The Leadership Program was created by an organization called Partnership 2000. Every year an Israeli delegation goes to a Jewish summer camp called Tamarack. The Leadership program is a follow-up program intended for youth that previously participated in the delegation to the Tamarack Camps.
Tamarack Camps is a Jewish summer camp run by the Fresh Air Society in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. The Fresh Air Society began in Michigan in 1902, and celebrated its 100th 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 and Alaska trips.
The Tamarack Camps have several goals and objectives. Its first objective is to help campers feel more secure with themselves as individuals and as Jews. The Tamarack program encompasses Jewish philosophy and traditions. It encourages campers to develop both group skills and personal independence, and it’s doing so in a way that enables the campers to have a lot of fun through social activities, sports and group dynamics. An important goal is to develop the campers’ awareness and appreciation for the environment and develop awareness and sensitivity to the needs of others.
The leadership program is for 15-17 year old kids who went to the Tamarack Camps and have been accepted to the program. As a follow-up program, the aims of the Leadership program are to work on leadership capabilities, to increase social awareness and to become active in various fields concerning the environment.
As a teenager who participated in the Tamarack delegation, this year I take part in this project. During the four years of participation in the program, we are exposed to new things that might help us in our lives and also could affect the lives of others. During the program sessions we are encouraged to suggest ideas that we think can be good for us and for the environment and the society we live in.
Every two weeks we meet and discuss things we can contribute from our knowledge. In every group there are about 20 teenagers. Each one has something that he can share in his own way. We also participate in social activities that help us work together and communicate in a better and more effective way that respects the opinions of others.
I really enjoy this project because it gives me tools and tips for life – how to be a good person and maybe someday a leader, how not to be a follower, but to lead in a better way. It expands my horizons and gives me an opportunity to share things that might help others and share my knowledge with others.
It is a great opportunity for me to meet the people that I shared the camp experience with. In addition, we have a chance to go back to the camp as guides at the age of 16.
This is my first year in this project and I hope to continue with this. I really want to go back to the camp again and to become a guide there.