The Alumni Spotlight gives us the opportunity to catch up with a Tamarack alum, hear about where they are now, and learn how Tamarack Camps shaped them. We are thrilled to check in with Carly Schiff & Jackie Pilcowitz. Read their story below!
When did you attend Tamarack Camps? What villages or programs were you part of?
Carly Schiff: I started attending camp at the age of 7 (I think that might have been 1994). My first village was Kadima. I went all through main camp to Specialty. Then I did a Western Trip. I was a TSS, counselor for a few years, and a supervisor for two summers.
Jackie Pilcowitz: I started with Shabbat Weekend in Shiffman 1998, back when that was a thing! I was at Camp Maas from 1998-2005. Agree 2005. Western 2006. Alaska 2007. I staffed Shifflebaum 2008, Ruach 2009, Pioneer 2010, Western 2011, and Alaska 2012.
What lessons did you learn from camp?
CS: Camp was the most formative experience of my childhood. I learned how to be independent. Camp teaches mindfulness, creativity, imagination, appreciation of nature, the value of friendships, and how to get along with people you might not necessarily enjoy. These are lessons that are needed for our entire lives. I also learned that Judaism could be fun and camp taught me the value of community.
JP: As a camper, I learned leadership skills. And more importantly, perhaps, I learned the value of being silly and weird. And as a staff, patience, for sure.
What are you up to now personally and/or professionally?
CS: I am a partner at an advertising agency. I am the director of web experience.
JP: I’m a public defender in Wayne County. And I’m married to Henry Moss, my co-counselor from Western 1 🙂 We live in Ferndale with our pup Lulu.
How did camp impact how you live your life today?
CS: Camp taught me how to be a person. When I started going to camp, I learned how to be away from my parents. How to make decisions and choices. It also really taught me just how important my friendships are. I am still very close with many of the girls from my first bunk at camp. Those shared experiences at such a young age bonded us together.
Also, knowing how to properly build a campfire comes up far more in my adult life than I ever would have thought.
JP: Camp definitely instilled within me a passion for service and community. It nourished my confidence and adventurous spirit, two of my proudest attributes.
Why is Tamarack Camps “The Greatest Place on Earth?”
CS: Camp lets kids be kids. Away from all the madness of the “real world.” It’s a reset. A break. It’s truly a welcoming environment.
JP: Because it offers all kids, irrespective of financial ability, the opportunity to participate in its awesome programs.
Favorite camp meal:
CS: Biscuit breakfast
JP: Potato lunch!
CS: Whitewater rafting in Pioneer
JP: Is it cliche if I say Chilkoot 2007?
Dream Tamarack reunion idea:
CS & JP: Spending a weekend up at camp with friends! Oh wait, that’s happening September 9-11!