A Promise Kept, a Summer Camp Legacy Born Family-Owned Blue Star Camps to Celebrate 65th Anniversary

Blue Star Camp to celebrate 65th summer.

Hendersonville, NC, March 02, 2012 --(PR.com)-- It started with a promise.

It was 1948 and the Popkin brothers were fighting in World War II. Herman was in the Army, Harry was in the Navy and Ben the Army Air Corp. They pledged to create a summer camp for Jewish children if they made it out alive. They did, and Blue Star Camps (bluestarcamps dot com) welcomed their first group of 70 campers in north Georgia in 1948,the same year that Israel became a nation.

They had no way of knowing it, but that first summer would be the birth of a camping dynasty and family business that continues to endure from generation to generation.

Later, the camp would relocate to a 500-acre campus in the mountains of Western North Carolina. The winter offices are located in Hollywood, Florida.

This year, Blue Star is celebrating their 65th anniversary.

The brothers directed the camp together until Ben Popkin died in 1952. Harry retired in 1972 and Herman took over until he retired in 1986 when Herman's son Rodger and wife Candy became Blue Star's owners and directors. Their son Jason was born the last night of camp in 1973. He has spent every summer of his life at Blue Star, as a camper and staff member. Their daughter Lauren was also a camper and staff member and, like her parents, was married in Blue Star's Elmore Solomon Chapel.

Although Jason and Lauren have been Camp Directors for many summers, during this 65th season, they take their place as third generation owners.

During its 65 seasons of dynamic changes, including compelling and economic ups and downs, Blue Star has thrived. Today, Blue Star Camps is the most successful private Jewish camp in the Southeastern United States and is owned and directed by its founding family. Advertising is not necessary; in many cases, former campers and staff now send their children and, in some cases, their grandchildren to Blue Star Camps.

"Jewish families have always recognized the extraordinary value of the Blue Star experience," said Rodger Popkin.

This summer, Blue Star Camps will host 600 campers each session. Jewish children ages 6-16 will come from all over the United States, as well as Canada, Europe, Israel, Central and South America to experience a variety of activities including Creative Arts, Land Sports, Outdoor Adventure and Nature, Waterfront, Tennis, Horseback, as well as a Living Judaism program.

During the last 65 years, Blue Star has infused the lives of three generations of campers with Jewish traditions, values and spirit. Blue Star has become part of so many campers' lives throughout the years while at the same time, growing into an extremely successful enterprise.

The week of August 16th, the Blue Star family will celebrate and commemorate its 65th anniversary. Campers, their parents, staff, alumni will a share Blue Star Magic at camp once again. The four-day weekend will be filled with all the traditional camp activities and include a rededication of the Elmore Solomon Chapel. As Blue Star's owners, Jason and Lauren will direct the ceremony to unearth a time capsule that was buried during the 50th season.

"I don't think my uncles or my father knew how important what they were creating would become when they founded Blue Star 65 years ago," said Rodger Popkin, "but their dream has evolved into a promise fulfilled and a gift to generations of young people."

Blue Star Camps
Jennifer Cohen
954 326 2067