In the years after opening, both Hatikvah and Miriam underwent major changes to camp organization and educational programming.
In 1977, the Zionist Organization of Canada (ZOC) announced its plan to sell Camp Hatikvah. This news upset the local community not only because the ZOC had stopped funding the camp two years earlier but because the camp site had originally been purchased with locally raised funds. Even while losing significant amounts of money, Hatikvah youth leaders fought for the camp to remain open. Eventually, Hatikvah emerged from debt, allowing members of the local community to challenge the ZOC in court and buy the camp back in 1980.
In the 1990s, Camp Miriam, under the leadership of the leftist Zionist organization Habonim, was forced to re-think its educational program. With the decline of the kibbutz movement, the camp decided to focus instead on promoting urban kibbutz as a means of influencing Israeli society. After the Palestinian uprising against Israeli rule known as the First Intifada (1987–1993), the camp considered the role of Palestinian communities in Israel’s future. It opted for the goal of a two-state solution and has promoted discussion surrounding Palestinian history and culture.