the ivy

Summer 2022: 10 Months in the Making

Streets of Toronto X The Ivy Day Camp and Camp Timberlane

Day camps and overnight camps operating under the same corporate banner is a relatively rare phenomenon in the camping industry. These businesses are used to seeing each other as competitors rather than partners. However, the Ivy Day Camp and Camp Timberlane have joined forces to create a brand new relationship that provides an exciting and dynamic environment where both camps are able to leverage each other’s ideas and strengths.

Founded in early 2020, the Ivy Day Camp is run by co-directors Dara Kahane and Benji Roy. As part-time educators, their work with children in the classroom offers them a unique perspective on how to help children succeed. The Ivy’s primary goals are to help both campers and staff develop independence, self-confidence and leadership skills in a fun, safe and supportive environment.

“We have a finger on the pulse of current trends affecting education, child development and the current well-being and mindset of both campers and staff,” says Benji Roy. “Covid-19 has changed the way kids develop.”

“They’ve lost out on so much,” adds Ali Nagthall, assistant director at the Ivy. “We want to do everything we can to give them back every experience and chance for growth.”

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Working alongside Camp Timberlane, the full-time team spends their days meeting, preparing, recruiting and collaborating to make summer 2022 the best it can possibly be. There’s no real off-season.

“The camping business is unique,” says Dara Kahane, co-director of the Ivy Day Camp. “We spend 10 months of our year ensuring the other two months are perfect.”

Established in 1958, Camp Timberlane’s vision has always been to create a community where children could spend their summers, connect with nature, learn new skills, become part of a family and express their individuality. The core values, spirit and integrity of Timberlane continue today under the leadership of owner and director Corey Mandell.

“We want to see all of our campers and staff excel this summer,” says Mandell. “Our two camps really do have a great deal to learn from each other.” Mandell is one of four directors of Camp Timberlane, alongside Brit Lowes, Ida Gold and Harley Hayman.

The team see themselves as lifelong learners and as such, spend much of their off-season seeking out opportunities to reflect on past summers, identify areas for improvements and change and update future programs and training.

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Collaboration is what truly sets both camps apart. The entire two-camp team meets every Wednesday where the agenda is set, the phones go to voice mail and, most importantly, snacks are always provided.

The Ivy team deeply values their connection with Camp Timberlane. “I feel grateful for Timberlane’s insight” says Jess Katzman, unit head at the Ivy. “Weekly meetings help keep us connected and together. We’ve come up with new programs and ways to help foster independence and confidence in our campers.”

“I think our younger campers and staff will benefit from the added Ivy team’s background in day camping,” says Gold, who has been a director at Timberlane for over 15 years. “We’ll be able to further enhance our programming and planning for our youngest campers, ensuring they feel safe to take risks in a new environment.”

New for 2022, the camps will be offering the ultimate overnight experiences, helping to facilitate the transition from day camp to overnight camp. The Overnighters and Travellers programs offer campers the chance to immerse themselves in everything Camp Timberlane has to offer while supported by the friends and staff members they’ve bonded with at the Ivy. With the combined years of camp experience along with the expertise of this team of eight, campers are sure to feel supported and confident as they venture into the overnight world.

“We’re excited to offer these unique overnight experiences to help campers explore their options when and if they are ready,” says Hayman.

camp timberlane

It’s clear that both camps appreciate and respect each other and together will create summer camp experiences that have a lifelong impact on campers. With Timberlane’s years of overnight experience, and the Ivy’s day camp viewpoint, the team has really aided each other.

“We are lucky to have each other,” says Lowes. “This really is the way summer camp is meant to be.”

Article exclusive to Streets Of Toronto