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 Shelby Bruseloff. Read her story below!
When did you attend Tamarack Camps? What villages or programs were you part of?
I was at Camp Maas from 2004-2007 starting in Fishman and ending in Robinson Pioneer. After, I went to the outpost camps where I was at Agree in 2008 and Kennedy in 2009 and 2010 for “KenTen.” I was a counselor in Sheruth (’11) and Berman (’12) then a tripper at main camp in 2013!
What lessons did you learn from camp?
Camp taught me the importance of community, taking initiative, a love for the outdoors, and so much more. I had opportunities to push myself beyond my comfort zone in the most supported and loving environment. Sometimes, pushing myself was getting through a tough day on a canoeing trip and other times it was choosing to try a meal that wasn’t a peanut butter sandwich. No matter the situation, camp allowed me to grow in ways I couldn’t have imagined.
What are you up to now personally and/or professionally?
Personally, I live in Lansing with my husband, who attends MSU’s College of Law. When it’s nice out I like to think I’m still “Tripper Shelby” so we’ll go on camping trips, giving me the chance to make my favorite trip food and build a campfire. Professionally, I work with the Hillel Campus Alliance of Michigan supporting Jewish communities on 10 college campuses across Michigan. Much of my role is focused on helping college students create a Jewish community at school that encapsulates their vision for Jewish life. Often, I find myself looking back at my time at camp for inspiration on programs and community development.
How did camp impact how you live your life today?
I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for camp! My closest friends are my friends from camp and I’m lucky to have met my husband through one of them (hi Alex Parkhouse!). Camp impacts my work as many of my students and coworkers are Tamarack alum. We all share a bond and it makes working together special knowing how deeply camp shaped us into the leaders we are today.
Was there a staff member that made a lasting impact on you and why?
Every counselor I had made a lasting impact on me, but I’d have to say all of my outpost counselors were the greatest. When I was a staff and was nervous about something, I would think of certain outpost counselors who possessed the strength I was seeking and try to emulate them.
Favorite camp memory:
As a camper, my favorite camp memories go back to any down time where I was able to bond with other campers. When I was a Sheruth camper, my bunk was mostly girls I didn’t know before the summer and I remember growing closer with all of my bunkmates during menucha. As a tripper, I loved sharing my love for the outdoors with campers of all ages. The moments when campers would realize how much they enjoyed camping, hiking, canoeing, or simply being outside were really special for me.
Favorite camp meal:
Tie for French toast sticks or Shabbat dinner
Hiking at LSPP!
Favorite program/theme day:
Fox Fire when everyone would get messy #doodie
Dream Tamarack reunion idea:
Bring all the outpost alumni up to Kennedy for a week!