Pythian Camp for Children: A History and Descriptive Survey of Pythian Camp at Glen Spey, New York, 1941-1950

Mary Elizabeth McHugh, Fordham University


In order to provide the constructive experience of camp life for the "needy" child regardless of race, creed, color, religious affiliations or economic status, the lÿthian Camp at Glen Spey, New York was founded in 1941 by the Fraternal Order, Knights of Rythias, Domain of New York. According to Bernstein, "the development of camping might be regarded as a reaction to the impact of the industrial revolution with its attendant evils of congestion, bad air, and the like, upon a people just emerging from pioneer life. The health and growth that had come to youngsters in rural settings now had to be planned for in organised fashion. In early stages, camping was largely concerned with the benefits of being in the country, with emphasis on rugged living. Health was of course a major interest. A second stage began when the influence of progressive education was felt in the 1920’s. It was then recognized that the camping experience is so rich in educational possibilities arising out of group living in a natural setting that youngsters could be stimulated toward more than a good time and a sense of well-being. Many of the methods and the activities such as music, arts and crafts, dramatics, and others that one finds in progressive schools made their way into camping. The "final" and current stage is perhaps characterized by the term social responsibility. The campers are encouraged to engage in activities which have a social value to themselves and others."

Subject Area

American history|Social psychology|Social work

Recommended Citation

McHugh, Mary Elizabeth, "Pythian Camp for Children: A History and Descriptive Survey of Pythian Camp at Glen Spey, New York, 1941-1950" (1951). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI30509562.