Our Story

In a difficult world, we are an oasis for children ages 8 to 16; a place where they can be themselves, feel at ease, and work and play in an atmosphere of cooperation and trust.

Camp Kinderland was established in 1923 by Jewish union activists in New York, who wanted to provide a summer escape from the city for working class families. The founders of Kinderland believed that Jewish culture includes a responsibility to social justice. The camp program focused on the labor movement, and other progressive causes. Over the years, we have honored and celebrated the International Brigades in Spain, anti-fascist efforts in the World War II era, economic reform and the civil rights and anti-war movements, among others. Since Kinderland has been around for over three-quarters of a century, camp and campers have been active participants in the history and events that have shaped who we are today.

As at many camps, our campers play sports, swim and hike, gain new experiences in arts, drama, music, dance, nature and camping. But at Kinderland they also encounter ideals of social justice and peace. They don’t hesitate to sing a Yiddish labor song, paint a mural of Harriet Tubman or write a skit about putting an end to war—that’s just what you do at Camp Kinderland, where it is okay to think, to care, to question and to act. There is nothing quite like it; and it works because the values of community and culture, of justice and righteousness, are inextricably integrated with the friendship, the joy, the beauty, the sheer fun and adventure, of life at sleepaway camp. Please feel free to explore our website. We welcome your questions and look forward to meeting you!

This short clip is a teaser for a 67 minute oral history video compilation of photos, CIT play clips, and interviews with current and former Kinderlanders recounting the 90-year history of our special summer camp with a conscience. Buy the full version at our Camp Store.

Kinderland in the Media

Jewish Telegraphic Agency, February 9, 2017

JewSchool, July 31, 2015

Yiddish Book Center Wexler Oral History Project

Forward, 2008 – 2015

Tablet, June 27, 2013

“Commie Camp” Trailer on Vimeo, 2013

Counter Punch, October 11, 2013

The Nation, July 20, 2012

New York Times, August 19, 2001