Alyssa Patt and Caren Barkin relax at Tamarack.
3144 W. 12 Mile
1900 N. Wayne Rd.
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ity of taking care of the campers,
Mr. Bassin says. "They're yours
24 hours a day. When they eat,
when they sleep, it's up to you. It
takes incredible energy."
To find energetic counselors
like Mr. Bassin, Tamarack's Mr.
Finkelberg is turning to Camp
Counselors U.S.A., Camp Amer-
ica and Bunacamp. These com-
panies work with the U.S.
government to obtain visas for
foreign staff and interview and
Beginning this year, Tama-
rack also has sent its own re-
cruiter to attend college fairs in
Australia and Europe.
Foreign counselors usually are
older, and see the summer camp
job as a travel opportunity. Once
camp is over, many tour the
United States until the visa ex-
Mr. Finkelberg seeks foreign
counselors to work as waterfront
or horseback riding specialists.
Tamarack's parent agency, the
Fresh Air Society, has a policy
that bunk counselors must be
Jewish, but specialists don't have
to be. "If I can find one Jewish
horseback riding specialist out of
10," Mr. Finkelberg says, "I'm
Foreign counselors are given
additional training, beyond their
U.S. counterparts, in how to deal
with American campers. Tama-
rack also tries to match them
with host families.
In recent years, Mr. Finkel-
berg has drawn heavily on Cana-
dian counselors. A former camp
director in Montreal, he says the
Canadians share the same val-
ues and culture as the United
States and require less training
than other foreign counselors.
Another source of staff for all
camps are former campers. They
usually work one year in a train-
ing program before becoming
Tamarack hires 56 17-year-
olds each summer to serve on its
Teen Service Staff training pro-
gram. The following summer, 80
percent — about 40 — return as
Alison Rabinovitz of Hunting-
ton Woods was a TSS in 1993 be-
fore her senior year at Berkley
High. She had "the best time,
loved working with kids, met
new people and made a lot of
But she didn't return to camp
in 1994 because she did not want
to be away from home before
attending the University of
Michigan. Last summer, money
got in the way: "I made four
times as much working at the
Huntington Woods Community
PAUL L. GABA SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH NEWS
"College catalogues and videos
or some high school stu-
dents, "summer school" will show you what the college
means cram-studying to wants you to see," said Susan
improve grades or adding George, career center coordina-
courses to their scholastic re- tor at Bloomfield Hills' Andover
High School. "You wouldn't buy
But a number of teen-agers a new car out of a catalogue, and
are opting for "different" summer you shouldn't choose your college
study programs: specialized out of a catalogue. You should get
courses in arts, the media, engi- out there and see it, and these
neering and other subjects, host- summer programs give students
ed by universities across the the opportunity to get out, to get
on campus and see how it fits."