Tamarack Camps is a Jewish summer camp organization run by the Fresh Air Society in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, USA. The Fresh Air Society began in Michigan in 1902, and recently celebrated its 100-year anniversary in the summer of 2002. Tamarack operates three major camps, as well as teen trip programs. These camps are Maas, Agree, Kennedy, and Western, Alaska and Appalachian trips.
Camp Maas, the major residential camp of Tamarack Camps, is located in Ortonville, Michigan, off Perryville Road. Camp Maas 1,500 acres (6.1 km2), named for the Detroit area's philanthropist Benard Maas, caters to children from grades 2 through 9.It is made up of eleven villages, ranging by age and gender. Each is led by a supervisor and cabins subdivided with 2 counselors each. As of 2016, 4 villages, The Nature Program (Or Teva), and Arts and Crafts have been redone with A/C and fine upgrades.The villages, which are named for the sole or major donors of that specific village, are:
Brighton (Junior) Side:
- Applebaum - 2nd and 3rd grade boys
- Shiffman - 2nd and 3rd grade girls
- Deroy - 4th and 5th grade boys
- Fishman - 4th and 5th grade girls
- Levison - 6th grade boys
- Charach-Sheruth - 6th grade girls
- Hermelin - 7th grade boys
- Berman - 7th grade girls
- Pioneer - 8th grade co-ed
- Ruach - 8th grade co-ed
- Specialty - 9th grade co-ed
- TSS-Going into 12th grade co-ed
As a Jewish camp, Tamarack campers participate in Jewish programming focusing on Israel, the Torah, Jewish holidays and the Holocaust. Prayer services take place on Shabbat evening and morning. All meals served at the Tamarack Camp facilities are prepared and served in accordance with the Jewish Kosher Dietary Laws and are under rabbinic supervision. Coordinates:
Located in the woods of Canada, the Agree Outpost Camp is home to kids going into 10th and 11th grade's who have a love for camping. It is limited in number and strives to cultivate a sense of community. Agree is located between Wawa, Ontario and White River, Ontario. There is one 6 week session for both boys girls, this is a coed program.
Agree consists of an eight-day hiking trip, and a kayaking trip.
Each camper receives a canoe paddle to personalize as a memento of the summer and to use on the canoeing trip. The first week of camp consists of programs like camp craft that promotes the Leave No Trace approach, canoe skills and other community building activities as well as plenty of time to work on paddles or other projects. When at the base camp, campers pitch in after breakfast to keep Melvin and Matilda (the outhouses) smelling fresh, kitchen duties and other chores that keep camp running.
Agree is also home to the Teen Tripping program, in which staff going into their freshman year of college train to be outpost staff by facilitating trips of campers from Mass' Pioneer village. The trippers also go on multiple trips without any campers, which allow them to hone their staffing skills. In 2011 Teen Tripping was canceled but, in 2015 the program was reinstated.
In the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is Camp Kennedy. Kennedy is the site of Governor Green's former hunting lodge. It is located off H-58 in Shingleton, near Munising. Like Agree, Kennedy is limited in number to make an unforgettable experience. Kennedy has only one program, for 9th and at one time 10th graders. Kennedy campers go on several trips, including a hiking trip at the Porcupine Mountain and a canoeing trip in Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada.
Tenth graders have the option to go on a Western Trip. This trip is 5 weeks long, and travels by charter bus through the country. Western campers go on 2 backcountry trips; one in the Rocky Mountains and one in Yosemite National Park. Western trips also travel and hike through places such as Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Badlands National Park and other locations. They visit cities such as Aspen, Colorado, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The trip is culminated at Camp Kennedy.
Eleventh graders can attend a trip to Alaska. This trip is seven weeks long, and travels by charter bus. The first week is in Canada and goes to Banff to do day hikes in the area, after which the campers take a ferry to Alaska. A staple of the trip is hiking the Chilkoot Trail.
Though the itinerary changes each summer, previous groups have hiked the Pinnell Mountain Trail and Kesugi Ridge. Ice climbing on the Matanuska Glacier, salmon fishing in Seward and a kayak trip other such activities are common on the Alaskan trip itinerary.
The trip has its final banquet and debriefing at Camp Kennedy.
Campers on the Appalachian Adventure Trip will create memories and friendships that last a lifetime while exploring stunning state and national parks, including Acadia National Park in Maine, Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, and the Great Smoky Mountain National Park in North Carolina. In addition to the many great day hikes, campers will visit Niagara Falls and go on a four-day backpacking trip. Campers will become more self-reliant and as a group they will plan and cook their meals and help to determine their daily hikes. These experiences will help develop their leadership skills and confidence. The trip encourages an atmosphere of face-to-face communication as it excludes modern devices, such as cell phones, where campers will unplug and experience nature at its best.
Other Tamarack programs
Formerly located at Camp Maas, the Pine Forest day camp catered to younger children in the area. Pine Forest campers used the facilities at Maas until it was closed in 2007. Recently closed, the Silverman Village was home to campers with behavior or emotional difficulties. Silverman Village is a separate property with its own lodge and waterfront, but Silverman campers used many of the Camp Maas amenities. The Butzel Conference Center, renovated between December 2008-March 2009, is made up of three guest house cabins and a central lodge for meetings and groups. Tamarack Camps also owns two tripping bases in Michigan: one located in Mio, and one located in Mesick.
The popular boy band T5 made their name with their hit single pump it up tamarack camps in the summer of 2009.