Great “Camp People”: Marc Newburgh and David Abrams

Dear Camp George Families,

Occasionally, I meet someone who just discovered that I have turned camping into my career and they light up at the mere mention of “camp.” I immediately know, they are “camp people” and we share the same set of values. We know how to forge friendships that will last a lifetime, how to support one another through trial and error, and how to take care of others, while also taking care of ourselves.

Camp George is lucky to be supported by so many “camp people”: our campers and their families, our staff, our medical team, our faculty, the synagogues that support us and encourage their congregants to attend, Leo Baeck Day School, and also, our Steering Committee.

Our Steering Committee is a team of esteemed advisors that volunteers their time and expertise to help Camp George develop and reach new heights. Not only are they “camp people” to their core; but they also help to create an environment where our community is proud to be Jewish and help to raise funds for improvements like our new Junior Camper Village.

Today, I have the pleasure of telling you about two of Camp George’s closest advisors: Marc Newburgh and David Abrams. For the past two years, Marc has served as Chair of the Steering Committee and David has served as Vice Chair. And while they held official titles for the past two years (or more), their service to camp extends farther back than my time as Director—their devotion is remarkable.

Left- Marc Newburgh, former Chair of the Steering Committee, right is David Abrams, current Chair of the Steering Committee.

Marc is simply a mensch; he is positive, always cheers on his team and he’s quick to deliver a compliment. During his tenure, Marc established many close relationships within the Greater Toronto community, including galvanizing our partnership with the Leo Baeck Day School. Marc assisted in establishing our Dean of Jewish Living position and bringing Rabbi Noam Katz into our Camp George family. Under Marc’s tutelage, Camp George developed a Strategic Plan to guide our growth over the next three to five years.

Additionally, during his term, Camp George acquired 60 new acres of land (“Gan Matan”), installed a basketball court, a zipline, a Frisbee golf course, and purchased a new ski boat.

It is amazing to think of all that was accomplished with Marc’s leadership and all the foundations that were laid for many more future plans. From the bottom of my heart, and on behalf of our community, I thank you for all the time and hard work you graciously donated to camp – your impact will be everlasting.

This past August, Marc’s term as Chair came to an end and he installed David Abrams as the new Chair of the Steering Committee.

David is loyal, sharp-focused, decisive and can deliver a one-liner like the best of comedians. Over the years, David has served as our head of marketing and we can credit the phrase “Gotta Get to George” to him and his team. His expertise has helped us to establish “Camp George” as the brand in which we all take pride. During his Vice Chair term, David served as Marc’s right-hand man and took a large role in the Strategic Planning committee. Throughout this planning process, David oversaw the development of the rules of governance for our Steering Committee and set into place term limits for those holding positions. The new governing structure allows for camp’s leadership to rotate and guarantees that many voices will be heard as advisors. As Vice Chair, David has left a strong legacy upon which Camp will prosper for many years to come.

I am thrilled that David has now stepped into the role of Chair of the Steering Committee and I am looking forward to watching us flourish under his guidance.

Like all “camp people,” Marc and David quickly forged an extraordinary friendship. I asked these two best friends for quotes about one another to show you their passion for camp.

David on Marc: “Marc brought great leadership and vision to his role as Camp Chair. He knew the importance of creating greater connections between Camp George and the Jewish community and set out to do just that with great success. I look forward to Marc’s continued friendship, support and wise counsel in the years ahead.”

Marc on David: “David has been a fabulous partner to work with, an outstanding Vice Chair, and has become a very dear and close friend. He is passionate about Jewish Overnight Camping and based on his own experiences as a camper, staff member and father of two campers, someone who knows first hand what the effect of Reform Jewish Camping can have on the lives of our children.”

From left to right: Sandi Smith, Brenda Anshan, Jeff Rose, Marc Newburgh and Karen Kollins

I would also like to welcome Sandi Smith as the new Vice Chair of the Steering Committee. Sandi first served as our Events Chair and then went on to chair our Strategic Planning Committee. While leading this committee, she was responsible for overseeing the creation of a road map for camp’s growth over the next three to five years. Sandi’s dedication to camp is immeasurable and we are lucky that she has agreed to take on even more work.

Sandi also had kind words to share about Marc and David:

Sandi on Marc: “Marc’s greatest contribution as Chair was engaging and partnering with the wider Reform community. Marc had a clear understanding that these partnerships are very important to the future and success of Camp George. He created these partnerships with grace and a warm heart, a true ambassador for Camp George.”

Sandi on David: “As Vice Chair, David was Marc’s right hand and quietly worked beside him. In addition to being Marc’s sounding board, he reformulated and refined the Governance Document and drafted out a proposal for new programming at Camp George. He has some innovative ways to move the Steering committee forward and also assist and advise Jeff Rose. David brings to Camp George his years of community with his synagogue and I look forward to working with him.”

And as the Camp Director, I look forward to the advice and wisdom that David and Sandi will bring to camp during their tenure. We are also fortunate that Marc will continue to stay closely involved. If you are interested in helping to advise and plan for camp, please reach out to David and Sandi about joining a sub-committee.

Camp is blessed to be advised by such wonderful people. The best kind of people: Camp People.

Sincerely,

Jeff Rose, Director

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