Black and white photograph of campers gathering outdoors at Camp Ramah, 1986.

Camp Ramah

Campers gather outdoors at Camp Ramah, 1986. From the Sharron and Oren Steinfeldt Photography Collection of the Nathan and Theresa Berman Upper Midwest Jewish Archives.

Black and white photograph of two campers at Dick Butwin Day Camp, 1986.

Dick Butwin Camp

Two campers at Dick Butwin Day Camp, 1986. Photographed by Allen Shumeister. From the Sharron and Oren Steinfeldt Photography Collection of the Nathan and Theresa Berman Upper Midwest Jewish Archives.

Black and white photograph of Herzl Camp attendees c.1915.

Herzl Camp group

Herzl Camp attendees c.1915. From the Sharron and Oren Steinfeldt Photography Collection of the Nathan and Theresa Berman Upper Midwest Jewish Archives.

Black and white photograph of campers cooking outdoors at Dick Butwin Day Camp, 1967.

Dick Butwin Day Camp

Campers cook outdoors at Dick Butwin Day Camp, July 1967. From the Sharron and Oren Steinfeldt Photography Collection of the Nathan and Theresa Berman Upper Midwest Jewish Archives.

Jewish Youth Camping in Minnesota

Organized youth camping became popular in the late nineteenth century against the backdrop of the Progressive Era. In Minnesota and across the U.S., reformers believed that offering fresh-air vacations to poor children living in crowded cities would contribute to public health. Another motive was Americanizing the children of immigrants. The earliest Jewish camps pursued the same goals, with one addition: teaching the Jewish faith.

Black and white photograph of St. Catherine’s alumna Betty Hubbard (right) pinning a corsage on Alice Gustava Smith (Sister Maris Stella, left) at the College of St. Catherine in 1971. Photographed by P.J. Strasser.

Alice Gustava Smith (Sister Maris Stella) and Betty Hubbard.

St. Catherine’s alumna Betty Hubbard (right) pins a corsage on Alice Gustava Smith (Sister Maris Stella, left) at the College of St. Catherine in 1971. Photographed by P.J. Strasser.

Black and white photograph of Alice Gustava Smith (Sister Maris Stella) in her office at the College of St. Catherine, c.1970.

Alice Gustava Smith (Sister Maris Stella) in her office

Alice Gustava Smith (Sister Maris Stella) in her office at the College of St. Catherine, c.1970.

Black and white photograph of composer Paul Fetler (at the piano) with Alice Gustava Smith (Sister Maris Stella), c.1969.

Paul Fetler and Alice Gustava Smith (Sister Maris Stella)

Composer Paul Fetler (at the piano) with Alice Gustava Smith (Sister Maris Stella), c.1969.

Black and white photograph of Alice Gustava Smith (Sister Maris Stella, left) with May Sarton (right), c.1958.

Alice Gustava Smith (Sister Maris Stella) and May Sarton

Alice Gustava Smith (Sister Maris Stella, left) with May Sarton (right), c.1958.

Smith, Alice Gustava (Sister Maris Stella) (1899–1987)

Alice Gustava Smith, better known by her students and readers as Sister Maris Stella, taught English at the College of St. Catherine (now St. Catherine University) in St. Paul for nearly fifty years. During that time she also published books of verse that built her reputation as a skilled and spiritual poet.

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