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by Rhonda Spivak, June 29, 2015





Camp Massad is undergoing onsite improvements as a result of a hugely successful capital campaign. Phase one of Massad’s site improvement plan (including ground leveling, improved drainage, major renovations to the chadar ochel (dining hall) and the building of a state-of-the-art counsellor-in-training centre) is well underway. 



The first peek of these phase one improvements took place on Sunday, June 28, 2015. The new and improved dining hall, made possible through the generosity of the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba and the Asper Foundation, was formally dedicated at 11 a.m. It was followed at 2 p.m. by the dedication of the new counsellor-in-training centre, Mercaz Tapper, in memory of Camp Massad alumnus, Dr. Richard Tapper. Over 100 people, donors and friends of Massad are attended these special dedication ceremonies.



"We are so pleased that this summer, campers and staff will begin to experience improvements,” says Ivy Kopstein, co-chair of the Capital Campaign that raised over $890,000.  



“We especially look forward to celebrating this milestone with our generous donors and friends," she told the Winnipeg Jewish Review before the dedication ceremonies..



Those who visited the campsite for these special dedications noticed many things, including the fact that the longstanding tradition of having to traverse the Massad shetach (site) in rain boots due to puddles that last for days after the rain, was finally over! That is because architect Jeff Frank landscaped the Massad site in a way that has improved the drainage such that there will be no standing water (and presumably fewer mosquitoes). Although it rained extensively before the date of the dedication ceremonies, there were no puddles on the site!


"No one can quite believe it. But the campsite is completely dry. The puddles are gone, even after it rains," said Laurel Malkin, the other co-chair of the Capital Campaign.


Regarding the chadar ochel, Malkin noted that it is being improved by the building of "a huge eight foot deck” that will be covered by the new roof that was put on last summer as part of the phase one renovations.



“An attractive new screen room (about 500 sq. feet) will also be built off the chadar ochel," she said.



"Lanny Silver is the architect for the renovations to the Chadar Ochel," added Kopstein.


Loyal Construction were  proud to be the general contractors for the improvements on the site.



"There will also be new flooring put into the kitchen,” she noted. “And there will be a new ramp to the dining hall and an accessible washroom inside."



Architect Dov Secter, a good friend of Richard Tapper z'l, designed a new counsellor-in-training centre, Mercaz Tapper, dedicated to Richard’s memory. There will be two new wings added on to this counsellor-in-training cabin.



"One of these wings will be a sleeping area, and the other will be a lounge/programming space," Malkin said. New windows also were added, as well as a deck that can also function as a stage.



Massad Board president Mike Ritter, who has been involved in the capital campaign, pointed out other site improvements.



"We have three new flag poles - one with a Canadian flag, one with an Israeli flag, and one with a Massad flag."



Additionally, he said, "the right hand site of the Mirpeset (the indoor porch area next to the program hall) will be squared off with a deck."



Malkin added that there will be more improvements made for next year’s camping season, including the building of a new Refet (barn) which will become a "welcome centre," as well as a new Marp (medical clinic) for the on-site nurse. Additionally there will be major improvements made to the Oolam (program hall) by next season. 



As for camper registration, Massad is very pleased with its numbers.



"We have many new campers coming this summer", Malkin said, as well as a “very high retention rate of campers from last summer."


For further information about Camp Massad or its capital campaign, please contact the Camp Massad office at 204-477-7487

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.