An appreciation for everything camp inspired Lisa and Danny Klein to step forward with a generous scholarship gift to Tamarack Camps.

Sitting in the swing on the family’s front porch, Atticus Finch tries to comfort his daughter Scout after her first day of the school year. That new teacher! Atticus reminds Scout that it was the teacher’s first day, too, and no doubt she was nervous. Then he tells his daughter in “To Kill a Mockingbird”: “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”

Danny Klein of Huntington Woods knows what it’s like to “climb inside” some else’s skin, and he took what he learned from that experience to help a lot of families he’s never even met.

On April 28, Tamarack Camps hosted SK2T (Send a Kid to Tamarack) 2019, raising funds to subsidize scholarship needs to ensure that every child in the community will be able to experience camp, regardless of financial situation. Danny Klein and his wife Lisa pledged in advance a $25k match, dollar-for-dollar, for scholarship donations.

Danny and Lisa live in Huntington Woods, and Danny is a principal at Lewis/Klein Properties, a real estate development company.

The Kleins are a summer camp kind of family.

As a child, Lisa started at Tamarack Camps and spent summers at Camp Walden, where she met the girl who would become her best friend, with whom she is in constant contact to this day. Her daughters Sydney Knoll (a rising junior at the University of Michigan) and Hannah Knoll (a rising freshman at U-M), went to Camp Tanuga.

Danny’s boys, Josh (a rising sophomore at U-M) and Ben (a rising senior at Groves High School), attended all Tamarack Camps’ summer programs: Family Camp, Bubbie and Zaydie, Camp Maas, the Western and Alaska trips. This summer, Ben will be part of Tamarack Camps’ Joy & Allan Nachman Teen Leadership Trip to Israel for future leaders in the community – and at camp. There was a time, many years ago, when Ben found it tough being separated from his parents. That he has made such a dramatic change “tells you a lot about the camp and about Lee Trepeck (director of Camp Maas),” Danny says.

During the recession, Danny experienced a few difficult years and had to apply for camp scholarships. Yes, he says, “It’s humbling to need support, but Tamarack makes it very easy.” Parents simply complete a questionnaire and provide certain forms and basic information.

When business turned around, Danny was eager to help other families facing similar challenges. So he began contributing to the Tamarack Camps Send a Kid to Tamarack. And this year, with his youngest child headed off to his last summer at camp, he and Lisa decided to match scholarship donations, hoping to encourage others to give.

Danny says that the benefits Tamarack Camps provide to children are extraordinary: they make friendships that can last forever, spend time outdoors and away from electronics, and they develop their connection to Judaism – all while having the most amazing fun. So, the idea of helping with scholarships was a natural. He and Lisa agreed: “This is a good way to say thank you and pay it forward.”

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