January News! A trip to the ‘Bou, 50 Years with the Lermans, and Camper Reunions

by Alex Rotman on January 3, 2019

Happy New Year Caribou Nation!  We are officially 170 days away from the 2019 summer season beginning!  We hope everyone enjoyed this past winter break.  The Lermans and Rotmans spent the holidays at the ‘Bou.  Camp looks beautiful this time of the year, not much snow, but the lake is frozen and the temperatures are cold!

Right before the holidays began, the MetroWest Daily Newspaper put together an amazing piece on the 50 Years of Lerman Directorship at Camp Caribou.  We wanted to thank writer Henry Schwan for capturing our history through this great article. Please check out the story in the following link: Golden Milestone:  Wayland family marks 50 years of owning Maine’s Camp Caribou

And if you missed our piece this past summer entitled “50 Years with the Lermans”, check out the video link below:

Our History – 50 Years with the Lermans

Camper Reunions: It was great to see so many current Caribou Families and Alumni get together over the past month at various universities, vacation spots, and around the world.


We wanted to give a special shout out to Brett S. Andrew E, Levin-Ep, the Salzmans, and Beats on their Caribou SundayFunday football wins!  You can still join the fun during the NFL Playoffs and pick the winners to grab a Caribou SundayFunday T-Shirt.

Click on the on the following link to join:


Group ID #51783

Password: winslowmaine

As we near the 2019 summer, we wanted to remind you of our charitable initiative during this coming camp season, as we are partnering up with the World of Change!   This summer, we plan to join this great cause and collect loose change at the ‘Bou!  As a camp community we will decide which cause we would like to contribute to and collect change after town nights and our day trips!  But you can start collecting now!!

Message from Martha: Martha wanted to start sharing some camp recipes with everyone.  Below you’ll find the Caribou No-Bake Cookie.  If you have any favorite family recipes (salads, meals, desserts, appetizers, etc) that you would be willing to share with the Caribou community, we would love it!  Please email alex@campcaribou.com.

2 C. Sugar

3 TBS. Cocoa

1/2 C. Milk

1/4 C Butter (or Dairy free spread)

Mix and bring to a boil(Rolling) for one minute.

Remove from heat and add:

1 Tsp. Vanilla

1/2 C peanut butter (substitute with Sun butter for nut allergies)

3 C. Quick Oats

Mix well and drop by teaspoonful on waxed paper. Cool in Refrigerator.

Enjoy! Simple, inexpensive and a little healthy!

Message from Bill: A Brief look at the history of Maine Camping

Bill chopping wood!

Many of the Maine camps were started in the 1920’s.  Camp Winslow, now Camp Caribou, was founded in 1922 by Morris Waldman, a German Jewish immigrant.  How did all of these Maine camps begin???  After reading lots of early history of Maine camping, I was able to piece together how the Maine Camps came about.  Many of the German Jewish immigrants came over to the U.S. in the 1850’s and 1860’s.  This was quite early for Jewish immigrants in general.  Many of the Russian and Eastern European Jewish families didn’t arrive until the early 1900’s.  My great grandfather, Wolf Lehrman, arrived from Latvia in 1907 and my grandmother, Celia Gorfinkel, arrived in 1917.

The German Jewish immigrants, similar to the Russians, had little money, but enough to get here one by one.  As soon as one brother made enough money through push cart peddling fabric, inexpensive jewelry, cigars, pots & pans, etc. That brother would send money for the next brother to come.  The “infamous” Goldman’s and the “Sachs” came this way.  The one distinguishing feature of the early German Jews is that they were able to receive the classical comprehensive German education.  This was a great advantage for them in the U.S. and once they began to become financially successful they wanted to send their children to summer camps out of NY city.

The summers were abysmally hot, Polio was on the rise, and they now had the funds to do it! They wanted their own camps, and they did not want to send their children to the Poconos, Catskills, or Adirondacks, which were several hours from the city.  They wanted a bit of exclusivity in keeping with their view of themselves as more prominent at the time.  They figured what was going to separate them from the other camps was… distance.  They embarked on the trips to Maine to buy big plots of lakeside acreage to start their own camps.  And this is how Camp Fernwood, Camp Kohut, and Camp Caribou began!

Maine was difficult to get to in the 1920’s.  The cost and the length of time spent getting to Maine separated “the wheat from the Chaff.” Only those German Jews with the financial means could afford to go to Maine camps.  Our original camp director, Morris Waldman, used to speak to the campers in German and say, “Sei nicht gewöhnlich, unterscheide dich” and in English, “Don’t be ordinary, distinguish yourself.”  We continue this mantra even today at Caribou with similar phrases like, “It’s cool to be nice at Camp Caribou” and ” Good things come to the those who work hard.”  

The whole idea of having a camp full of first generation German Jewish children no longer exists, but it certainly did from the 1920’s to the 1950’s.  The good news is that these fabulous camps were conceived and continue to be leaders in the camping industry.  Camp Caribou is non-denominational and has a very diverse community of children from all over the U.S. and the world.  We love that and celebrate everyone at the ‘Bou!

Have a Happy, Healthy, and Productive New Year! And please keep in touch as we love to hear from all current campers, staff, and alumni.  Email alex@campcaribou.com with any big updates!