Kutsher's Camp Anawana

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Kutsher's Camp Anawana in Monticello, New York, was a summer sleepaway camp overlooking Anawana Lake. Camp Anawana was owned and operated by the Kutsher family in partnership with Jack Landman, Red Karbel, and Jack Siegel from the early 1960s until the summer of 1992. (It did have several owners prior to that including the Kahn family). The camp colors were blue and orange. The areas where were located the sports fields and bunks are not in use but the lake area is used by Kutsher's guests as "Club Anawana" - an area where they can partake in a variety of water sports as well as other sports such as street hockey and basketball. The Kutsher family also owned (until 2005) the Kutsher's Sports Academy. The family owned Kutsher's Hotel and Country Club until bankruptcy was filed in 2013; serving as the inspiration for the movie Dirty Dancing along with Grossinger's even though the movie was filmed in North Carolina.

For many years, the directors were Jerry Parker, Red Karbel, Jack Siegel and Jack Landman. The camp had a sports orientation and sponsored the Anawana Invitational Tournament (AIT) for both basketball and volleyball. There was also a Biddy Basketball Tournament for younger boys. Tribal War was a weekly early evening activity for all but the oldest campers. Campers were divided into four teams (Green, White, Blue and Red) and there were coed athletic events divided by age group. Monday night was Movie night. There were plays produced for each age group, Girl's Sing, intercamp competitions (over the years, camps we played included Camp Roosevelt, Camp Ma-Ho-Ge, and Camp Kewanee) and Color War. The last 3 days of camp showcased Awards Night, the Prom and a banquet followed by a lakeside candlelight ceremony. Another favorite event was to attend the Maurice Stokes Game - an annual exhibition of professional basketball players held at the Kutsher's Hotel or the sister camp Kutsher's Sports Academy.

The camp should not be confused with a Boy Scout camp of the same name in Pennsylvania or with the camp in the early-1990s Nickelodeon cable TV show Salute Your Shorts.

Anawana was well known in the Catskills for its athletic abilities. During the 1960s and 1970s, Camp Anawana and Camp Ma-Ho-Ge, in nearby Bethel, enjoyed a great sports rivalry. Ma-Ho-Ge was regularly invited to the Anawana Invitational Tournament in basketball and Anawana regularly participated in the Ma-Ho-Ge Invitational Tournament in softball. These hotly contested tournaments were in addition to Inter-camp games at least twice every summer with each camp visiting the other.

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Matisyahu - Hasidic Rapper, performed on SNL and Jimmy Kimmel Live!, among other places [1]
  • Neal Shusterman - author and screenwriter. He credits his time at Anawana with being the impetus for his career as a young adult author.[2][3]


  1. ^ Music and Movies in the Catskill Mountains
  2. ^ Camp Anawana Memories (S-Z)
  3. ^ How I Spent My Summer Vacation

External links[edit]