Summer Camp History
While families had gone camping since the 19th century, organized children's summer camps developed in the early 20th century. They were part of progressive education movements that wanted to foster a sense of an American pioneer spirit, which was seen as lost in modern, urban, sophisticated, and industrialized society. Early camps were segregated by ethnicity, social class, and religion since they reflected the divisions that were a part of social interactions in wider society. So the first Jewish camps were just summer camps for Jewish children. However, over time American Jews claimed camping as their own. Camps actively fostered Jewish aims and identity, leading to the widespread phenomenon of Jewish summer camping.
The posed group photo below shows the Young Men’s Beneficial Association which organized camp Hofnung to expose city children and families to natural environments
Camp Walden. Denmark, Maine. Ethel Katzenstein attended the girl's camp in the 1920s. Three girls in a canoe.
Independent Young Men's Beneficial Assocation. Officers and Ladies Auxiliary presenting $1000 contribution to AJA to the Honorable Sydney Hoffman at the 54th Anniversary Celebration. Also children's vacation camp.
Tripp Lake Camp, Poland, Maine. Campers' Tents. An exclusive girls' camp.