Generations of Family Leadership Sustain JCC Camping

February 25, 2015

In 1966, a group of JCC leaders had a vision to secure two locations for the Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center’s (JCC) overnight and day camps.  Nathan Wahlberg (of blessed memory) was one of those visionary leaders, who strongly believed in the importance of Jewish camp – especially on behalf of his Milwaukee community. Nathan not only helped purchase the beautiful land in Eagle River for what became the Steve & Shari Sadek Family Camp Interlaken JCC, but he and his wife Catherine also provided a grant to establish what is now the Albert & Ann Deshur JCC Rainbow Day Camp.  Today, his vision is being carried forward by his family.

Generations of Wahlbergs have come to love JCC Rainbow Day Camp. Seth Wahlberg, grandson of Nathan and Catherine, was a camper, a counselor, and now co-chairs the JCC Rainbow Day Camp Committee with Monica Arnstein.  His sister Jacquelyn and cousins, Jessica Sirota and Ethan Sennett, were also campers.  This next generation is forging new ground at JCC Rainbow Day Camp, much like Nathan before them. Seth recently attended the national JCamp 180 Conference (a division of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation), where he learned about day camp strategic planning, and gained access to Grinspoon Foundation’s network of industry-leading camp experts.

The Wahlberg Family has a long standing tradition of investing in the future of the Milwaukee Jewish community.  When the land in Fredonia was first purchased, the Wahlbergs donated the arts and craft lodge, located on a beautiful wooded hill at camp.  This coming summer – because of new investments from Dr. Jordan & Beth Sennett, Dr. Neil & Karen Wahlberg, and Seth & Rebecca Wahlberg - the old “barn” will be refurbished to become the new Catherine & Nathan Wahlberg Family Nature Center.

“My grandfather was very proud of his role as one of the founding fathers of the Fredonia and Eagle River camps,” Seth said.  “Our entire family is excited about the nature center project and knows that it will help preserve camp’s mission for years to come.” 

To learn more about the new Catherine & Nathan Wahlberg Family Nature Center, or discuss ways in which your family’s favorite JCC program can be fortified for generations to come, contact JCC Chief Development Officer Harriet Rothman at 414-967-8239.

Catherine & Nathan Wahlberg