National ‘Caring For Children’ award made posthumously to Marvin Domsky
Shown are, from left, Henry M. Skier, president of AMSkier, who presented the award; Carole Domsky, the wife of Marvin; Sam Domsky, a son of Marvin; and Andrew Yankowitz, director and owner of Tall Pines Day Camp.
After a lifetime of dedication to creating, owning and directing camps for children and young adults, Marvin Domsky, of Margate, the founder and developer of the former Willow Grove Day Camp and the Tall Pines Day Camp in Williamstown, has been honored posthumously with the prestigious National Caring for Children Award, given by AMSkier Insurance in Hawley, Pennsylvania.
A 1952 graduate of West Chester State Teachers College (now West Chester University) and then a physical education teacher at Germantown High School in the Philadelphia School District, Domsky achieved his dream of owning a camp by buying what was previously a bungalow colony and building Willow Grove Day Camp from scratch. For over 60 years beginning in 1955, Domsky, with the help of his wife, Carole, and with the Zeitz family, owned and ran one of the most successful and respected day camps in the Philadelphia area.
“If you were to look in the dictionary under ‘summer camp,’ Marvin Domsky’s name would be front and center,” noted Henry Skier, president of AMSkier Insurance. “His infectious enthusiasm and passion for Camp can only be matched by the memories his camps created for countless children and young adults across the Mid-Atlantic and beyond.”
Not content with “merely” running Willow Grove Day Camp, Domsky identified a recreational vehicle campground and chicken farm in Monroe Township, Gloucester County, as an optimal site for his next venture, Tall Pines Day Camp. In 1996, Tall Pines Day Camp opened its gates and will celebrate its 25th year in 2020.
“One of the reasons Tall Pines Camp and Willow Grove Day Camp are, and were, big successes is because people were so drawn to Marvin,” said Domsky’s cousin and owner/director of Tall Pines Day Camp, Andrew Yankowitz. “Today, Tall Pines Day Camp is renowned for being one of the premier day camps in the Delaware Valley with kids coming from Philadelphia, Atlantic, Camden, Burlington and Gloucester counties.”
In 2009 Marvin was honored as a Legend of Camping by the American Camp Association in recognition of his leadership in, and service to, the profession of camping. He wrote and published two books, “My 65 Years in Camping,” and “The Nitty Gritty of Private Camps Surviving.”
The Caring for Children Award was established by AMSkier Insurance to recognize camp owners, directors and leaders whose achievements reflect their dedication to provide safe environments for thousands of children and young adults, and whose work has brought pride to themselves, to their families and to the camp community they serve.
In 2015, as a part of our In My Wildest Dreams interview series, AMSkier Insurance set out to interview Marvin Domsky, who always had big dreams, and set out to make them a reality. View the interview below.