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Commie Camp: A Look Inside Camp Kinderland, a Socialist Summer Camp in New York

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A Century of Tradition

Camp Kinderland, a socialist summer camp in New York, is celebrating its centennial year. This camp is part of a once-vibrant tradition of socialist summer camps in the US that are now making a comeback.

A Right-Wing Attack

A new documentary, Commie Camp, takes a playful approach to a right-wing attack on Kinderland. Rush Limbaugh accused the camp of indoctrinating children with left-wing ideals. However, the film showcases Kinderland's project of raising children with egalitarian values.

Teaching Egalitarian Values

The film highlights Kinderland's approach to teaching children about important global issues and engaging them in discussions on social problems. The camp fosters a sense of community and aims to raise children who are compassionate and socially aware.

A Survivor of a Socialist Tradition

Kinderland is an impressive survivor of a long tradition of socialist summer camps, many of them Jewish. These camps provided childcare and an education in left politics and Jewish values. With the resurgence of socialist politics today, Kinderland serves as an example for those seeking to revive this tradition.

A Target of Political Attacks

Kinderland has faced political attacks throughout its history, including investigations during the McCarthy era. Despite these challenges, the camp has endured and continues to be beloved by those who encounter it.

A Joyful Community

Commie Camp captures the joy and enthusiasm that campers and staff members have for Kinderland. The film showcases the enduring impact of this left-wing institution and offers lessons for building lasting left-wing organizations.

About the Author

Liza Featherstone is a columnist for Jacobin, a freelance journalist, and the author of Selling Women Short: The Landmark Battle for Workers’ Rights at Wal-Mart.

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