Origins: The History of Three Jewish Summer Camps in BC
In 1937, the Jewish Tent Camp for teenage girls was established by the National Council of Jewish Women at Crescent Beach. After opening its doors to teenage boys and younger children, the camp was bought by the Zionist Organization of Canada in 1946 and renamed, Hatikvah. In 1956, the camp had grown so much that it was necessary to buy a larger site on Lake Kalamalka in the Okanagan. Today, between 250 and 300 campers attend the camp each year.
Camp Kvutsa was established in 1948 as part of the Vancouver chapter of the Labour-Zionist youth movement, Habonim-Dror. Initially, the organization rented the Crescent Beach location that Camp Hatikvah had used previously. In 1951, the camp was renamed Camp Miriam and in 1956 it moved to a larger permanent site on Gabriola Island. Every year, 250 to 300 campers spend sessions at Camp Miriam.:
In 1955, Camp Solomon Schecter was established by Rabbi Joshua Stampfer as the first kosher summer camp in the Pacific Northwest. The camp was initially located in Echo Lake, Washington but would move to Whidbey Island before settling on a site near Olympia, Washington. Because the camp is affiliated with United Synagogue Youth, a youth branch of Conservative Judaism, it is quite observant and prayer services are held daily. As many as 600 campers and staff from Washington, Oregon, and BC come to the camp each year.