Every time I visit Mosh or talk to someone from Hashomer, new discoveries pop up. Sometimes it’s a story from someone who helped build the Cheder Ochel and sometimes it’s a rusty fork that hasn’t been touched in 30 years. Regardless of what’s found, the objects and stories carry a history with them: the Shomrimot involved, the hands that built together, the seasons and life events carried along with evolving philosophical debates and peulot. It makes me wonder about all the stories that Mosh carries. How many of our Shomeric elders and ancestors have passed through the same traditions, have done toranut or built a mifkad esh?
The most recent discovery I had is that this whole Shomria story must have started somewhere! Especially as we celebrate the 100 year anniversary of Hashomer Hatzair USA, I wonder about all of the histories and beginnings and endings that endured at our favorite camp. And then, in a stroke of serendipity, someone I know uncovered… the deed of Mosh!! (Shoutout David Dormont!). Here is where my sappy reflections end and I just want to share with you all this interesting legal memento.
The land we know as Camp Shomria was bought on June 21, 1945. It was purchased from Sam and Rose Sherman of White Sulfur Springs, NY, and the deed describes the parcel of land with great accuracy: “1680 feet to the northwest corner of the property hereby described a corner in the swamp thence south 63 degrees”. While the land has seen others before us, from the Munsee Lenape people to the Shermans, the history of these 117 acres changed forever in 1945. That was the day that Hashomer Hatzair took it into their own hands and the place we all call our second home came to be as we know it. It is our beloved Mosh’s birthday.
An entire book can be written about everything that’s happened at 52 Lake Marie Rd. in the last 78 years – from building a tzrifim to wacky improv erevim and folk dancing in circles. Those stories will continue unfolding with time, and I look forward to hearing more of them. But for now I just want to wish a very happy birthday to Camp Shomria, which is not just a camp although it may seem!!
Lior Ben-Zvi, Adamit 2012