:30 pm // Menucha (Rest Hour): Mail time, letter writing, hanging out with bunkmates.
- 2:45 pm – 4:00 pm // Bunk Activity 3: General Swim/Prime Time Activities, learn about the environment at Teva, partake in the old west at Pioneer Skills, throw a pot at ceramics, play sports, improvise at drama games or take a horseback ride through the trails.
- 4:15 pm – 5:30 pm // Bunk Activity 4: General Swim/Waterfront Activities, Prime Time, rock climbing, arts & crafts or perhaps see the exotic animals in our Nature Center.
- 6:20 pm // Degel
- 6:30 pm // Dinner: Fridays are extra special as we welcome the Shabbat with homemade challah, a traditional Shabbat meal and songfest.
- 7:30 pm // Village Programs or All-Camp Events: Hawaiian Luau, Overnights, ”Coming to America” and ”Exodus,” and Fox Fire Carnival.
- 9:15 pm // Lights out for Brighton Side
- 10:15 pm // Lights out for Mid Side
- 11:15 pm // Lights out for Senior Side
Lee Trepeck is beginning his fifth summer, and brings tremendous energy and enthusiasm to Camp Maas. Through the years, Lee, who grew up at a summer camp in northern Michigan (as a camper and staff member), has 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.
Lee holds degrees from the University of Michigan and Case Western Reserve University School of Law and, in business, has experience in law, the restaurant industry, commercial and residential real estate, and real estate website development. Shifting professional gears, Lee is thrilled to pursue his life-long dream and true passion for summer camp, children, and Jewish fulfillment. He offers 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”, says Trepeck.
Lee, his wife Robin, and their two children, Jamie (a Berman camper!) and Andy (a DeRoy camper!), live in Huntington Woods.
I 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.
I have been part of the Tamarack family since 1988 when I was a Brighton camper at age 7 and, therefore, bring experience, enthusiasm, maturity, creativity and dedication to the Program Director position. After many roles within Tamarack’s summer and professional staff, where now I coordinate our camp-wide programming, including a focus on progressive programming and scheduling. Additionally, I oversee our Artist-In-Residence program, manage our program area inventory, and direct the participation of our community-wide special events.
I have a Communication degree from Western Michigan University and live in Huntington Woods with my husband, Michael, and son, Joshua (who will be an Applebaum camper in 2019).
Maas staff are trustworthy and caring individuals committed to working with young children and adolescents in a Jewish environment. Each summer, our directors, supervisors, counselors and specialists work tirelessly to ensure a fun, safe, meaningful experience for every camper.
During the off-season, we dedicate a great deal of time recruiting and interviewing staff to find qualified people to join the Maas team. Over 200 staff members are carefully selected for their interpersonal skills, warmth and sensitivity, maturity, enthusiasm, energy and commitment to Jewish values. Staff are selected after an intense interview process which includes background and reference checks.
Eighty-percent of our staff are returning alumni. Junior or 1st-year counselors, those entering 12th grade, are chosen based on excellent performance in our TSS/Hadracha program. All counselors and supervisors are college-age or graduate students and selected because they have shown outstanding characteristics and leadership abilities to be excellent role models for our campers.
Before the campers arrive, our staff members participate in one of the longest training periods of any camp. Throughout the summer, ongoing training and evaluation takes place to enhance and compliment our pre-camp sessions. Our specialists are talented, creative and nurturing people with skills in their designated areas to provide a fun and enriching experience for the campers. Waterfront specialists and wilderness trip leaders are all certified in various courses such as WSI, ALS, LGT, First Aid and CPR.
The Maas team includes a group of International staff from Israel, England, Australia, Canada, South Africa, Ireland, Scotland, New Zealand, Holland, Russia, and Romania. Our campers really enjoy learning about the different regions and cultures from which our international staff hail.
Our forte is developing a close-knit community that feels like a second home to both staff and campers. Our small staff to camper ratio develops closeness, kindles meaningful relationships and allows for direct supervision. This is why campers return to us year after year.
Jewish Programming provides a nurturing and caring Jewish environment is created within each bunk or group and through this our campers live and learn the tenants of Judaism – community, respect, kindness and friendship.
The Tamarack environment is a wonderful Jewish home, where informal Jewish programming thrives and customs and fun intersect.
Each week, different campers help welcome Shabbat with an engaging and interactive Kabbalat Shabbat presentation for the whole camp. Friday, after a delicious traditional Friday night meal, the campers eagerly gather for Z’mirot – our Shabbat Song Session, where the ruach (spirit) of camp and the neshamah (soul) of Judaism unite.
Saturday morning services are also accompanied by singing, short discussions and skits to maintain the interests of the different age groups.
Campers participate in various Mitzvah projects with their bunks from planting tress to visiting the elderly. Judaism is also incorporated with fun Judaic crafts such as Mezuzah Making, Jewish Shrinky Dinks and Tzedakah Boxes. Jewish themes are also carried out throughout the summer with programs like – Visit the Kotel, Jewish Heroes Trading Cards and Passport to Israel.
The favorite ceremony for most campers is Havdalah. Every Saturday evening, our camp community connects to sing and celebrate the end of Shabbat and the beginning of our new week together.
At Tamarack, we hope that our campers gain more than the sense of “attending a Jewish summer camp”, but also go home enriched by the joy and celebration of living Jewishly every day.
As our community’s flagpole, Camp Maas is positioned amidst 1,250 acres of beautiful forested property, nestled with fabulous facilities:
- Private Wooded Acres: With our spacious campgrounds, surrounding woods, lakes and trails, Camp Maas is a peaceful, serene and secluded wilderness setting for all camp activities.
- Lake Radin: Centrally located to all villages. Water-skiing, tubing, body boarding, sailing, kayaking and more can all be found on this spacious and private lake. Swimming, fishing and a variety of water toys such as the Blob and the Iceberg provide hours of fun, skill development and recreation.
- Tamarack Lake: This shallow lake and its marsh are home to many small animals and water birds. A nature trail allows easy access for fun programs like “Life in a Log”, catching toads and our famous Swamp Walk!
- Athletic Facilities: Three athletic fields, playgrounds, two regulation-sized softball diamonds, two regulation soccer fields, three regulation sized basketball courts (two are lighted), four tennis courts, 1/8 mile running track, mountain bike trails and two outdoor floor hockey rinks all provide ample opportunity for sports and recreation.
- Grand Multi-Use Facility: This modern structure houses a covered gymnasium and pool, which has been a wonderful addition for our sports and gymnastics program. This facility also provides additional space for instructional swim and fun theme day or rainy day activities.
- Mahler Equestrian Center: Whether it’s a corral session, trail ride or a horseback riding overnight, the equestrian program at Maas offers something for everyone.
- R.O.P.E.S./Adventure Challenge Course: Facilities include an extensive set of group obstacles, a rock climbing structure, a Zip-Line across the lake and two high ropes courses. Campers may focus on a variety of goals, including improved teamwork, leadership, communications skills, increased self-confidence, and a heightened awareness of the potential and strength of individual members.
- Smoklerville Pioneer Skills Center: Olde-tyme fun at our petting zoo, log cabins, barns, country kitchen, general store, museum, one-room schoolhouse, maple syrup shack and other pioneer structures make this turn of the century replica a favorite.
- Nachman Environmental Education Center: Nature exhibits and unusual animals make our nature center a hit with kids of all ages. Environmental programs, stargazing, berry picking and Judaic content are all combined into fun outdoor activities at our “Teva” center.
- The Ravitz Foundation Art Center: Located for easy access to each side of camp, this open air arts center overlooking Tamarack Lake keeps campers busy with activities like wood working, tie-dye, paper maché, lanyards, sewing, painting, copper enamel and toe-weaving.
- Mahler Dining Hall: Our new Sara & Irving Mahler Dining Facility is located in the center of camp, easily accessible to all groups. All food is kosher and our camp follows a “No Nut” policy.
- Straus Clinic: Built in 2002, this state of the art air-conditioned medical facility is the home for 2 physicians, 3 registered nurses, and various clinic assistants — 24 hours per day. The caring and nurturing staff distribute daily medicine and ensure the well-being of all staff and campers.
- Charfoos Administration Building: The center of our busy summer happens here! Friendly and attentive staff will work diligently throughout the day to make sure mail, phone calls, faxes, email and all daily business get taken care of promptly and efficiently.
- Mahler Trip Center: Newly renovated in 2012, this expanded structure, which includes an outdoor pavilion for programs, allows our tripping team adequate space to prepare for travel – north, south, east, and west! From here, the campers prepare for their overnights, cookout, backpacking or canoeing trips, which range from1 to 4 nights.
- Campfire Sites: Who doesn’t like campfire stories and s’mores? Located in close proximity to every village unit, our campfire pits are used for cookouts, story time, bonding, and relaxation.
- Friedman Auditorium: Whether it’s digital photography, computer enhancing or making a video, campers love the creative opportunities available at our Multi Media Center.
- William Davidson Foundation Amphitheater: Open air stage where many plays, skits and talent shows are presented. Excellent acoustics.
- Zaks Amphitheatre: This open-air stage has Radin Lake as its backdrop, and is perfect for welcoming Shabbat, Havdalah and other all camp ceremonies and presentations. This scenic and magical spot is one of the “best views” in camp!
- Sydney & Melba Weiner Dance Barn: Jazz, modern or tap, those dancin’ feet always keep the beat at various presentations, recitals and village dances throughout the summer. Girls entering 6th grade can specialize in Dance City where they will produce their own show at the dance barn and visit Interlaken for the Arts.