Camp History

The Jewish Camp Council was formalized in 1945, but its origins date back to 1909.

At the turn of the 20th century, the Jewish community of Toronto was composed primarily of new immigrants. The small group of Jewish Torontonians welcomed and provided social services to more recent arrivals. Camp services began with the support of a number of different Jewish community organizations, and were largely intended to serve the underprivileged members of the Jewish community and to give them an opportunity for a brief escape from the confines of the city.

For more than 100 years, campers, staff and their children and grandchildren have returned to camp. NBB continues to flourish, providing hundreds of campers the same warm and enriching experience that has existed for over a century. Our vast history and traditions are why so many people hold NBB in their hearts as their “Home Away from Home”.

  • As early as 1915, the Council began providing country holidays for girls and in 1930 they opened Camp Camperdown in Orillia.
  • In 1920, The Jewish Boys’ Club and B’nai Brith joined to offer camp services to boys near Palermo, Ont.
  • The boys camp moved from Palermo to Long Branch, then Keswick, and finally to Lake Couchiching near Orillia in 1929
  • The Young Men’s Hebrew Athletic Organization (the “Y”) started its first boy’s camp, Camp Froilich, in Torrance, Ontario in 1938. This camp was moved to Haliburton and renamed Camp Northland in 1942.
  • In 1945 the site in Orillia was to be used for girls and the Haliburton site for boys.
  • In 1954, the Jewish Camp council determined that the Haliburton site could accommodate both the boys and the girls and thus a camp for girls was built with some sharing of facilities. Programs were kept separate initially and gradually integrated over time
  • In 1965 the camp was split into Junior Camp and Senior Camp, which operated in separate locations both on the Haliburton property.
  • In 1971, The Junior camp moved to a newly purchased property in Parry Sound. An Intermediate Camp and a Senior Camp remained operating on the Haliburton property.
  • 1976 the Junior Camp program was brought back to the Haliburton camp site with the Intermediate and Senior Camps.
  • In 1979 all age groups were joined together as one camp on the main site to look much like camp still is today.