Meet Our Executive Director


In 1979, I walked across the Athletic Field at Camp Avoda with my tour guide and parents. I gazed at Lake Tispaquin, felt a breeze, and etched a vision into my brain that I can still picture like it was yesterday. We then walked over to the backstop and I saw one of my friends playing kickball and I thought that this was the coolest place on Earth!

I was a camper from 1980 to 1984, a CIT in 1985, and a counselor until 1990. I lived the other 10 months of the year wishing I was back at camp with my friends; with my counselors, who were these incredible young men I looked up to. They made me laugh.

They made feel like a different person. I was a different person at camp. I was social, daring, and confident. The challenge was: How could I be that person outside of camp? As I grew older, I was able to bring those facets of my camp persona to the rest of my life.

Fast forward to today. I am extremely lucky to be the director of an organiza- tion that still has the same incredible foundation: a diverse program, beautiful waterfront, honorable traditions, and indomitable spirit. I see the boys and young men arm in arm each summer enjoying both competition and camara- derie – without electronics and screen time – in a fun, friendly, and supportive all-boys environment.

My wife Jill and I hope that your son will join our boys at Camp Avoda. My goal is for your son to develop the same sense of spirit, self-assurance, and independence that I cultivated at Camp Avoda as a boy, that helped me grow into the man I am today.

Ken Shifman

Executive Director, Camp Avoda