North American Camp Trust

Overview

History

North American Camp Trust, Inc. (“NACT”) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation that was formed in 2016 to preserve and expand the traditional day and overnight children’s summer camp experience. NACT accomplishes its mission by acquiring and operating for-profit camps, converting those camps to 501(c)(3) not-for-profit status, and, through a combination of fundraising and deployment of operating surpluses, providing scholarship assistance to deserving children to attend NACT’s own camps or other high quality camps. NACT assists children who face financial, medical or other challenges.

NACT believes all children should be able to experience summer camp which helps them to:

  • Become more self-reliant and develop increased self-confidence and self-esteem;
  • Assume greater responsibility for honoring their best selves:
  • Learn to support each other in service of their collective well-being; and
  • Help to create a safe and secure environment

In January 2019, NACT acquired its first summer camp, Pine Grove Day Camp located in Wall Township, New Jersey. In order to further its charitable purposes, NACT is actively pursuing the acquisition of additional for-profit camps which will be converted to not-for-profit status.

Leadership

NACT’s Board and staff have extensive experience as leaders in business and nonprofit organizations. They have steered NACT’s launch with a strong dedication to its mission and vision.

Board of Directors

Danny Metzger is the former owner and director of Camp Mah-Kee-Nac, a high quality boys overnight camp in Lenox, Massachusetts. He was also the co-owner of Camp Danbee, Mah-Kee-Nac’s “sister camp” in Peru, Massachusetts. In 1998, he sold both camps to CampGroup, LLC. Danny served on CampGroup’s Board of Managers from its inception until 2002, when he stepped down as director of Camp Mah-Kee-Nac. In response to the 9/11 tragedy, Danny co-founded America’s Camp, which provided a free week of summer camp to hundreds of youngsters who lost a parent in the attacks. Danny served on the board of America’s Camp Foundation, the 501(c)3 that oversaw and operated the camp. Danny served as the Camp’s director from 202 until it ceased operations in 2011. Danny also co-founded Camp Sea Stars North, that provided a camp experience free of charge to children impacted by the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting. Danny is a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Jeff Leiken, MA, is an internationally recognized expert in the field of helping teens and young adults build substantial, thriving lives. He is a published author and popular keynote speaker and trainer for organizations that work with youth. Jeff has spoken at over 100 professional conferences and has served as a trainer and consultant at over 150 summer camps across North America. He has helped train over 20,000 adults in the youth development field. He holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Counseling from the University of San Francisco, a Pupil Personnel Services Credential from the State of California, has served as Adjunct Faculty at the University of San Francisco Graduate School Of Education, and has guest lectured at Stanford University.
Fritz Seyferth, MBA, is the principal of Fritz Seyferth Associates (FS/A). The foundation of FS/A is built on Fritz’s rich background of being a key member of “teams” that have succeeded at the highest level. Fritz’s exploration of the science of unleashing greatness began in 1979 after he left Arthur Young & Company in NYC to join his former coach Bo Schembechler to lead the business side of University of Michigan Football. Fritz has identified the human science behind enduring success and now, along with his FS/A team, shares it with leaders for their personal journeys. Fritz and his wife Lynn have been in the Ann Arbor community for 40 years, actively involved in the community from athletic, religious, corporate and community board leadership. Fritz holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial and Operations Engineering, and a MBA from the University of Connecticut School of Business.

Staff

Michele Friedman, MA, knows from her decades of professional and lay leadership experience how transformative summer camp can be for children across all socio-economic demographics. Michele has been a consultant to the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) since 2005 when she became FJC’s point person for camps experiencing operational difficulties. Beginning in 2010, she created and launched FJC’s Specialty Camp Incubator Program. She continues to oversee that program which has started 17 new nonprofit summer camps since 2010 utilizing over $30 million in grants. In 2005, Michele became the Executive Director of Summer Camp Opportunities Promote Education, Inc. (SCOPE), a newly independent, non-profit organization that provides inner-city children the experience of summer camp. She served as SCOPE’s Executive Director for 11 years. Under her leadership, SCOPE expanded nationally in three regions.

Michele’s camping roots run deep; she is a member of a camp family, which founded a traditional summer camp when she was a child, and for over two decades, Michele co-owned a business, which operated specialty camps on university campuses across the United States. For more than 20 years, she served as a board member and officer of the American Camp Association in New York. There, she chaired the Tri-State Camp Conference, the world’s largest conference for camp professionals. A founding board member and past president of Project Morry, a non-profit summer camp and year-round youth development program. ,. In recognition of her work on behalf of children in need and camping, Michele has received many regional and national camping awards.

Michele holds a Master of Arts in Special Education Administration from Columbia University.

Aquisition Advisors

Daniel Zenkel is a managing partner in The Camp Professionals, LLC (“TCP”), which offers comprehensive consulting services to for-profit and not-for-profit summer camps. TCP specializes in camp property sales and acquisitions, management and marketing. In addition, Dan owns and operates the Berkshire Soccer Academy for Girls, the country’s leading overnight girls soccer camp, which he founded in 2011. Prior to starting TCP in 2009, Dan founded and served as President and CEO of CampGroup, LLC, the country’s largest owner of for-profit summer camps. From CampGroup’s inception in 1998 through February 2009 Dan guided and oversaw the acquisition, integration and start up of CampGroup’s eleven overnight camps, two day camps and several related businesses. Dan has served on the Board of the New York Section of the American Camp Association and is a past President and longtime Board Member of SCOPE, a leading camp organization that provides camp scholarships to underserved children. Dan was one of the founders of America’s Camp, which provided a free one week camp to children who have lost a parent on 9/11 and was on the Board of the America’s Camp Foundation which operated the camp. He has presented at numerous camp industry conferences and has authored several articles for camp industry publications. Prior to starting CampGroup, Dan practiced law and was active in real estate development and management.
Bruce Zenkel has been actively involved in the investment banking business since 1967. He has served as an investment banker on dozens of transactions involving public and private companies and has served as a Director of several public companies. He has also spearheaded leveraged buyouts with a total value in excess of $500 million. In 1998, he co-founded CampGroup, LLC and served on that company’s Board of Managers from inception until 2009. He has also served on the University of Michigan Business School’s advisory board.
North American Camp Trust
North American Camp Trust
North American Camp Trust