The Switch to Co-Educational Camps
By the late-1920s and early-1930s, concepts of gender and sexuality had changed and co-ed camping was often seen as more healthy and natural than single sex camps. Many camps became co-ed (even if bunks were on opposite sides of the camp) and other camps often scheduled activities with brother and sister camps. Jewish camps were some of the earliest co-ed camps.
Some camps stayed gender segregated, but developed adjacent “sister camps.” The leftmost two photographs show the lake that separated two joint camps, Arthur and Reeta, run by a Philadelphia YM-YWHA.
Among the oldest campers and the counselors, camp could be a place for romance. Arnold and Hadassah in the bottom middle picture married four years after this photograph was taken in 1947 at the Pennsylvania Camp Hofnung.
Jewish Family and Children's Agency. Camps Arthur and Reeta. Lake Area, Camp Arthur. Zieglersville, Montgomery County, Penna. Camps Arthur and Reeta, established in 1925, conducted by the Philadelphia YM-YWHA Camps, 401 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA.
Group of boys and girls leave by bus for a country camp, circa 1950
Camp Hofnung. 1946. A summer camp in Pipersville, PA sponsored by the Workmen's Circle. Saul Meyer and Ricky ??? (waitress).
Camp Reeta girls enjoying the tonic of a swim in Lake Aree
Camp Hofnung. 1947. A summer camp in Pipersville, PA sponsored by the Workmen's Circle. Hadassah Weitzel and Arnold Shafritz. (Arnold and Hadassah married in 1951.)
Camp Moledet. 1950.