In early 2016 we published a blog about the history of Vega, which focused on the early years regarding the summer camp’s founder Ruth Cohen. Included in the blog was a historic picture of Vega, which has “1936” written on the photo (1936 being Vega’s first summer). Linda Courtiss recollects that the picture was found with others in the 1970s, with”1936″ written on the picture. Since then, the photo has been hanging in the Director’s office at Vega.
This Winter we received an email from a Vega alumna, Betsy Beilenson Schildkraut. Betsy saw the photo and the blog, and was excited to see her younger self in the photo! However, she was a bit surprised to see the date on the photo, as Betsy was born some years later!
Betsy wrote to us: “I’m 5th from the left seated in the front row. Funny how long term memory is– I can still name quite a few of my bunk mates but have forgotten so much else. My bet is that the picture was taken in 1948…I’ve hit the mother lode! I found the photo I have which is different. It says Camp Vega Junior and is dated 1948 and the name of the photographer was Franklin Grant, so the picture you have must have been taken in 1949…Since I wasn’t born until 1938, two years after the date on the photo, it would be quite a miracle for me to be 10 or 11 years old and sitting in that photo!”
Betsy also added: “I loved my summers at Vega. They were happy ones”. Thank you again to Betsy for reaching out! We will continue to investigate and welcome any further information about this mystery.
While the circumstances of the iconic photo remain unclear, one thing is certain – that Camp Vega has touched the lives of so many. We are eternally grateful for the vision and courage of Ruth Cohen, and are proud that her legacy continues with Betsy and all those who have called Vega their summer home.