70 Years of Tranquillity and still going strong. Proud of Tranquillity? You bet we are.


In July 1919 when the first ten boys came to Tranquillity, there was only one small farm house on a little farm in Urlton, NY (notice the spelling). Little did anyone realize then that the curtain rose on a story that was to grow and grow and continue on and on.  

Now, in its 70th year; we salute the memory of the author of this remarkable story.  That man of great vision, who set the stage and planned the ground-work for one of the most unique and amazing stories ever told, was only 38 years of age at time. He was the architect of this dream, a great humanitarian. He was, of course our beloved founder, ELIAS A. COHEN.

The setting of this story was simple. By today's standards it was nothing but a small plain 6 room country house on a rugged farm in the backwoods of a hamlet in the foothills of the Catskills.

The idea was original, to select a small group of bright, worthy children from the inner city where they lived in crowded tenements with a lack of fresh air and play space and bring them to the country where there were trees and flowers and green grass and clean, fresh air and plenty of room to roam and play. There they would have an opportunity to spend a few weeks of fun and relaxation together away from the pressures of home and city life.

The characters in this story were the most important part. They were the guests of Elias A. Cohen, these energetic young people. First 10 boys for 2 weeks, then girls, then boys and girls came together. So it has been summer after happy summer, year after wonderful year.
Elias A. Cohen loved people. He had faith in youth. He wanted to give every child an opportunity to express himself, to develop his latent talents, to learn to live with one another harmoniously, His ideals and goals became our ideals and goals and they still are.

Within these 70 years, Tranquillity has opened its hospitable doors to countless thousands of deserving boys and girls who have developed into fine men and women, better citizens of this great country of ours. It has been a panorama of people - a passing on an off the stage of thousands upon thousands of happy boys and girls. There were also the young men and women and special adults whose sole functions have been to help, each in his own way, to embellish, to do his bit, to make life for the kids just a little better, a little brighter, a little more exciting.

  • 1940's Because of the Second World War, our campers were principally little refugees from the war torn countries of Europe. Here they found peace and happiness and friends and plenty of good food. Here they learned English and became Americans.

  • 1952 Our beloved Mr. Cohen passed away suddenly but Tranquillity continued on. In 1953 the present Alumni Organization was formed.
  • 1950's brought our second generation children whose parents were campers in the 1920’s and 1930's. The T-Y House dining room was used - 2 sets of dishes and silverware were purchased so kosher meat meals could be served.
  • 1952 Our beloved Mr. Cohen passed away suddenly but Tranquillity continued on. In 1953 the present Alumni Organization was formed.
  • 1960's brought refugees from Hungary as well as more 2nd and 3rd generation campers. The camp grew. More dormitory buildings were needed, then a softball stadium, tennis and blacktop basketball and volleyball courts were built.


  • 1970's With our 50th Anniversary we saw our big dreams come true - the building of our magnificent Dining Hall and Kitchen and Lake Pearl for fishing and rowing.
  • 1980's Frinde1 Lane, Overlook Lane and finally two beautiful new swimming pools were added. Tranquillity is now one of the finest camps in the country.

Tranquillity changes with the times. From the original 100 acres we now have about 800 acres, from one farm house we now have 11 beautiful buildings including an Infirmary and an Arts and Crafts Building. From 20 kids we now have 200 campers. But with all the physical changes, the same Tranquillity spirit prevails. The same Tranquillity Family feeling is apparent. Only the faces of the campers are different.

This is no longer the work of one person, of one group, It is the sum total of hearts, the loves, the smiles, the tears, the struggles, the successes, the friendships of so very many people who have helped, touched by the spirit of "Noblesse Oblige” of sharing and caring.

We are grateful to all who have been part of the Tranquillity saga all thru the years whether campers, counselors, staff, farmers, workers, friends and associates, family and adopted Tranquillity-ites. We remember all those who were part of the Cohen and the Tranquillity family, the Womens and Mens League even though they are no longer with us. Their memories live in our hearts forever.

With the help of all these wonderful people, with the help of all the Alumni, past and present, particularly the directors and officers, we are able to carry on, to keep Tranquillity going strong. Without Henry's unselfish help since my uncle pass­ed away in 1952, I could not have carried on. So, if my presence here has helped in any way, it is because Henry has been with me, because of his dedication, devo­tion and love for Tranquillity, for the children and for me.

It is now up to this generation and future generations of those who are involv­ed in Tranquillity in any way, to continue to maintain its spirit, to keep its standard high. Remember, Tranquillity is more than a summer camp. It is our summer home - our family tradition!




Since this article was written, Tranquillity Camp has continued to thrive.

  • 1990’s Richard Lerner returned to help Pearl as Assistant Director.  A beautiful camp site was built in the woods, which allowed campers to camp out under the stars.
  • 2000’s the Pearl C. Miller Sports Center was completed in 2002 much to the delight of the campers who spend countless hours there.  2007 “The Hills” were completed to replace the Manse.
  • In 2003 Pearl sadly passed away after the camp season.  She is truly missed but we continue to tell the campers stories about this wonderful woman so that they too can teach future generations about Tranquillity’s rich and wonderful history thanks to Elias A. Cohen and Pearl C. Miller.
  • 2010 brings us to a new decade with over 270 children the first and second groups of camp.  About 90 of these campers and counselors have had parents, grandparents and even great grandparents who have been to Tranquillity before them.
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