On April 30th, 1931, Camp Bauercrest was established as one of the first overnight camps for Jewish boys in New England. The concept was born during the Great Depression by 21 volunteers from the YMHA and JCC of Lynn, Chelsea, Beverly, and Lawerence who saw the need for a place for boys to grow and develop during the summer.
The group approached the former mayor of Lynn, Massachusetts, Ralph S. Bauer, who at the time was quite ill. Inspired by the mission and drive of the volunteers, Bauer agreed to sell his property of 20 acres on Lake Attitash to be the home of the camp and is where Bauercrest rests today. The campus was known to be a place frequented by President Calvin Coolidge, a friend of Mayor Bauer, and a plaque dedicated to Coolidge on July 4th, 1933 is still displayed at the top of the Hill.
The camp was originally established as “Associated Young Men’s Hebrew Association of New England District Number Two Camp.” However, the founding board quickly changed the name to “Bauercrest” derived as a tribute to Ralph Bauer for his generosity, while “Crest” refers to the physical hill on which it sits.
Camp Bauercrest grew in prestige and reputation as one of the best camps in the area. Bauercrest continued to operate each and every summer, despite the challenges of the Great Depression, World War II (in which many Bauercrest staff served), and with limited funds.
Many of the traditions established in the first years of Bauercrest – Color War, League, Campfires, Camp Cups, Honor Boards, Yearbooks – continue today, connecting our current generation of campers to our alumni and the long history of our camp.
Over time, Bauercrest has developed new programs and facilities and a state-of-the-art infrastructure to enhance our tradition of excellence and fun right here on the Hill.