While processing some of the Federation’s Communal Planning Committee folders, I encountered an invitation for the dedication of the Henry Kaufmann Campgrounds in Staten Island, held on June 14, 1953. The invitation indicated that the day campground provided “city youngsters with camping experience in a natural rustic environment without the trying break of family ties which comes when a young child is sent to a summer residence camp.”
The dedication ceremony featured speeches from the President of the Federation, Milton Weill, and Oscar-awarded actress Kim Hunter (who, along with Roddy McDowall, was in the film Planet of the Apes). Attendees of the dedication ceremony could have toured the swimming pool, the lodge, eight rainy day shelters, two athletic fields, nature trails, fishing ponds, and more. As the invitation explains, the Henry Kaufmann Campgrounds were part of a much larger program to build day camping sites to accommodate 3,500 children in facilities just outside of the city.
Admittedly, the date of dedication ceremony was what caught my eye…today is exactly sixty years later.