Earl and Pauline Humes founded Camp Regis in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State shortly after World War II. The first year the camp was open, 1945, the French government sent children who had been rescued from concentration camps. Joining them in camp were little contessas from Spain, whose nanny had sewn the family crest on all of their clothes. The first campers – and their counselors – were Jews and gentiles, Japanese and German, black and white. The idea of camp as a melting pot was a radical one in the 1940s. That philosophical approach lives on and is as important as ever. We teach children to live, learn and play together.
The spirit of the camp, where boys and girls age 6 through 16 can spend the summer in the woods and on the water is one of traditions. Traditional activities include sailing, swimming, tennis, hiking, sing-alongs, art, drama, and stories around the campfire. Camp Regis is unusual in its emphasis on diversity. The Humes’s founded the camp as a way to bring together children from all backgrounds and to teach them the value of diversity. As Earl and Pauline were Quakers and members of the American Friends Service Society, they wanted the children to have a full camping experience in a non-competitive, non-violent, inclusive, atmosphere. The traditions live on today with their son Michael, who is the current owner/director of Camp Regis.
In 2011, Michael scaled down the size of camp as he worked through a health crisis. He ran camp with smaller numbers, but every year he maintained Regis Applejack traditions as well as the highest health and safety standards, in addition to ACA accreditation. Starting in 2019, the camp will once again operate with higher numbers, with the goal of reaching full capacity by 2020/2021.