5:34 am, August 12, the last day of our final session – it is dark and there’s a slight chill. I am outside, drinking fresh/hot coffee, sitting at a colorful picnic table (painted by Caryn Frishman, Artist in Residence). Above, the evening stars are still shining, and, in the black sky, I can see some faint light breaking through. I’m in the middle of the campgrounds at Camp Maas, where I hear the serene sounds of summer: tree frogs, some birds, and a slight brush of branches from trees in my backyard.
Nature abounds – so peaceful.
I am alone, which is rare in these months.
And I am reflective.
In our various programs, I believe that, this summer, we have created “lightning in a bottle” – and the below represents some of the magic:
- At Bubbie Zaydie, generations link.
- On the Travel Trips, the bus is freedom, the outdoors is a sanctuary, and the connections are everlasting.
- Around the Outposts, the rustic civilization is an area to overcome challenges and lean on the strength of a friend’s support.
- In Israel, the Holy Land is sacred territory.
- At Camp Maas, 15 countries connect – and Ortonville is the flag of freedom.
In every instance, we are unified.
And I often wish the world had a window into the fresh air of Tamarack Camps, where, in various settings, there are common themes: participants feel at home, included, safe … and at peace. In our collective endeavors of summer activity, bunkmates become friends, villages cheer in a single voice, and community thrives. And it’s heartwarming that, here, people look out for the person that’s next in line.
Again, this summer, we remained mindful of COVID-19. And, in our ongoing pursuit of health and safety, our number one priority, we managed cases, isolated individuals that tested positive, and, fortunately, contained the spread. As such, we were able to move forward with a more traditional experience. We are grateful for a team of committed experts that helped guide our path.
And, as always, we appreciate our families; thanks for your ongoing support of our mission, where every participant can be invited to enjoy a seat on the bus!
As you embrace your child, hear the stories, and live vicariously through the meaningful recollections, please know that we are smiling, too – thrilled that we had a front row to this stage of life. And, going forward, we already can’t wait to plan for 2023, where, in good health and peace, we’re eager to create another … Best. Summer. Ever!
For now, this is a pause – as the sun begins to rise, let’s bask in the colorful glow of an inclusive home, where, during a special summer, we grew and flourished.
On behalf of our engaged Board of Directors, along with a passionate team of talented year-round professionals, I extend a heartfelt Shabbat Shalom – with warm wishes for the best of everything.