Summer Lovin – Karen and Dan
Karen & Dan
URJ Camp George
When at camp did you meet?
We met on the very first day of Camp George’s staff training the summer the camp opened in 1999. Karen was working as the camp’s Program Director and Daniel arrived to run the camp’s Arts Program. Daniel got off the staff bus and Karen was there, clipboard in hand! We even remember having a conversation that very first day.
What did you first think of each other? Was it love at first sight?
We became friends for a few weeks (which is really long in camp time) and then our relationship started half way through camp. Daniel admired Karen’s enthusiasm for working with kids with special needs, and Karen admired Daniel’s skills with fimo clay and the delicious pitas he made over the campfire. While Karen was the voice of camp, Daniel had a quiet leadership that was unique. Our differences have always been an interesting balance that works.
What happened between you when camp ended that summer?
When camp ended, Daniel headed back to Regina, Saskatchewan to continue his art degree while Karen began her teaching career. Together we decided that while we didn’t know if the relationship could survive being across the country from one another, it also didn’t feel right not to try. After a few cross country visits, Daniel ultimately decided to transfer to school in Toronto, which he did following the second summer of camp. After two summers, Karen transitioned from teaching to becoming a full time camp professional. The rest is history!
Did you have anything camp-themed at your wedding?
One of our first camp song leaders sang us down the aisle and our guests left with carabiners in honor of a donation we made back to Camp. Our Ketubah, handmade by an Israeli artist, incorporated elements of camp’s scenic landscape – including the swim dock!
Do you find that your time at camp has influenced your relationship? How so?
We feel very fortunate and blessed to have been able to create a life together with camp as the center. Between our professional lives, family life, and the way we involve ourselves in the greater Jewish community, every area of our lives continues to be enriched by camp.
Do you send your kids to camp?
Our kids were born and raised at Camp George! Our eleven year old daughter, Ruby, was the first offspring of a Camp George relationship. They will be there forever.