The 90 plus year history of Indian and Forest Acres reads like many camps with its longevity!
Indian and Forest Acres was founded in 1924 by Abraham and Gertrude Krasker. After meeting at a summer camp in Sharon, Massachusetts, the couple eventually married. They always had a dream that they would like to run a camp one day. Abe taught science at Essex Agricultural College in Salem, MA. One of his students had an uncle, Fred Kennerson, who owned a farm in Fryeburg, Maine. Both Abe and Gertrude loved the area and after seeing Mr. Kennerson’s property, they went to the Casco Bank, borrowed money based on faith, and bought the land from Mr. Kennerson. In 1924, Indian Acres Camp for boys opened. Both Abe and Gertrude had strong ideas about camping and after a few years, Abe thought it would be a good idea for Gertrude to have her own girls’ camp to run. In 1927 Forest Acres Camp for girls was opened.
In January of 1962, Abraham Krasker passed away. His son, Richard, otherwise known as “Dick,” took over the management of the camps with Gertrude and gradually assumed more responsibility. Gertrude retired in the fall of 1969 and Dick assumed full directorship of both camps. In 1968, Dick met Sandy DeBoom when she was working as the camp nurse and they later married in the spring of 1969. Dick and Sandy directed Indian and Forest Acres until 1998 when they sold the camp to Lisa and Geoffrey Newman.
Lisa and Geoff met each other on the first day of school at the University of Maryland. The couple immediately shared a common passion for summer camp as they both attended different camps as children for a period of ten years. When the opportunity arose to purchase IA/FA in the winter of 1998 they decided to direct a shared burning passion into fruition and continue the traditions and ideals that Abe, Gertrude, Sandy and Dick Krasker had propagated during the previous 75 years! With the help and support of their three children, Melissa (24), Paige (22) and Nikki (17), the Newman family has continued to bring renewed enthusiasm and energy to Indian and Forest Acres.
For a brief time period from 2005-2010, Julie and Neal Waldman (Neal was a former camper and counselor and met his wife Julie when she was the camp nurse in 1976) joined the Newman’s in directing Indian and Forest Acres. The Newman’s continue to dedicate their lives to enhancing children’s growth through moderate competition, athleticism, art, and spirit. They have also insured the long-term future of Indian and Forest Acres by continuously making improvements to the infrastructure of the camps, ensuring that the facility and program remain one of the finest in the camp industry.