EBR Camps Blog


As long as I can remember, generations of campers have entered the Equinunk Social Hall and have been immediately drawn to the Color War plaques mounted on the walls surrounding the “Bernie Strauss” basketball court.

The plaques begin to tell a story of Camp Equinunk… The folklore of the Red and Gray, Color War, The Upper Senior Basketball Game, lovingly known as “The Game”, the names of the teams, the Seniors, the scores of the “game” and of the “war”. The real story behind the plaques is the lifelong Legacy of Brotherhood, Tradition and Family that Seniors and all of the campers, staff and parents have embraced throughout the ages.

The plaques are Equinunk national treasures, yet only this week I believe I have uncovered an answer to a question or should I say a mystery that has perplexed me and perhaps you as well. We all know that Camp Equinunk was founded in 1920, so why no plaque until ’42? Early yearbooks dating back to the ’20s reference “the game”, list the teams, players, scores and totals. So why no plaque until 22 years later?

My story begins with the early pioneer leaders, Seniors and other campers. These Camp Equinunk visionaries anticipated that someone or something so extraordinary would come along in the future that would be worthy of commemoration in a Senior plaque, a symbol of profound excellence. Their patience and wisdom was rewarded as number 42 was worn by Jackie Robinson, as he became the first “Negro” to cross the color line and integrate the sport five years later.

His number “42”, the title of a recent movie, depicts Robinson’s courage, intelligence and greatness in making his teammates and everyone around him more understanding and compassionate in a time when ignorance and bigotry often was the norm.

It’s no small wonder that  “42” is the first plaque that adorns the walls of the CE Social Hall and that Major League Baseball followed our lead at camp and placed “42” plaques on the outfield walls of every big league stadium.

Just as early CE leaders and campers anticipated that greatness was coming in ’42, our current leadership and campers are expecting greatness in all of you this summer. We are so excited and sure that your friendship and kindness will continue to enrich the Camp Equinunk legacy in 2013.


  1. My first year as a camper was 1969 and I distinctly remember color war plaques dating back well prior to 1942, I think even to the late 1920s. These were in the social hall even into the late 70s. I think perhaps some of the older plaques were removed at some point after that to make room for newer ones.

  2. I always think back to 1973 when I was the big RED chief up against Steven garbus and he won by 20 points over me. Always wanted to come back and visit to see my color war plaque but since i have spent the last 40 some years here in Tampa Florida i really never had the chance to come up to visit because between teaching and Track officiating I really have no time off. I have kept in touch with many former campers and Hopefully someday soon I can revisit one of my greatest memories that i had for the few years at good old Equinunk.Callicoon, Hancock always provided some evening entertainment on some of the nights when we were off. also going to Monticello on our day off was a good trip especially going to some of the few concerts they use to have. But one of the biggest highlights i had is when I went to the woodstock concert on a day off that was a event that i shall never forget and not many people even knew i did it but it really did happen. I Can’t believe that Bernie Strauss is still there and there are probably others who went to camp way back in the early 70’s who now have campers there too. There was some talk of a recent reunion this past summer but it never materialized. all I can say is that Equinunk was a great time in my life and the memories of Marty and Steven gelobter, Barry shimkin, Howie shaffran, Artie Freifelder The one and only Henny Goldman and sam laffel will remain with me forever. I will not leave out Joyce Greenwald and Sheila manchel who were in charge at Blue ridge and use to catch me over at the girls side all the time and would be on me about being there. Knowing them and their kids who were also at camp was also great because i got to watch them grow up thru the years too. for those of you who see this know that the SEAL is doing well here in Tampa florida and if i had the chance to be your counselor or Senior group head i hope that i was able to guide you and prepare you for life as a adult because i always tried to be a mentor to my campers especially when I was Senior group head back in the day. YO EQUINUNK!!!!!

    The SEAL Red chief 1973

  3. Equinunk alumni from 1943 to 1952. So glad to see the memories are treasured and it continues on. Not just Red and Gray but the Buzzer as well. I still have copies from my years stored away. So keep up the tradition…keep Equinunk alive and thriving in a world that sometimes forgets its values. I can still hear the voices unified in fight songs, calling back YO! to Sam Laffell and Henny Goldman. It is a lifelong experience whose echos never really fade. Thanks again. Bobby Weinstein

  4. The summer of 1942 was immortalized in a book, “The Summer of ’42” written by a former Equinunk camper/counselor, Herman Raucher. It was later made into a movie.

    And then, of course, there was Arthur Levine, who later became Arthur Laurents. You may be familiar with some of his works: West Side Story,,, former drama counselor before WW2.

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