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 have Jen Feinberg leading our Wally P. Straus Medical Clinic as Director of Health, Camp Maas. Read her story below!
When did you attend Tamarack Camps? What villages or programs were you part of?
I started at camp in 1990 as a camper in Brighton. I went through Dorm 2, Dorm 1, GP, and then got to Maas and continued through Specialty. I came back as a TSS in 2000 and then was a counselor in Berman in 2001 and Specialty in 2002. In 2003, I was the TSS Supervisor, and in 2004 I was Ruach Supervisor. When I became a nurse, the first thing I did was sign myself up to come work in the clinic in 2013 and I haven’t left since!
What lessons did you learn from camp?
The biggest lessons I learned were the importance of teamwork and to find a job you love that doesn’t feel like work.
What are you up to now personally and/or professionally?
I am a nurse! I currently work per diem at The Children’s Hospital of Michigan and I do travel nursing across the country. I have worked in California, Arizona, New York, Hawaii, St. Thomas and many more places. This past year working with FEMA has been extremely rewarding, but I couldn’t wait to get back to camp as the Director of Health! It has been amazing to be back at camp with so many of my camp friends in a new role as we lead the clinic and medical team together. And it is such an honor to work alongside professionals that learned about medicine from their earlier work as assistants in our camp clinic.
How did camp impact how you live your life today?
Camp is my life today! My experience as a senior staff member has been one of the most rewarding times of my life. I have stayed close to my childhood camp friends and I still get to make new camp friends each year. I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am today without camp.
Why is Tamarack Camps “The Greatest Place on Earth”?
Camp is just so much fun! There is joy in every corner of this place. Everywhere I look brings back memories of some of the best times of my life.
Was there a staff member that made a lasting impact on you and why?
When I was a TSS (called TLV now) I had a supervisor named Lindsey Shapiro. She was amazing. She was so open, honest and caring. She was my leader on our Algonquin trip and made it so memorable and fun. Because of her and how much she impacted my life in such a short time, when I had the opportunity to become a TSS Supervisor, I jumped on it. I hope I had an impact on others like she did for me.
Favorite camp memory:
I can’t pick out just one memory; there are so many stand outs through my time as a camper, staff and clinic staff. When I was a counselor in Specialty I was with some of my closest friends. I got to meet many new people from Israel and South Africa who I am still in touch with today. Some have come back to work at the clinic with me! At night, we would always hang out either in the village, go to Mr. B’s or Bullfrogs, or have our own dance parties when the campers would go to sleep. When it rained, the next day we would have mud slide parties and didn’t care how messy we would get because we were staff just having fun.
Favorite camp meal:
Mackinac Island in Specialty
Favorite program/theme day:
Dream Tamarack reunion idea:
Bottoms Up followed by a night in camp