Camp Kennedy
Camp Kennedy

Tamarack Camps offers teens once-in-a-lifetime camping and travel opportunities.

Between outpost camps in northern Michigan and Canada, and travel trips to Alaska and the Western United States, Tamarack Camps is offering Jewish Michigan teens a number of unique and life-changing camping experiences to apply for this summer.

Campers entering grades 9-11 can embark on one-of-a-kind adventures that teach life and survival skills, leadership, independence and organization, while learning about Jewish tradition and culture. Here’s what to know about each experience and what teens can expect to learn, along with their highlights and popular activities.

Camp Kennedy

Geared toward campers entering ninth grade, Tamarack Camps’ Camp Kennedy Outpost Camp is located just east of Munising in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (close to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore). This smaller, remote camp accommodates 25-26 campers and is free of modern devices, like clocks, watches and cell phones.

“They work to do everything,” Tamarack Camps camp director Carly Weinstock explains. “They decide what meals they want to cook every day or what programs they want to do.”

This smaller camping group also partakes in several day trips that include hiking and canoe trips, which teach basic survival skills. “These are more rustic, longer camping trips than our Camp Maas program does,” Weinstock continues.

Having that freedom to build their own schedule, Weinstock says, offers teens a sense of responsibility that teaches them important life and leadership skills.

“At Camp Maas, a lot of your decisions are being made for you and you rely on your counselors to do that for you,” she says. “When you’re in an outpost camp, you are making those decisions and [this type of] camping takes you to the next level of being independent.”

Camp Kennedy Session One runs June 19-July 14 and has an early-bird discounted fee of $7,195. Camp Kennedy Session Two runs July 17-Aug. 11 and has the same price. Beginning Jan. 1, 2023, both prices go up to $7,695.

Charles N. Agree

Situated just outside of Wawa in northern Ontario, Canada, Charles N. Agree Outpost Camp, or Ultimate Agree, is designed for campers entering grades 10 and 11. Slightly larger than Camp Kennedy, this outpost camp accommodates 32-34 campers. There, campers learn leadership skills, self-confidence, how to navigate group dynamics and how to build interpersonal relationships while also experiencing the timeless Jewish traditions like Shabbat that Tamarack Camps is ultimately known for.

Charles N. Agree Outpost Camp
Charles N. Agree Outpost Camp

“Agree is definitely more rugged,” Weinstock says. “They don’t have electricity; they have outdoor showers. But it’s one of the most beautiful places that you would ever be.”

Similar to Camp Kennedy, teens build their own schedules and cook their own food. “It’s really a special community that you don’t get anywhere else,” she continues. “It really teaches skills that they can take with them their entire lives.”

Charles N. Agree Outpost Camp runs June 25-Aug. 2 and has an early-bird discounted fee of $6,995. Beginning Jan. 1, 2023, prices go up to $7,495.

Western Trip

Tamarack Camps’ two teen travel trips take Michiganders far outside of Michigan to experience the untouched, rugged wilderness in other parts of the country. The Western Trip is offered for campers entering 10th grade and is an intensive, five-week backpacking trip through the Western side of the United States.

Campers on the Western Trip
Campers on the Western Trip

Campers visit sites such as Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, Zion National Park in Utah and Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. There, they white river raft, day hike, rock climb and, of course, cook their own meals without the use of modern devices.

“What the travel trips do is really create magic for these groups,” Weinstock says. “They’re hiking every day and sleeping in tents, but it changes these kids for the better. It really makes them grow as teens and as a group while learning how to be a community.”

The Western Trip runs June 21-Aug. 8 (with dates subject to slight changes) and has a fee of $7,495. Prices remain the same after Jan. 1, 2023.

Alaska Trip

Campers entering 11th grade can embark on a 48-day trip to Alaska that includes hiking, camping and touring Alaska and the Canadian Rockies. As one of Tamarack Camps’ most intensive and rugged trips, campers do everything from ice climb on a glacier to fish for salmon, as well as hike the steep and winding Klondike Gold Rush Trail.

While the idea may sound scary to some, Weinstock says she meets with each family to discuss the trip and any fears they might have. “We show them pictures, we talk about it, and no one has canceled,” she explains. “They all go on the trips. One of the girls called her mom halfway through the trip because they get a phone call, and she said, ‘Mom, thank you so much for allowing me to go on this trip because it changed my life.’”

The Alaska Trip runs June 21-Aug. 9 and has a fee of $10,795. Prices remain the same after Jan. 1, 2023.

Find information about trips and outpost camps at tamarackcamps.com.

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