Dear Families of Tamarack Camps,
As this week begins, we look toward the Jewish New Year. Before going forward, however, the purpose of this communication is to review and rewind.
On March 13, 2020, during the final days of winter, our office closed – and we went to work. During the spring months, as the coronavirus spread, we studied every scenario of a summer “homecoming,” carefully analyzing the possibilities across our villages, sports fields, the waterfront, specialty areas, wilderness trails, and treks beyond these borders. Ultimately, through the ongoing guidance of our medical professionals (which encompassed the COVID-19 task force), and, with an unwavering commitment to health and safety, we canceled the season.
Yet, as always, we remained committed to the intersection of our valued participants: campers, staff, families, alumni, and supporters. So, even while separated, we worked to offer meaningful connections, and our innovative team established new ways to shift directions – reimagining programs, redesigning schedules, and refocusing plans. While modern technology may seem contrary to the essence of a camp experience, we embraced the digital world – and, in so many ways, our spirit reverberated and voices were heard. Suddenly, this summer, with a new platform of engagement during these unusual and unsettling times, camp’s beacon of light shined from multiple locations; and, week after week, we delivered familiarity and comfort into homes across the local and global community.
And, toward the culmination of this summer, with guidance and protocols established by our medical advisors, we greeted families in person! At strategic locations, including Shaarey Zedek, Adat Shalom, Temple Israel, and the Jewish Community Center, we honored another summer together and distributed camper awards (recognizing 3, 5, and 8 years of participation – this year counts!). In these settings, the green bus served as an iconic backdrop; for sure, the experience looked different – yet, even with a pivot, everyone still moved in stride.
Our next newsletter will address preliminary plans for the future. For now, before officially beginning a new chapter of our story, we want to pause again to replay the magic of these previous months. Through the skillful videography of Aaron Rudman, we are proud to highlight the transformation of a summer: from a closure on our grounds to an open canvas online. In this presentation, we have included only snapshots of the marathon – a journey that, even in our separation, spanned months of connectedness. Clearly, even as we lived apart, we stood together. As always, “We Are Family” (Mischpacha!) – and we are beyond grateful that, within the circle of Tamarack Camps, we remain intertwined.
L’Shana Tova – with heartfelt wishes for health, happiness, and peace.
Director, Camp Maas