My name is Jay Kahane. I spent 12 summers on staff at Forest Valley Day Camp and several more as a camper. I was hired as a counsellor by Bert Fine in 1981 and later worked as a Photography Specialist, Program Director, Transportation Director and as Assistant Director to Jennifer Fine through 1992.
More than 20 years after the camp closed, I finally got around to scanning slides and photos and assembling my significant collection of camp documents and souvenirs. I built this site over the course of a year or so and it went live in the spring of 2014.
This site is dedicated to Bert Fine, the founder of day camping in Canada.
Photographs & Images
Many of the photos in this site are from the camp archives. They were originally located in the basement of the main office and contained records, camper bags, t-shirts and promotional items. The history of the camp – in the form of 35mm slides from 1958 through 1992 – were also stored there, along with a small number of black & white and colour photographs.
All of this material was lost when the camp closed in 1993.
Fortunately, a significant collection of these images was in my possession when the camp closed in 1993. Preserved for more than 20 years, they represent the only existing images from the official camp record. The majority – in the form of 35mm slides – have been scanned and digitally restored.
In addition, a large personal collection of documents, news clippings, promotional material and camp artefacts that have also been in my possession have been catalogued and photographed. Many newspaper articles and ads were acquired from the archives of The Toronto Star. Several photos were copied from the Facebook page, “I Went to Forest Valley Day Camp.”
A number of photographs have also been uploaded to the site – and the Facebook Page, “Forest Valley”.
In July 2014, a small number of slides were obtained from Bert’s son, Jon Fine. A number of Super-8 and 8mm films were also found. Thanks to David Morrison for helping to track these down.
Unfortunately, most of the slides duplicated the content of those already on the site and those still to be posted. However some new images were found. These are being scanned and restored and will be posted in the future.
In 1983, Bert purchased an early JVC portable video camera and VCR. In 1984, a promotional video was made using this camera by Del Schwartz – the photographer who did the cabin photos. From time-to-time, Bert would take the camera with him on this golf cart to record scenes around camp. Several of these videos are also included. They have been taken from the original VHS tapes that were also in my possession.
A number of super8 and 8mm films were obtained from Jon Fine. These are being converted to digital files and posted. These movies are were taken between 1957 and 1971. Included is a complete promotional documentary “day at camp” film from the mid-60’s which complements a similar videotape made in the 80’s.
I have compiled significant historical information based on my own knowledge. I have supplemented this with information gathered from a number of key individuals who were at camp for extended periods prior to 1980.