This is my tenth A to Z Challenge. My first was in 2013, but I missed 2021. This April I am going through the alphabet using snippets about my family through the generations. On Saturdays I’ve combined my usual Sepia Saturday post with the letter of the day. A double challenge.
In 1945 my father, Rev. Albert B. Cleage Jr., became the pastor of St. John’s Congregational Church in Springfield, Massachusetts. He and my mother, Doris, arrived there at the beginning of October.
Camp Atwater was connected to the church. It is located in N. Brookfield, Massachusetts, 34.5 miles from St. John’s. In November they took a tour in the company of former pastor Dr. DeBerry and his wife. Below is a page from my father’s photo album. Comments were written by him. The camp is still functioning, although no longer connected to St. John’s. The Urban League now runs it.
“Camp Atwater is a cultural, educational, and recreational camp designed for the children of African American professionals. The camp, founded in 1921 by Dr. William De Berry, was located in North Brookfield, Massachusetts. Initially named St. John’s Camp, in 1926 the name was officially changed to Camp Atwater when Ms. Mary Atwater donated $25,000 with the stipulation that the camp’s name honor her late father, Dr. David Fisher, a well-known and distinguished physician in the town. The camp is the oldest American Camp Association (ACA) accredited African American owned and operated camp in the nation.”