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From the Lake, to the Office, and Back!

By: Dana McDowell

Growing up, my summers were always something I looked forward to no matter what I did. I joined the camp game a bit late and did not attend Tamaracks Camps, but had the best 3 years as a camper at another amazing camp. My camp, my home away from home, unfortunately closed down my second year as a staff, but I was not ready to give up the camp life quite yet. I migrated over to Tamarack Camps last year and although I was nervous about the change, the transition went better than I could have ever expected. I had friends who were already staff there to help and guide me through my new camp and the rest of the Tamarack family was more than willing to help in any way I needed.

Creating bonds with campers and becoming incredible friends with more staff than I could count was one of the many reasons I was drawn back to Tamarack Camps for the second year. Not only do I get the chance to be a specialist at Camp Maas again this summer, but over the past five weeks I had the amazing opportunity to intern in the camp’s city office. You might have asked yourself, as I once did, “what is it like to work behind the scenes at Tamarack Camps?” If you will, imagine a colorful office with your favorite Jewish relatives hard at work, bouncing ideas off one another, sharing experiences, always learning and teaching, while having an environment that matches the positive energy that is always present at camp.

Being a staff member at multiple camps throughout the last few years, I always knew that running a camp was a lot of work, but not until recently did I fully grasp the “ins and outs” of preparing for a summer at the “Greatest Place on Earth”. Through my internship I learned the importance of marketing, communication, budgeting, and planning for the camp to succeed months and months in advance. The fantastic staff who took me under their wings, also showed me the value of support, dedication, energy, and inclusion in the camp office. My experiences as a camper, a counselor, a specialist, and now an intern allowed me to appreciate and understand both sides of a crazy, fantastic, magical sleep away camp. I am grateful I have had the chance to experience each and every one of these positions, and I am thankful for what each and every camp adventure has taught me.