Quick Click … From the William Davidson Digital Archive of Jewish Detroit History, Feb. 18, 2016
Summer camps for Jewish youth have a long history in Michigan. The Feb. 4 issue of the JN featured its annual camp guide. And, I wondered — when did the JN or the Jewish Chronicle (JC) first feature ads or stories about summer camps?
The first entries I could find regarding summer camps were in 1917, on the Chronicle’s “Society” pages. For one of many examples, in the Aug. 24 issue, it was noted that “Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Selling” were motoring to visit their daughter, Louise, who was at summer camp in Maine.
Another entry from Oct. 29, 1920, noted that the Detroit Community Fund would provide $9,221 to the Jewish Fresh Air Society, which maintained a “summer camp on the Grosse Pointe Shore Line.” In August 1921, it reported that the Shaarey Zedek Boy Scouts left for the “Detroit Council Camp, Osius.”
The first detailed story on a summer camp was about E.H. Saulson opening his Camp Grand Sable for boys, 3.5 miles from Grand Marais, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The story was published on May 12, 1922. Camp Grand Sable also had the first advertisement for summer camps, which ran in the June 9 issue that year. Indeed, summer camps have been a topic for nearly 100 years in the JN and JC.
By Mike Smith, DJN Foundation archivist
Want to learn more? Go to the DJN Foundation archives, available for free at www.djnfoundation.org.