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CRS History

The first chapter in the history of Camp Rising Sun was written in 1929, when George Edward Jonas (commonly known as "Freddie"), initiated the work with the program, which more than 5,000 alumni now hold so dear. The first CRS season ever was held in 1930 where 25 young boys from the New York area for eight weeks, moved into what had up to this point been the Locust Hill Farm.

"Freddie" was the son of the successful businessman Louis August Jonas, who had managed to create a fair amount of wealth based on his production of felt hat material. Helped by his father's resources and connections, "Freddie" started an experimental summer program.

The structure of the summer program has changed radically from its initial years to what it currently looks like. In line with the general development of society and the increased experience with running a summer program, "Freddie" and his successors have moved away from businessminded tribes competing for feather awards and towards a more camper driven and generally educating program. Furthermore, the camper body has moved from being all white boys from New York, to including females as well as internationals and without any discrimination towards color and religion.

Following "Freddie's" death in 1978, Camp Rising Sun was with one stroke deprived of its founder, leader and financial source. Even after his passing, "Freddie" has, however, not failed to impact the program significantly. His legend continues to inspire campers as well as employees. Furthermore, "Freddie" left his fortune to the endowment of the Louis August Jonas Foundation Inc. 

In line with the wish of "Freddie," the words or CRS have come to be spread with an increased speed, after the opening of the camps in Clinton and Stendis in 1989 and 2001 respectively. While the first chapter in the history of Camp Rising Sun was written more than three quarters of a century ago, new ones continue to be added every year when another batch of highly skilled and future leaders of society, are directly exposed to CRS in Red Hook, Clinton and Stendis.

It seems very unlikely that even "Freddie" could have predicted, or merely envisioned, the way that the fairy tale of Camp Rising Sun would develop. Fortunately the development has been carefully documented by another great CRS personality, Rick Richter (1930). In order for you to get a thorough introduction to the history of CRS, understand "Freddie's" initial ideas, as well as being able to truly reflect upon your own experiences, encourage you to take the time to read the writings of Rick Richter. 


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