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The Summer Rhythm

By: Lee Trepeck, CEO

Summer. At times, in the ordinary flow of camp, the pace is slow — a gentle breeze, a sandcastle on the beach, a quiet conversation during a Shabbat morning. Time stands still. Yet, at other times, the beat quickens — a packed schedule, late-evening activities, an energized concert at a special celebration. And time flies.  

Here, since the beginning of June, around “The Greatest Place on Earth,” action abounds — and we are moving quickly; as I briefly pause, I want to express gratitude to our extraordinary camp director, Carly Weinstock, and her dedicated team, whom have our camp community “off and running!”

Some examples: 

  • Staff training commenced at the beginning of this month, and, for two weeks, we worked tirelessly to provide foundational support for each valued program and all participants. To learn more about our experts in action, please see Carly’s article.  
  • On June 7, the first (of nine) Bubbie Zaydie Family Camps linked generations — and, around Butzel’s playground, grandparents and grandchildren enjoyed the serenity of our outdoors during a program overflowing with songs, prayers, games and awesome entertainment! L’dor V’ Dor in motion. 
  • Alaska departed on June 16, and a full bus of enthusiastic campers and strong leaders embarked upon an action-driven itinerary! Time to disconnect and connect — and, even once the bus returns, their adventurous spirit and friendships continue.
  • Family Fun Day, for the first time since 2019, was held later that same afternoon (June 16) at Camp Maas. So many community members gathered (campers, families, alumni, supporters, and staff members from the Jewish Federation of Detroit) and every activity area was open! Amidst many program options, conversations also centered upon Wolfe Village, the HuG, and Rodecker Beach — all freshly constructed or reimagined, all “show-stoppers.” Camp is growing! And, in the midst of a busy, full day, time still allotted for traditional camp highlights — seeing old friends and establishing new relationships — seamlessly connected in various spots along the main road and around campus. 
  • The next afternoon (June 17), Camp Kennedy departed, where, even in the dampened morning drizzle, energy still soared — and, as we boarded the bus, the sun began to shine! Classic camp. 
  • Then, later that day, the Elaine and Michael Serling Israeli Campers arrived and joined community leadership at Federation. After settling in and meeting more passionate supporters, the group traveled to Hillel Day School, where our gracious host families met their campers. More interactions, awesome conversations. The ruach (spirit) from that night probably reached the Holy Land — with so much pride, awesome strength! A powerful and emotional statement of community solidarity. Am Yisrael Chai
  • At Camp Maas, the next morning, early, staff members gathered, eagerly awaiting the gates to open and the family arrivals. Finally, our acreage in Ortonville was filled with summer campers — and new highlights immediately surfaced: the sounds of laughter, the sweetness of camaraderie and the formation of bunks. We’ve been waiting! Suddenly, home felt even more like home.
  • Western 1 (June 19) and, one week later, Western 2 (June 26) departed. Both trips are filled with committed staff and awesome campers — together embarking upon the upcoming journeys with total appreciation for the opportunity of a lifetime! By the trip’s conclusion, everyone will return smellier and filled with heightened satisfaction from the beauty of our country and the value of friendship.  
  • Around the corner, on June 30, Charles N. Agree Outpost Camp opens — and our final first session program unfolds — where 20 campers are prepared to enjoy the rustic adventures within WaWa, Ontario! This is a home where Tamarack beautifully creates a close-knit — and mighty — village. 
  • And, this afternoon (June 28), even as we prepare for Agree, we just celebrated the completion of our first session – Mini 1. At Adam Shalom, where the green buses returned, it was so fulfilling to see so many campers with similar conclusions: they are counting down the days until Summer ’25!

During our summers (this is our 123rd!), there’s nothing like the experience of living in nature and basking in the glory of togetherness — without separation through electronic interference. And, whether around big circles on fields, seated on green buses, sprawling inside National Trail coaches, gathering in smaller outpost camps, or celebrating Judaism in the woods or in the William Davidson Foundation Amphitheater (aka “the NOA”), the name Tamarack Camps carries sacred meaning; here, summer represents intentionality and action-packed days — and you are heard, valued, connected… and home. 

Ah, there’s magic within the intersection of these summer months. 

The best time of our year.