Objects of the Month

August 2010: Camp Louise bracelet, 1950s

Camp Louise bracelet, 1950s
  • Object No.: 2005.1.1
  • Donor: Penny Feuerzeig
  • Description:

    Metal chain bracelet. Individual letter charms on the bracelet spell out CAMP LOUISE, 1950s

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.

Photograph of Camp Louise girls, 1950s

Camp Louise girls in their "Shabbat whites", 1950s.

JHSGW Collections, Gift of Penny Feuerzeig.

Today, the camps offer Israeli folk dance, drama, crafts, and athletics. On Friday nights, Camp Louise girls wear "Shabbat whites" 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 in 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 info@jhsgw.org or (202) 789-0900.