Kiwanis Fresh Air Camp in Niles, Ohio
1924 - 1942

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Fresh Air Camp (1925) shows boys and girls in the fresh air camp with the teachers behind them.

A photo of the Niles Kiwanis Fresh-Air camp, sponsored for the benefit of children who were under a certain income level, on the basis that if they had a healthy summer, they wouldn't get so sick in the winter. The camp was located on Mines Road in Howland Township.

Fresh Air Camp (1925) shows boys and girls in the fresh air camp with the teachers behind them.
P10.38 The picture was taken by P. T. Alfonsi, Niles Photographer


In 1924, Mr. John Wilder, Niles industrial leader, was president of the Niles Kiwanis Club. He was largely responsible for involving all Trumbull County Kiwanis clubs in this new venture.

John Wilder
Niles industrial leader

KIWANIS FRESH AIR CAMP

Niles Kiwanis Club was formed in 1922. In 1924, Mr. John Wilder, Niles industrial leader, was president of the Niles Kiwanis Club. He was largely responsible for involving all Trumbull County Kiwanis clubs in this new venture. They set up a Fresh Air Camp for special children. In 1926 a stock company was formed. A four-acre wooded campsite on the north side of Mines Road, about a half mile east of the Niles-Cortland Road was purchased for $2,400.

The camp was established to provide a healthy atmosphere for children from 6-12 years old who needed dental work, had nutritional deficiency, or might be susceptible to tuberculosis infection. They were chosen by Ann Llewellyn, the county public health nurse and they stayed at the camp from six to eight weeks.

A 80 foot deep well, equipped with an automatic electric pump, supplied plenty of pure water. There was a mess hall, and a dorm that housed the boys at one end and the girls at the other end. The office and personal quarters of the supervisor were in the center of the building. There were four paid supervisors and three volunteer staff who helped teach the children to be kind, helpful and thoughtful at all times. Volunteers guided the children in playing games, doing art work, caring for the pets of the camp, and also they told stories around the camp fire. The recreational equipment was donated by business and individuals. There was a tree house built in 1933 and rested on three sturdy tree trunks about 30 feet in the air. The long sloping stairway beckoned the youngsters to visit this adventurous area.

The Fresh Air Camp did wonders for every one of its young campers. Every child gained weight, was stronger and had a much healthier body at the end of the season. Their strict daily routine was a very important factor in making this project uniquely successful. By 7:30 every morning they had brushed their teeth, washed their face and put their clothes on and were ready for breakfast, which consisted of cooked cereal, fruit, bread and milk. Lunch was a full dinner and the evening meal consisted of soup, sandwich, fruit and milk. Mary Lukick was the camp cook for many years and served very healthy meals.

Over the years, many people volunteered and gave financial assistance. By 1940 the camp could accommodate 72 children. Soon however, World War II broke out and that program, like many other community projects had to be put on hold. Now, all that remains are memories and a picture that hangs on the wall in the Westenfield Room at the Niles Historical Society Ward-Thomas Museum.


Fresh Air Campers

Fresh Air Campers (unknown date).
P10.37 The picture was taken by P. T. Alfonsi, Niles Photographer.

Kiwanis Camp with open air tents and wooden shower/kitchen area.

Kiwanis Camp with open air tents and wooden shower/kitchen area. PO2.372

Fresh Air Camp (1931) with boys and girls in front of shower and camp kitchen building.

Fresh Air Camp (1931) with boys and girls in front of shower and camp kitchen building.
The picture was taken by P. T. Alfonsi, Niles Photographer.


A Christmas party for the campers from the "Fresh Air" camp sponsored by the Niles Kiwanis Club in 1954.

P02.610

 

A Christmas party for the campers from the "Fresh Air" camp sponsored by the Niles Kiwanis Club in 1954.

P02.613

A Christmas party for the campers from the "Fresh Air" camp sponsored by the Niles Kiwanis Club in 1954. Dinner is being served at "Ma Perkins" Chicken Inn on Route 422 in McKinley Heights.

A Christmas party for the campers from the "Fresh Air" camp sponsored by the Niles Kiwanis Club in 1954.

PO2.611

 


     
     
     
     
     
     
 
 
 
 
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