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What's with Those 'Socialist Summer Camps' Anyway? Here's the Truth

At The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg called it “good old old-fashioned Red-baiting,” and he kidded about how the camp was supposedly part of the Jewish fraternal organization The Workman’s Circle:

The Workmen's Circle! The most harmless organization in America! This is what they're worried about? You should have seen my Jewish summer camp, Camp Shomria, a Socialist Zionist outpost in the Catskills. Kinderland was for bourgeois pantywaists. We, on the other hand, almost succeeded in forcibly collectivising Grossinger's.

The only problem is that the camp was run originally by The International Worker’s Order, the fraternal organization for Jewish Communists, and had no affiliation with the anti-Communist social democrats of The Workmen’s Circle. And indeed, the defenders of the camps are quite proud that they were indeed created to forge a future generation of Reds. One left-wing historian even wrote an entire book proving this.

At Huffington Post, one of the camp’s major boosters tried to have her own field day. Katie Halper, who is making a documentary film about the camp, writes the following:

This country cannot afford to have a woman whose kids went to Kinderland lead the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Who knows how her children brainwashed their mother with the values of the camp. For starters let's look, at the people the bunks at Kinderland are named after: Harriet Tubman, Anne Frank, Emma Lazarus, Roberto Clemente. With heroes like these, who knows where these campers could end up! Anywhere from attics, to forests, to the Statue of Liberty, to a baseball diamond, bashing the ball of the American republic with each swing of the unpatriotic bat.

Somehow, she forgot to include “The Paul Robeson Playhouse,” or to show all those widely available photos of the stage bedecked with the Soviet flag and hammer and sickle during World War II.

She also carefully refrained from citing the camp’s own webpages and newsletters, all available on the internet. One quick look and you will find that last year the campers went en masse to Zuccotti Park to participate in Occupy Wall Street.