The Story of Park Shore
How did Park Shore begin?
Our story starts in the Bronx where Al Budah was raised. He grew up during a time when playing in the streets was common practice and hitting a ball with a broom handle three sewers far was a big accomplishment. Keeping cool in the summer months meant standing in front of a fire hydrant and sleeping on the fire escape at night to capture the cool evening breeze. Times were very different but were exciting and challenging for a young teenage boy.
Like most boys, Al was very athletic and always played ball every chance he got. He met his childhood sweetheart on the ball field because Henrietta Kalish was always there to watch him. She arranged to meet Al and they started their relationship. They were married on November 23, 1946. Much has taken place between then and now and that is really what the PARK SHORE STORY is all about.
Al Budah graduated City College and became an accountant. It was during this time that Al and Henny had their first son, Bob. They relocated from the Bronx to Douglaston, NY where they moved into a garden apartment in Beech Hills, Queens. Three years later, their second son Chuck was born. Al changed his career from accounting to teaching and it was during this part of his life that the idea of working with children out of the classroom began. In order to earn additional money, Al created the Jolly Travelers in 1950, which was a traveling program for teenage boys and girls. Parents were able to have their child picked up and taken to New York City and spend the day at a show and then out to lunch. All of this for only $3.00. This became a success and was then transformed into picking up children on an every day basis during the summer months. This program met at Alley Pond Park where campers played a variety of athletics and also participated in cultural arts activities. After having lunch at the “THE PARK” the campers were transported by school bus to Zachs Bay at Jones Beach, the “SHORE” Henny Budah helped in the operation of the Jolly Travelers with bookkeeping and office work that was done in their apartment in Beech Hills. After several years, a name change was in order and the counselors had a naming contest. The winning counselor received $5.00 for the winning name, which was PARK SHORE DAY CAMP.
By 1956, Uncle Al, as he was called by all of his campers and their parents, decided that owning his own sight was the way of the future. He started looking for a facility that would accommodate his needs and started looking on Long Island. In those days, the L.I.E. only went as far as Douglaston and 25A and Jericho Turnpike were the only roads that led east. And so the search began. It finally was narrowed down to two facilities. One was a horse farm located in Syosset and the other was the sight that PARK SHORE is on today. In 1958, Park Shore was purchased from Raymond Munson and Al and Henny Budah moved their sons, Bob and Chuck, to Dix Hills. They lived in the main building that is our main office today and started developing the “PARK SHORE COUNTRY DAY CAMP OF DIX HILLS.” PARK SHORE officially started in 1959 with 75 children who were bussed from Forest Hills. In those days, there were very few people living in Dix Hills and most of the area was farmland and empty fields. This was really the country. You would wait 20 minutes for a car to pass on Deer Park Road and the only shopping was in the town of Huntington. The Walt Whitman Mall had not yet been developed.
As the area developed, so did the camp with added facilities and enrollment. By the time the L.I.E. came out this far, more people were moving to the area. PARK SHORE consisted of 15 acres and fewer facilities than today. Uncle Al started with one pool; the main building, which had the dining room, now classroom #2, and his office; three outside cottages; many open fields; and two barns. And so the process of creating a camp began. PARK SHORE was established with the idea of working hard to create a facility that parents would feel comfortable with and where children could have a good time in a safe environment. Quality service was critical and still remains today. Al Budah was a detail man and every blade of grass had to be cut and every piece of paper had to be picked up. A well-run and clean camp was extremely important to him and he worked extremely hard to create his dream. Each year, new facilities and activities were added which started our long lasting tradition of never resting on our past performances and always adding new and exciting facilities and activities for all to enjoy. This continues even today and all of our PARK SHORE parents and campers look forward to what awaits them each year.
It is now 60 years later and the Budah family is still very proud to be celebrating their EXCELLENCE in day camping.
Park Shore News
KEEP IN TOUCH
Our 60th Anniversary Celebration year is going to be filled with exciting events, videos, alumni memories and so much more - don't miss a minute of it!