One of the best parts of Pine Forest being in continuous operation since 1931 are the stories we hear from alumni, our legacy. There’s nothing like seeing an old photo and knowing exactly where it was taken in camp. You can feel history come alive.
We recently heard from Rick Leonard whose mother and uncle attended Pine Forest in the 1930s. Bette and Stanley Scherdorf, often spoke fondly of their days at PFC. He shared a photo of each of them, one taken at The Friendship Bench which remains an iconic spot for PFC photos. Rick also shared a letter written by his grandfather to his mother while she was at camp in 1936 looking forward to seeing her on Visiting Day, the same week of the summer as it is today. Check out the postmark!
Thank you to the Scherdorf and Leonard family for sharing this piece of camp history. The real essence of camp is still exactly the same as it was in 1936: friends, fun and adventure. And those things are timeless.
This summer, one of the giants of Pine Forest leaders passed away, Lenny Rapkin, the boys camp Head Counselor and Director. Lenny was the ultimate camp director, confident, organized and fun. He led the boys camp in the late 1970’s and most of the 1980’s with gusto and humor. For most of those years Lenny’s counterpart was Edie Klein, head of the girls camp. In his perfectly pressed and matching jump suits, Lenny was one of PFC’s most popular leaders. His camp persona was like a combination of Mel Brooks and Gen. George Patton. His schedules were exact and comprehensive and boys camp ran with efficiency and care. Lenny and his dear wife Jane were a fixture at camp and his sons Mickey and Jonathan grew up at camp. Lenny and Jane’s grandchildren are currently PFC campers.
There was never a camp leader like Lenny Rapkin and there never will be again. He was a teacher, a leader and a role model to a generation of campers. The many, many lives he touched in boys camp and the men they became will be his lasting legacy.
Pine Forest Camp makes our world seem a little bit smaller, no matter how many summers we’ve spent there. Recently, PFC alumnus, former Color War General and father of 3 PFC campers, Jon, spotted a man in a PFC hat at a deli in Westchester, NY. When he went over to say hello, Jon met 94-year-old Herman Slotoroff, who attended Pine Forest in 1934. Uncle Marv remembers Herman and his family from his camp days! Herman still wears his PFC hat over 80 years later because of how fond his memories of it were, even after one summer.
When you are part of the PFC family, you are part of something special. It stretches back 86 years and 5 generations, from Greeley, PA, to a deli in Westchester and around the world.
Warmest wishes to Herman for continued good health and happy memories of his summer at camp!
Herman at PFC in 1934!