Camp: Out of the Past and Into the Present

We dug deep into the archives this week, as we wanted to share with you a little bit about our camp’s history and how this very special place has been filled with the fun, laughter and learning for the past several decades.

The main mansion here at camp was built in the late 1800’s by the Bushby Family.  In 1898, the main house was given as a wedding gift by Mr. & Mrs. Bushby to their eldest daughter, Gertrude Bushby, who married Thomas Leeming (Interestingly enough, Mr. Leeming was the founder of the company which introduced BENGAY to the world!)

Since then, the house had passed down through generations of the Leeming Family’s sons and daughters who enjoyed every inch of this spectacular place until 1947 when the Schoen Family, who were the original owners of North Shore Day Camp & School, were looking for a permanent home for their students.

Barbara Schoen Brundige, who still lives in the area, sent us the following note when we asked her about camp:

In the summer of 1943 North Shore Day Camp opened nearby on Old Estate Road in Glen Cove in a 44 room waterfront mansion. The logo for the camp, a lightening sailboat, came from a boat left there for the camp to use. My father, Howard Clark Shoen was the founder of the camp.  He became a teacher on Long Island and refereed college football games on the weekends. He loved sports and wanted to share that love of sports with children.

In 1947 my father and a group of his fellow teachers bought the current estate that the school and camp are on now. My parents, Howard and Ida Mae, and myself and my brother Bill, all lived on the upper 2 floors of the main house.

My mother later decided to open a nursery school, so she took the train to Bank Street School in Manhattan to learn how to run a nursery school and opened North Shore Day School around 1949, running the nursery school during the school year and a camp in the summer.

In 1961 my parents divorced and my mother bought the school from my father and ran it for 15 years. In 1972, my husband and I came with our family and moved onto the campus to help my mother out until my mother retired in 1976 at the age of 70 yrs old when my husband and I bought the school from her.

During my ownership, we purchased more land for the campus, built the rec hall, added a second pool, added more classrooms in the carriage house and made the remainder of the carriage house our home for our 4 sons to grow up in. My husband developed a sailing program for the camp and supervised the business plan and the campus improvements. I became an ACA certified Camp Director and added many programs to both the school and camp. Together, my husband and I grew the business into a thriving local day camp and day school.  After 18 wonderful years at the helm of North Shore Day Camp & School, we knew it was time to hand over the reigns.

Today, North Shore Day Camp and School remains in the heart of Long Island’s Gold Coast on this magnificent 14 acre country estate, overlooking the Long Island Sound and alongside the 200 acre Welwyn Nature Preserve.

Since our inception, North Shore has been a leader in youth development, creating innovative and dynamic programs for pre-schoolers through teenagers at our day camp and day school.  We continue to build on the historical foundation built by the Bushby and Schoen families, and continue to develop engaging programs for our students and campers, knowing that with every child that passes through our front gates, each one of them is treated as if they are a member of our own family.