Meet Our Family
In 1956, a young teacher named Mel Katz founded Deer Mountain Day Camp. He and his wife, Rita Katz, created a place where children could be celebrated as themselves within a warm and meaningful community. Today, their daughters, Roberta and Carol Katz, carry the tradition forward—maintaining Deer Mountain’s strong history and founding mission while enhancing and modernizing its approach.
With a focus on connection, our campers and staff stay close to Deer Mountain all year long. We emphasize our culture deeply among staff—ensuring their ongoing dedication to our commitment to your child.
For Roberta Katz, summer’s annual Carnival is an event she looks forward to all year long. It’s a vibrant display of both community and of giving back, of modern and of traditional: philosophies that are woven deeply into the fabric of Deer Mountain. It’s a special event and tradition that requires a history as long as ours to be as unique and special as it is. A blend of the best of today’s standards, it also has a fundraising component. Local camps for children with developmental disabilities receive donations from DMDC camper families and staff and we match all funds raised.
To Roberta, DMDC is about helping each camper become exactly who he or she is supposed to be and ultimately, helping shape tomorrow. Nothing moves her more than seeing the remarkable people our former campers become as they grow up – and knowing that we have played even a small part in their development. The adoration and trust that they have for Deer Mountain and her family gives her a feeling that is truly priceless.
Director of DMDC since 1992, Roberta is every family’s point person at camp—from the initial visit to the final, fond farewell. Lively and intuitive, she listens intently to your ideas, questions or concerns, gets to know your child and his/her needs—and makes sure they get met or addressed.
Roberta is also a successful entrepreneur. She holds an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, lending keen business savvy to Deer Mountain’s ownership and operation. She has been an active member of the American Camp Association, serving on the executive committee of the board of directors for numerous years and playing a leadership role in many training events and conferences. In 2012, Roberta and sister and co-owner Carol Katz founded Deer Mountain Sports & Events, a program that continues the camp’s enriching programs in educational settings year-round.
For Carol Katz, it’s the buzz and energy of camp that keeps her anticipating summer all year long. The quiet of the off-season transitions into everyone coming together as a community and all of the year’s planning coming alive.
As director of Deer Mountain since 2002, Carol is passionately involved in its mission to help kids embrace who they are within our supportive community. A few years ago, she interviewed a former lifelong camper for a staffer position. He told her that his introduction to music at Deer Mountain helped him come out of his shell – the shy camper who came to us at 5 years old learned how to play guitar in our rock band and eventually felt at home on a stage. Watching campers grow stronger from within and become more comfortable with themselves is a thrill that never grows old.
With an academic background in human and child development from Cornell University and a master’s degree in education from Northwestern, Carol understands camp programming from a professional standpoint. She’s thrilled to apply her lifelong commitment to children in a place that shaped her so deeply as a child—and as part of her own family’s tradition. When Carol isn’t at camp, she’s enjoying the company of her loving husband and two young daughters, just beginning their years as Deer Mountain campers.
Owners Roberta and Carol are both very dedicated…and get to know each camper. I am glad we decided to become part of their family. –Howard A, NYC