Camp Ma-Ho-Ge

Camp Ma-Ho-Ge

Camp Ma-Ho-Ge, located in Bethel, New York in Sullivan County and about one mile from the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival, was the summer home for hundreds of kids from early 1920s through 1977, when the camp was sold. Ma-Ho-Ge was the first sleepaway camp on Silver Lake but was later joined by Camp Ranger, Camp Hillel and Camp Chipinaw. In the early 1970s, the camp had an influx of campers and key staff from Twin Lakes and Alamar. Most of the campers and staff hailed from New York City, Long Island, Westchester County, New York and New Jersey.

A reunion at the Catskills camp was held October 12-14 2007 at Kutsher's Hotel and at the former camp, exactly 30 years since the camp closed.

The camp colors were blue and grey, which were highlighted during many spirited Color Wars.

Milt Sirota, known as "Uncle Miltie" and a great athlete, was the Boys Head Counselor from 1957 through the camp's closing and was a father figure to so many kids. That role would later be shared with Ed Shumsky (1973 to 1977), a softball genius, who further boosted the camp's stellar sports reputation among the many sleepaway camps in the Catskills. Sirota, who taught at Forest Hills High School, recruited many campers.

Ma-Ho-Geans in the later years probably had some of the best food in sleepaway camp history. That's because co-owner Burt Leventhal, who still owns and operates a well-respected catering company, could often be seen in the kitchen supervising how food was prepared and served.

Ma-Ho-Ge alum include Gary Winick, who directed Charlotte's Web (2006), National Basketball Association coach Ron Rothstein (now interim head coach of the Miami Heat), criminal defense attorney Bruce Cutler, comedian Barry Weintraub, and financial author Peter Marber.

The daughter of baseball great and New York Mets manager Gil Hodges, the son of jockey Norman Dauplaise, and the son of Madison Square Garden's official photographer, George Kalinsky, also attended Ma-Ho-Ge.

During the 1960s and 1970s, Camp Anawana in nearby Monticello and Camp Ma-Ho-Ge, enjoyed a great sports rivalry. Ma-Ho-Ge was regularly invited to the Anawana Invitational Tournament (AIT) in basketball and Anawana regularly participated in the Ma-Ho-Ge Invitational Tournament in softball. These hotly contested tournaments were in addition to Inter-camp games at least twice every summer with each camp visiting the other. Other camps that competed with both Ma-Ho-Ge and Anawana were: Brookwood, Roosevelt, Ta-Go-La, Diana-Dalmaqua, Lokanda, Olympus, and Tyler Hill (PA).

It is expected that the two closed camps will renew their sports rivalry, most likely in basketball and volleyball, sometime in late 2007 during a Ma-Ho-Ge reunion.

In addition, many campers from both Anawana and Ma-Ho-Ge were courtside for many of the annual Maurice Stokes basketball game, played each summer at Kutsher's Sports Academy. The game was an off-season All-Star game, featuring the greatest NBA players of the time, including Wilt Chamberlain and Walt Frazier.

External links

* [ The official site of Camp Ma-Ho-Ge in Bethel, NY]

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