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A Hand Up: 1943

A Hand Up: 1943

August 1943. "Southfields, New York. Interracial activities at Camp Nathan Hale, where children are aided by the Methodist Camp Service." Medium-format nitrate negative by Gordon Parks for the Office of War Information. View full size.


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Camp Pequot on Lake Stahahe

I fondly remember spending approximately five summers at the original Camp Wanenaki, which later became Camp Ralph and Rose Hitman.

The original Camp Pequot was a church camp. In 1942 the price of admission was $25 a week and I used to spend eight weeks. I had the pleasure of driving by Lake Stahahe this past winter. Took some pictures and spent a half hour remembering some of the happiest days of my life. Used to hike to Lake Kanewaki to the outdoor roller skating rink. An old Ford woodie wagon would bring our lunch (usually a couple of bologna sandwiches).

Met my first girlfriend there. I was 9 and she was 8. Also remember Camp Trexler and the German ski camp. Catching turtles and water snakes. We slept in Army surplus seven-man tents (like the ones in M*A*S*H). When it rained ours leaked.

Nathan Hale Camp

From 1969-1973, I attended Camp Trexler on Lake Stahahe, which had the mailing address of Southfields, NY. Lake Stahahe is in the Harriman State Park section of the Palisade Interstate (NY-NJ) Park system.

A little searching reveals Nathan Hale Camp was on Lake Stahahe as well - and shows up in a biography of Burt Lancaster. Both a google books hit and the Lancaster bio report that Nathan Hale Camp was sponsored by the Union Settlement House on East 104th Street in Manhattan. Lancaster earned credit towards attending Nathan Hale by appearing in a Union sponsored theatrical production.

Also on Lake Stahahe was Camp Wabenaki (now Camp Ralph & Rose Hitman), long sponsored by the Boys Brotherhood Republic on NYC's Lower East Side.


why did you change the format of the RSS feed? Now we don't get thumbnails :-(

[Refresh your reader. The RSS feed now uses the larger Preview images instead of thumbnails. - Dave]

Go Methodists

Wow. Close enough to see goosebumps. Did a quick search and can't find out more about this camp, but Go Methodists for having such an early interracial camp. I hope it went well.

The Defiant Ones

I am somehow reminded of the 1958 film "The Defiant Ones," with Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier at the height of their box-office bankability. The two characters are shackled together as escaped convicts trying to make their getaway on an accelerating freight train. Poitier clings to the door of a boxcar, extending his hand to Curtis who sprints to catch up. The close-up of the two hands struggling to grasp transcends the obvious cliche to become an iconic piece of American cinema.

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