Collections: Objects of the Month
August 2010: Camp Louise bracelet
Object #: 2005.1.1
Donor: Penny Feuerzeig
Description: Metal chain bracelet. Individual letter charms on the bracelet spell out CAMP LOUISE.
Located in western Maryland's Catoctin Mountains, Camp Louise was founded by Lillie and Aaron Straus and Baltimore's Jewish community in 1922 to provide a week's rest to immigrant women who worked in sweatshops. With assistance from Ida Sharogrodsky of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, it evolved into a summer camp for girls. Nearby Camp Airy for boys opened in 1924. The Jewish Community Center in D.C. gave scholarships for local children to go to these camps until it opened its own camp in 1942.
Today, the camps offer Israeli folk dance, drama, crafts, and athletics. On Friday nights, Camp Louise girls wear "Shabbat whites" (like in this 1950s photograph also donated by Penny Feuerzeig) and line up to salute the flag. On Saturday mornings, boys at Camp Airy participate in creative Sabbath services under the trees of the camp's outdoor theater.
The first joint Camp Airy & Louise alumni reunion was on July 25, 2010, and included camp activities, tours, and a dinner with seating by decade of camp attendance.
Do you have materials documenting your summer camp experiences? To donate, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 789-0900.